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May 26, 2005

3 Crosses Burned in Durham
FILED UNDER: "Fucked Up Bullshit"
TAGS: North Carolinaracism
By Trevor

As a 22 year-old American, it is often easy to forget the rich history of violent racist intimidation that we have around us. Today that history came back to haunt Durham - a town just 5 minutes from my apartment, where I am writing this post.

Durham is a town unlike too many others in North Carolina - it is both a city and a county. There seem to be, in my experience, so many different sides of Durham. The area immediately surrounding Duke University hosts a college town-type setting that is not too unlike Chapel Hill. The area known as Downtown Durham is a markedly different place. The racial make-up is dramatically different here than at Duke University - many more people of color live in the Downtown area, just a 5 minute drive from Duke's campus. And moving over towards the area surrounding Southpoint Mall that straddles I-40, you get a strange mix of uberdevelopment and transient people who commute to various places in the area.

In North Carolina, approximately 20% of its residents are African-American, according to the Census Bureau. In Durham, however, that statistic is double that, or 40%. It is no great surprise, then, that the racial tensions there are somewhat different than in other areas of our State. This is certainly impacted by the strange political mix that occurs in any city whose population is so heavily impacted by a college or university.

3 crosses were burned in Durham last night and KKK materials were reportedly left near the scene of at least one of the crimes. Worse yet, it appears that the crimes could be connected to a series of protests earlier this month by Fred Phelps' clan of haters (aka godhatesfags.com). Below is an e-mail being circulated by the NC Peace and Justice Coalition with more information on the events (you can also see the CNN article). It includes information about vigils happening tonight and contact information should you want to get involved in the community response to this heinous show of racism in the South.

Dear Friends and Allies: Last night, Wednesday May 25, "Several motorists spotted a tall burning cross near Interstate 85 and Hillandale Road around 9:15 p.m. It was located near the back parking lot of St. Luke's Episcopal Church. At the same time, callers to 911 reported another cross burning near Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and South Roxboro Street.

About an hour later, Durham firefighters responded to another burning cross on Dillard Street in downtown Durham, just across from the WTVD studios. Fliers purportedly from the KKK were left at that location. The United House of Prayer for All People is located nearby. The crosses were several feet tall. Officers took away the burned crosses for further investigation". (From ABC 11 Report)

The Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham is calling for vigils at all three locations tonight, Thursday May 26, and believe strongly that a large community response to the cross burnings is important. The NC Peace & Justice Coalition encourages everyone in the area to join in a loud community response to these acts of violence, hatred, racism and intimidation.

PLEASE COME TONIGHT TO ONE OF THREE CANDLELIGHT VIGILS TO STAND AGAINST KLAN VIOLENCE, CROSS BURNING, AND RACISM IN OUR COMMUNITIES: BRING YOUR CANDLES!

DOWNTOWN VIGIL: 6:00 community dinner and discussion on the cross burnings and the communty's response, 7:30 pm Vigil: Meet for both at the Durham Main Library parking lot, at 300 N Rosboro, between Holloway and Liberty streets. The dinner will take place within walking distance of the library. The vigil will likely take place near the site of the cross burning, 2 blocks away at the United House of Prayer on Dillard and Holloway. If you can help bring a dish, banners, or candles please Contact Andrew Pearson, kangaroo@email.unc.edu 360 2028.

WEST DURHAM VIGIL: 8:00 pm At or near ST. Luke's Episcopal Church, (919) 286-2273, 1737 Hillandale Rd, Durham 27705, near I-85. The Church pastor and neighborhood and community groups are involved in the planning. Contact: John Schelp, bwatu@yahoo.com, Old West Durham Neighborhood Association,

SOUTH DURHAM VIGIL: 8:00 pm on the sidewalk on South Roxboro Street, near Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in front of the site of the cross burning. The plan at present is to have everyone gather on the sidewalk at the site of the burning on South Roxboro Street tonight at 8 pm and bring a candle "to shine some light in this moment of darkness." Churches and civic organizations are being contacted and fliers are being printed up. Contact Terry and Ann Lee Mosley, mosgen@earthlink.net, 489-8592.

WE JUST WON'T TOLERATE... RACISM
NO, WE WON'T TOLERATE... EXPLOITATION
WE JUST WON'T TOLERTAE... INJUSTICE
WE'RE GONNA STAND.... WE'RE GONNA STAND...

PERMALINK | Posted at 6:03 PM | Post a Comment (1)

1 Comment

Nice looking blog.

Tony | May 26, 2005 9:04 PM


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