“… inspiration necessarily comes through a human heart and a mortal mind, through personal prejudice and communal interpretation, through fear, dislike, and hate as well as through faith, hope, and charity…”  (from Who Killed Jesus? by John Dominic Crossan)

I happened to pick up the aforementioned free book from the Chicago Avenue Main Street (CAMS) library and was struck by the above passage as I thumbed through it.  Perhaps, I was struck by this passage because of the recent murder of nine black people there in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, because of the murderer’s “personal prejudice…and hate.”  Like most of my friends, I have no desire to forgive the killer and hope that an insanity ruling will not excuse his hate-filled crimes.

Seeing the diversity of the crowds of people there in South Carolina demanding the removal of the confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol’s flagpole was (is) encouraging.  It shows that every white southerner is not hell-bent on destroying black people physically or mentally.  I support the removal of the flag, but as has been pointed out, prejudices and discriminatory attitudes and actions against black people (and other people of color) will not disappear with the removal of the flag.  Kudos should be given to the stores and websites that have withdrawn confederate flags and other confederate-flag memorabilia.

As is known, the mistreatment of people of color is not confined to the South.  Many black people here in Evanston have experienced discriminatory practices, and many people here in Evanston remember that the City of Evanston paid $2.7 million in 2004 to the family of a black man who was paralyzed while in the custody of the Evanston Police Department. 

In 2013 the Evanston Police Department enacted a “stop and frisk” program to allow Evanston police officers to stop and frisk known criminals and gangbangers (a program to which Alderman Holmes referred during Black History Month in February 2015).  The question is: What colors are assumed to describe criminals and gangbangers?  Or phrased another way:  What color will NOT be assumed to describe criminals and gangbangers? 

Discriminatory and hate-filled practices against people based on their race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual identity or preference result in dire consequences for everybody, whether here or there.

“Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.