Monday Morning Boost: Maybe “we’re all guilty”
In June of 1964, three civil rights workers were murdered by the KKK in Neshoba County, Mississippi, during the Civil Rights Movement.
The three young men, Andrew Goodman and Michael “Mickey” Schwerner from New York City, and James Chaney from Meridian, Mississippi, had been working with the “Freedom Summer Campaign” attempting to register African Americans in Mississippi to vote.
Forty-one years later, in 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was charged and eventually convicted for his part in the crimes.
The 1988 classic film “Mississippi Burning” is loosely based on the FBI’s investigation of the murders. At the end of the movie, the character of Mayor Tillman commits suicide after being interrogated by the FBI. The suicide caused one of the agents to say: “I don’t understand why he did it. He wasn’t in on it. He wasn’t even Klan.”
The other agent replied: “Anyone’s guilty who lets these things happen and pretend like it isn’t. No, he was guilty all right. Just as guilty as the fanatics who pulled the trigger. Maybe we all are.”
“Anyone’s guilty who lets these things happen and pretend like it isn’t. No, he was guilty all right. Just as guilty as the fanatics who pulled the trigger. Maybe we all are.”
“Maybe we all are.”
Can anyone explain what happened Saturday in Charlottesville?
We have thousands of people marching, carrying Nazi flags, chanting over and over, “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us.”
Thousands of people were marching with Nazi flags in our country!
David Duke, the former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, attended the illicit gathering, fueling the bigotry and hatred of the White Supremacists.
“We are determined to take our country back,” Duke said. “We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.”
Then James Alex Fields Jr., 20, turns his hatred into violent actions, plowing his car, allegedly, into a crowd of people protesting against the White Supremists rally.
Heather D. Heyer, 32, from Charlottesville was killed as a result of the senseless and violent act of terror. The New York Times described here as a paralegal who “was a passionate advocate for the disenfranchised and was often moved to tears by the world’s injustices.”
19 others were injured.
ARE WE ALL TO BLAME?
It’s easy to condemn the violence. It’s easy to say we would never do such a thing.
I believe that to be true.
But what are we saying when we stand silent, ignoring intolerance, veiled racism, or hatred disguised as patriotism?
Social media is filled with rants of intolerance and hatred. Political affiliation has created a chasm of difference. Mutual understanding and compromising are dying a fast death.
It’s time to lay aside our differences. It’s time to bridge the gap of misunderstanding. It’s time to replace hatred with love. It’s time to accept. It’s time to heal.
It’s time to realize the next generation, our children, and our grandchildren, are watching what we do and what we say.
They notice when we cuss the news commentators. They read what we post. They see the difference between what we say and what we do.
Maybe the FBI agent in “Mississippi Burning” was correct. If we turn a blind eye, pretend racism, hatred, and bigotry don’t exist, maybe “we’re all guilty.”
Have a great Monday. Thanks for letting me share.
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to talk about what happened in Charlottesville, and why it matters.
If you’d like help clarifying what matters most for your passion — in business or in life — sign up for my new Gain the Red Edge series featuring success stories and specific ideas for clarifying your passions.
If you’re ready to take the next step, private consulting and group coaching available. If your business, group, or organization is looking for a speaker for an upcoming event I would love to have a conversation.
Drop me a note, text or call… 435-757-4242.
2 thoughts on “Monday Morning Boost: Maybe “we’re all guilty””
There is so much turmoil going on throughout the country right now. It’s hard to miss whether it’s another kid getting killed by police, the rights of transgender individuals, black lives matter, protests, etc. However, what I have noticed has been evident since the incident in Ferguson, racism and bigotry never was taken care of once the Civil Rights movement was over. All elements of racism are still embedded in our society, however they are done in a more subtle matter. But no matter what society makes us believe, there is no such thing as “White Supremacy” or “Black Power”. No matter what your skin color, the language you speak, the religion you practice or don’t practice, the political belief you have, where you went to school, or where you grew up, WE ARE ALL HUMAN! There is no human that is superior or inferior to another no matter how much money, education, or power that individual has. Although society is leading people astray with these false and dangerous notions, let us be the people and the generation to view people as people and, most importantly, as children of God. For we all are!
You have offered a thoughtful observation Brenin. You are correct in that racism continues in more subtle fashion. I’m concerned with the recent events, since Fergusen as you mention, subtly is being tossed out in favor of being blatantly and hostile in speech. We can make a difference by sharing a voice, in our own way, that is healthy, respectful, and unaccepting of intolerance and hate.