Monday, September 15, 2008

In Remembrance of Virgil Ware - Before the September 11 Attacks...

Virgil Ware

"I was traveling before the days of electronic surveillance, before the hijackers and the terrorists arrived. For the arrival of these people, the people in the seats of power have only themselves to blame. Who, indeed, has hijacked more than England has, for example, or who is more skilled in the uses of terror than my own unhappy country ? Yes, I know: nevertheless, children, what goes around comes around, what you send out comes back to you. A terrorist is called that only because he does not have the power of the State behind him - indeed, he has no State, which is why he is a terrorist. The State, at bottom, and when the chips are down, rules by means of terror made legal - that is how Franco ruled so long, and is the undeniable truth concerning South Africa. No one called J. Edgar Hoover a terrorist, though that is precisely what he was: and if anyone wishes, now, in this context, to speak of 'civilized' values or 'democracy' or 'morality,' you will pardon this poor nigger if he puts his hand before his mouth, and snickers - if he laughs at you. I have endured your morality for a very long time, am still crawling up out of that dungheap: all that the slave can learn from the master is how to be a slave, and that is not morality. "

James Baldwin

Just Above My Head

Book Four, Page 331-332

Dell Publishing, New York, 1979

Most people with short memories want to believe that the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. were the first terrorists acts on American soil and there seems to be collective amnesia and/or a mass inability to see the deaths of many in the African American community to be terrorism. All Mississippians should remember Emmitt Till, Medgar Evers, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, Vernon Dahmer, Clyde Kennard and many other victims of terror in this state. But, the most heinous act of terror occurred in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963 when the Sixteenteenth Street Baptist Church was bombed by racist terrorists.

Denise McNair, age 11, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robinson, and Addie Mae Collins, all 14 years of age, were in the dressing room of the church basement preparing for monthly Youth Fellowship Day services when the bomb exploded, killing them and injuring another 22 adults and children. At the time of the blast, over 400 people were in the church and the blast blew out windows blocks away. Just weeks earlier, this area was the scene of civil rights demonstrations in which young children were bitten by vicious police dogs and knocked over by the power of the water from fire hoses.

On September 15, 1963, Virgil Ware, age 13, was riding on the handle bars of his brother's bicycle on a road outside of Birmingham when he was shot at random by some young white teenagers. Charged with first degree murder, an all-white jury convicted them on a lesser charge of second degree manslaughter and the white judge suspended their sentences and placed them on two years probation !!! Virgil's mother, Lorene Ware died in 1996 and his brother, James said, "You could get more time back then for killing a good hunting dog."

Forty-five years later, I still remember those acts of September terror and I often think of Virgil Ware who, like me, would have been 58. Virgil Ware is buried in a cemetery in Jefferson County, Alabama and I shall never forget.

By Dr. Gene Young

The True Audacity Of Hope: U.S. Presidential Hopeful Barack Hussein Obama And Civil Rights Legend Dr. Gene 'Jughead' Young

See Also On W.E. A.L.L. B.E.:

Dr. Young Gives Food For Thought On What It's Like To Be A Civil Rights Pioneer...

Hear The Wisdom Of Dr. Young On These Following W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Specials...

7-27-08~W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Town Hall Special: N-Word Madness!!!

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: February 18, 2007~"We Shall Overcome"-The Henry Hampton Collection (Creator of the Award Winning Eyes On The Prize Documentary)

Find A Civil Rights Veteran Today!!!

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