Hate and the American Dilemma
By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine
“In church! My, God, we’re not even safe in church,” said a worshipper.
These words of anguish were said in 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama and they could apply to Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. The black churches have provided warmth, sustenance and comfort to their members.
But their sacred spaces have also been violated by hate, abuse and violence. The fact is that African-Americans and other minorities cannot be guaranteed safety in their houses of worship.
On Sunday September 15, 1963 four young girls died when a bomb tore down the basement of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Later that day two black teenagers were shot dead in questionable circumstances. The cover-up by the authorities, including the FBI, ensured that it took years before the accused could be brought to justice. Continue reading