The south’s relationship with racism is far fresher than in other parts of the country, due to generations of ugly sentiments that can be traced all the way back to the Civil War itself, and hasn’t yet been extinguished by rapid growth in the rural areas.
This is particularly true in parts of Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama, the latter of which was the scene of an ugly incident this week.
Motorists driving along an interstate highway in a majority African American county near the home of historically black Tuskegee University late Thursday found a cross burning on an overpass, news outlets reported.
The flaming cross was on top of a bridge over Interstate 85 in Macon County Thursday night, Macon County Sheriff Andre Brunson told WRBL-TV. Police were investigating, but no suspects or arrests were announced.
Cross burnings are considered the ultra-racist Ku Klux Klan’s ultimate intimidation message, and have long been associated with overt acts of bigotry and hatred.
Sheriff Brunson was not subtle in his condemnation of the act.
Brunson told the Opelika-Auburn News that police “just can’t let people get away doing that.”
“That is something to strike fear in people’s hearts, and we’re not going to let people make them afraid. We need to bring that person to justice.”
Given the sheer size of the anti-racism protests that America has seen over the course of the last 11 days, a sudden uptick in brazen Klan activity surely seems like a death wish for the hate organization.
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