A Troubling Moment

Civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson says his Equal Justice Initiative to commemorate the racial violence–that included 4,000 lynchings in 12 states of the American South between 1870 and 1950–is aimed at creating an awareness and appreciation of the history that led to millions of Black Americans fleeing to ghettos in the North as refugees of that terror. Living in Montgomery, where there are 59 markers and monuments to the Confederacy, Stevenson says there are none that acknowledge the horror of slavery. The mobilization of racial resentment by the incoming president, in order to gain political power, concerns Stevenson, saying,

I am most worried about the poor and vulnerable people who have had to endure lifetimes of bigotry and discrimination, and who are now going to have to continue meeting those challenges without the possibility of a Justice Department that will protect them. …I certainly think it is a troubling moment in American history when someone can employ this rhetoric of hate and division and bigotry and become elected to the presidency of the United States.

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