Letters to the Editor

Letter | White should ‘blacken up a bit,’ Bailey should ‘whiten up a bit’

Re: Issac Bailey’s June 21 column, “Interacial hugs, tears can’t guarantee change”

Mr. Bailey, your recent article regarding the Charleston shootingsforces me to suggest that you “whiten” up just a bit.

In that article a woman responded to your statement that this church carnage does not guarantee lasting change. She wrote that she could not understand how you — a black man — could not be moved by the gathering of all races in the spirit of forgiveness, peace, love, and hope. She concluded by writing that is enough for her, why not for you?

What is that you say in reply Mr.Bailey? You say you’ve seen all that before. You say you saw it in “unity and love” footage after the Birmingham Baptist Church bombings in 1963. You followed that up by pointing out that and other short-lived unity marches and gatherings didn’t keep Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from being assassinated five years late — more short-lived unity and love.

In fact, you continue, the Charleston shooting was at least the 91st violent attack on a black Baptist church since 1956. You add that in 1980 alone there were 1,420 fires set by arsonists in black churches which caused Congress to pass the Church Arson Prevention Act in 1996. Naturally, you conclude, countless other burnings, bombings, and other hate crimes went unreported before the civil rights movement.

We are once again in that “honeymoon” period where “unity, forgiveness and love” are the token words for the brief period before the dead are buried and forgotten by all but relatives and friends.

In deference to the woman critical of what she personally perceived to be Mr. Bailey’s lack of caring, I suggested that he “whiten” up just a bit. Now, if she and others would just “blacken” up an equal amount, we might actually see the day when a honeymoon may actually continue into a successful marriage.

That would be enough for me.

The writer lives in Carolina Shores, N.C.