Ah, who am I kidding? Alabama has always been on the list. But stories like this don’t give me much hope that it will be coming off the list of pariah states any time soon. Apparently, now, a “Christian” organisation known as Christian Identity Ministries is planning to hold a three-day, whites-only conference in Lamar County, AL.
According to this report from MSNBC:
A three-day whites-only religious conference — which will conclude with a flaming cross — in Lamar County, Alabama, has some residents upset at the racist implications while the minister complains that his freedom of speech is being violated.
The church espouses the belief that “The Anglo-Saxon-Keltic-Germanic-Scandinavian People are Israel”, which interestingly would seem to exclude the Israelites themselves, not to mention a certain rather crucial person called Jesus, and though the group insists that they harbour no ill-will or prejudicial thoughts against God’s darker-skinned outcasts, they explain their whites-only policy to the local CBS News affiliate on these grounds:
“We don’t have the facilities to accommodate other races and we have nothing not one bit of animosity no racism whatsoever,” said Pastor William J. Collier, Christian Identity Ministries.
I can sympathise. Who among us has not tried to organise a party or social event, and been forced to cancel it because we were simply unable to accommodate the people of diverse races who wanted to attend? I’m sure fried chicken and watermelon are hard to come by in Lamar County, so the poor black folk would have nothing to eat, and that just wouldn’t be fair to them. And with a busy conference agenda to get through there would be no time for breaks or siestas, so how would our Mexican and latino friends cope? We’re all just so darned different, it makes organising any kind of large integrated gathering impossible. Isn’t it just far better that we all remain separate? But equal, of course.
The event will culminate with a “Sacred Christian Cross Lighting Ceremony”, which Christian Identity Ministries insists is a symbolic rite of purification, but which the rest of the world knows as a Ku Klux Klan ritual of intimidation toward black people.
Local CBS News interviewed the president of the local chapter of the NAACP, who with great understatement said this of the planned cross-burning:
“The only context that I’m familiar with is one that is not very positive. And one that really symbolizes an era that many of us have hoped to put behind us. And that is this whole era of Jim Crow, this whole era of white supremacy, this whole era of discrimination and racial hatred.”
“I think it’s really hard to clarify what’s going on, but it seems to be some vestiges of what we call white supremacy here in Alabama. We just have to be honest about it.”
Yes, perhaps just a couple of small vestiges of white supremacy remaining there in Lamar County. Way to go, Alabama.