Ethics & Religion
A Column by Michael J. McManus
 

Home
Page

For Current Column
See the Home Page

 

About the
Columnist

 

Search this
Site...

 

Column Archives
List of all columns 
2022
2021
2020

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012

2011

2010

2009
2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

For 2003 and earlier
only the title is listed.
Use the Search Function
to find the article.

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

 

About The
Columnist

 

Ethics & Religion
Column #2,109
January 12, 2022
Progress in Black-White Relations
By Mike McManus

The three white men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, 25, a black man, nearly two years ago, were sentenced last week to life in prison, two without possibility of parole.

As Judge Timothy Walmsley put it, "As we understand it, he left his home apparently to go for a run, and he ended up running for his life." He was unarmed. Civil rights leaders praised the men's convictions in November as hard-won justice in this case, which saw no arrests until more than two months after Arbery's death.

The three men were charged only after a cell phone video of the event went viral, thrusting the killing into the national spotlight, leaving many outraged at a justice system that showed little concern for black lives.

The convictions came a day after the death of Sidney Portier, who was the first black man to win an Academy Award for best actor in his role in "Lillies of the Field," a film released in 1963 - the same year as the civil rights March on Washington.
The murder of another black man, George Floyd, under the knee of a Minneapolis white police officer in 2020, sparked the removal of more than 130 Confederate statues. Gen. Robert E. Lee, who long presided over Monument Avenue in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy - is gone. Another removal is the statue to Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, which also stood on Monument Avenue. A third monument was to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. A fourth was to Gen. Stonewall Jackson, another Confederate general.

The placing of these heroes of the South's aim to maintain slavery in the Black History Museum & Culture Center of Virginia in Richmond - is poetic justice, immensely satisfying to black Americans today.

The plan to display the city's most historic Confederate monuments at the Black History Museum was announced by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. The Richmond City Council must approve the transfer, which is expected.

The monuments were the focus of intense protests, gathering places where demonstrators clashed with police and rallied in the name of Floyd and others who have died in police encounters.

The future of Confederate statues taken down in other cities was unclear. In Newport News, a century-old statue was turned down by five organizations including historical societies and museums. Similarly, the nearby city of Norfolk had no takers for its Confederate statue, known as "Johnny Reb."

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are nearly 1,800 Confederate symbols displayed on public land. About 130 of them have been removed so far. Many schools and highways are also being renamed.

The Confederate statues were located across the South, of course, but also in far away cities. A Confederate Memorial Fountain built in 1916 in Helena, Montana was removed in 2017 and replaced with a new Unity Fountain in 2020. In New Mexico three Jefferson Davis Highway markers were taken down in 2018.

The expedited removal of Confederate monuments, particularly on courthouse and government grounds is a beneficial step toward the nation's healing asserted Geoff Ward, a professor in African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, who has mapped out visual symbols of racism.

But Ward worries that necessary conversations about racial injustice that people of color are asking for in their communities are failing to happen each time a statue is taken down.

"This is a familiar U.S. scenario," Ward said. "Seeking to quickly move on and declare matters settled rather than dealing with issues and really processing traumas."

Nevertheless, there are been tremendous progress from a black point of view.

For example who would have imagined that in California was a "Confederate Corners" established in 1868 by southerners who moved to California? Or that there would be a Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Long Beach and another in San Diego?

It is a new day for black America.

_________________________

Copyright (c)2022 Michael J. McManus, a syndicated columnist and past president of Marriage Savers. To read past columns, go to www.ethicsandreligion.com. Hit Search for any topic.


 

  Since 1981...
2000+ Columns
  CURRENT ARTICLE
  Febrary 9, 2022: Column 2113: My Farewell Column: Happy Valentine's Week
  Recent Columns
  Writing Columns About Marriage
  Will Abortion Be Made Illegal?
  Restore Voting Rights to Ex-Felons
  Progress in Black-White Relations
  Marriage Is Disappearing
  Catholic Priest Celibacy Should Be Optional
  Blacks Must Consider Marriage
  The Need to End Catholic Priest Celibacy
  More Lessons For Life
  Lessons For Life
  Rebuilding Marriage in America
  How To Reduce Drunk Driving Deaths
  The Value of Couples Praying Together
  A Case for Pro-Life
  End The Death Penalty?
  Christian Choices Matter
  The Biblical Sexual Standard
  The Addictive Nature of Pornography
  Protecting Girls from Suicide
  The Worst Valentine: Cohabitation
  Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
  Sextortion Kills Teens
  Cohabitation: A Risky Business
  Recent Searches
  gun control, euthanasia, cohabitation, sexting, sextortion, alcoholism, prayer, guns, same sex marriage, abortion, depression, islam, divorce, polygamy, religious liberty, health care, pornography, teen sex, abortion and infanticide, Roe+v+Wade, supreme court, marriage, movies, violence, celibacy, living+together, cohabitation, ethics+and+religion, pornography, adultery, divorce, saving+marriages
2022 Michael J. McManus syndicated columnist
Ethics & Religion at http://www.ethicsandreligion.com
Site Sponsored by enktesis.com