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Sadly, Racism Lives

Via HuffPo:  Interracial Couple Banned From Kentucky Church

the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church actually made the decision earlier this month, following a visit from 24-year-old Stella Harville, daughter of the church’s secretary and clerk, and her 29-year-old fiance, Ticha Chikuni, a native of Zimbabwe.

[...]

Following the visit, pastor Melvin Thompson told Harville that his daughter and her fiance could not sing at the church again. Thompson later proposed that the church go on record saying that while all people were welcome to attend public worship services there, the church did not condone interracial marriage.

His proposal, which was accepted by a 9-6 vote last week, also suggested that married interracial couples be prohibited from becoming members and used in worship activities, except for funerals.

Now, this is clearly a small church (according to a Kentucky.com story, weekly attendance is about 40) and is not to be taken as a broad representation of the state or of the broader faith community.  Still, I think it is worth noting that there are still those who think and behave this way.  Another recent reminder was the Louisiana justice of the peace who, back in 2009, refused to issues a marriage license to an interracial couple.

Such behavior deserves public scrutiny and the commensurate shame that ought to result.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. jpmeyer says:

    Best part of all: the preacher’s “I’m not racist, but…” defense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. Hey Norm says:

    And yet people like the Pauls think the Civil Rights Act was wholly un-necessary.
    Once again Libertarianism fails when exposed to the real world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  3. MstrB says:

    Still no cure for stupid

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. @Hey Norm:

    And yet people like the Pauls think the Civil Rights Act was wholly un-necessary.

    Well, we’ve had the civil rights act for nearly 50 years now, and yet this church still exists. Clearly it takes more than a law to fix this problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. Rob in CT says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Very true. But the law sure seems to have helped.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. Hey Norm says:

    @ Stormy…
    Imagine the world that Libertarians fantasize about…with no Civil Rights Act…and the entire South populated with businesses and organizations like the one in the post…you know…like 50 years ago.
    Government ain’t perfect…but it’s a whole lot better than what happens with the Libertarian alternative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  7. Hey Norm says:

    More to Stormy’s point…yes…a law will not directly correct the ignorance involved here. In fact I’m sure what this church is doing is legal.
    But it is clear that in the 50 years since the Civil Rights Act society has changed…though not completely. Did the CRA force the change…prove to society that equal rights would not bring an end to the world? We have something similar today with the psuedo-conservative rightists trying to restrict the rights of homosexuals…and claiming…as Santorum does…that marriage equality will destroy the United States…and lead to sodomy and man-on-dog sex. Is it necessary to legislate equality so that society can see what the bigots don’t want them to?
    I don’t know the answer…thats above my pay-grade…I’m just pretty sure that the United States without the CRA would be a far uglier place…not a Libertarian Utopia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. DRS says:

    The fact that the CRA was passed at all is proof that society began changing much earlier than 50 years ago. The CRA was a milestone, not a cause, of that social change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. Hey Norm says:

    Well Birmingham was in ’63…the CRA passed in ’64…and the Selma to Montgomery march didn’t happen until ’65…so an early milestone perhaps…but much has changed since then. To say the CRA didn’t cause change is a bit of a stretch.

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  10. DRS says:

    Well, I think the CRA was the wave hitting the beach, but like a wave the impetus starts farther out and is almost invisible. What year was it when Rosa Parks refused to change seats on the bus?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. Hey Norm says:

    ’55.
    Sure…we can go back to the Underground Railroad if you want.
    I don’t think you can make a credible argument that the CRA didn’t have an impact on society for the last 50 years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. DRS says:

    I said it was a “milestone”. I do think that milestones have an impact. But the very fact that the CRA came into existence is proof that there were strong social forces at work before 1965.

    I really don’t think we’re disagreeing here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. anjin-san says:

    The fact that the CRA was passed at all is proof that society began changing much earlier than 50 years ago. The CRA was a milestone, not a cause, of that social change.

    It was both. I would point to the integration of the military as an earlier milestone/change agent.

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