Today is a good day to talk about Edgar Ray Killen, the unapologetic racist who was responsible for killing three civil rights workers in Mississippi back in 1964.
Sadly, there were many Dylann Roof types back then, and he was just one of them.
Today he sits in jail after finally being convicted of that terrible crime.
"And he steadfastly refuses to discuss the “Freedom Summer” slayings of three civil rights workers, which sparked national outrage, helped spur passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and landed him behind bars.
Killen was interviewed by the Associated Press inside the Mississippi state penitentiary, where he is serving a 60-year sentence; it was his first interview since his conviction on state charges of manslaughter in 2005, 41 years to the day after James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were killed and buried in a red clay dam. An earlier trial in 1967, on federal charges, resulted in a mistrial.
Killen wouldn’t say much about the 1964 killings. He said he remains a segregationist who does not believe in race equality but contends he bears no ill will toward blacks.
The three civil rights workers – black Mississippian Chaney and white New Yorkers Schwerner and Goodman – were investigating the burning of a black church outside Philadelphia, Mississippi, when they were stopped on an accusation of speeding and held for hours in the Neshoba County jail. Witnesses testified that Killen rounded up carloads of Klansmen to intercept the three men upon their release and helped arrange for a bulldozer to hide the bodies.
The bodies were found 44 days later, buried miles away in a red-clay dam." [Source]
It's important to remember this monster because now, 50 years later, the kind of hate that drove him and others to do what they did , is still permeating throughout certain segments of the country.
Over the past few days at least six black churches have been burned to the ground, and we are all collectively sticking our heads in the sand as if it didn't happen.
Were it not for black twitter (shout out to the #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches? movement) these stories would be getting even less publicity than they are now. It's sad, but the story has to actually get worse before the producers at cable news networks will have the courage to put stories like this front and center.
Look, we get it, a lot of Americans have Negro fatigue, so stories about black churches being burned to the ground just won't get their attention. It's just too depressing to think that the country we love and cherish is going through this. Heck we are just getting over what happened in Charleston for crying out loud. Leave us alone!!!
Field, you don't even go to church, why do you care so much about these churches burning?
Because I understand the importance and historical significance of the church in the black community. And because church folks are such a forgiving bunch that I am sure that whoever is doing this will get nothing but love and another cheek from my church going brothers and sisters.
"Chaney’s sister, the Rev Julia Chaney Moss of Willingboro, New Jersey, said she was not surprised Killen wouldn’t talk about the slayings.
“I can only wish Mr. Killen peace at this juncture in his life ... If he can achieve a modicum of peace, I wish that for him,” Chaney said."
See what I mean?
Anyway, I sure hope that Rev. Julia and others at least believe in Proverbs 20:22.
~Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.~
Hurry Lord, we are getting tired of waiting.