Friday, April 26, 2013

Klan Terrorism and Current Terrorism

Recently the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that will posthumously honor 4 victims of a 1963 church bombing with Congressional Gold Medals. These 4 girls between the ages of 11 and 14 all died in an explosion set off by the Ku Klux Klan in Birmingham, Alabama. The goal of this legislation was to show bi-partisan support to award those that are victims of terrorist attacks in response to the recent attacks on the Boston marathon. The question I have is; is it appropriate to use this terror attack as a response to the current one? Klan terrorism are acts that attempt to make one group seem superior to another, using hate and fear as a motivator. This appears to be concurrent with what happened is Boston, but the Boston attacks seem to target an entire country. Does giving these girls the Congressional Gold Medal demonstrate that we have now come to a point where Klan bombings can be seen as an attack on our entire nation rather than the African American community? If this is the implication that was the goal, it seems as though the legislation in attempting in a small way to change the past in hind sight. However this does not seem as something that can be realistically done, after the Boston bombing we saw the entire country bond together in supporting the victims and the city of Boston after its loss. After the Birmingham church bombing, “Gov. Wallace, told the New York Times that a strategy to halt integration in his state would be for people to see ‘a few first-class funerals.’” This claim by the head of Alabama demonstrates to me that there is a core difference between the two bombings. Trying to change history to fit this need might at a surface level be what the entire population needs to boost their spirits after current terrorism, but it seems that it might be disrespecting the African American community who at that time received nothing at a national or state level to help them ease their loss. The article that I read this story in also claimed that the loss of the four girls was a motivator for Civil Rights and thusly the losses in Boston should be used as a way to enhance the country’s fight against terrorism. These issues also seem extremely different because the U.S. is not fighting to gain rights from terrorism but is trying to endure it. In the end, I believe that it was great that a African American female Democrat congresswoman and a white male Republican congressman, both from Alabama, could get together and show that the horrific events that happened in their state cannot be forgotten, I just would hope that the current terrorist attack had to be the motivator to get the rest of Congress behind awarding the girls.

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