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America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree
A crowd gathers in Marion, Indiana, in 1930 to witness a lynching. This photograph inspired the poem and song “Strange Fruit.”
April 21st, 2012
10:00 PM ET

America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When he was boy growing up in rural Arkansas, James Cone would often stand at his window at night, looking for a sign that his father was still alive.

Cone had reason to worry. He lived in a small, segregated town in the age of Jim Crow. And his father, Charlie Cone, was a marked man.

Charlie Cone wouldn’t answer to any white man who called him “boy.” He only worked for himself, he told his sons, because a black man couldn’t work for a white man and keep his manhood at the same time.

Once, when he was warned that a lynch mob was coming to run him out of his home, he grabbed a shotgun and waited, saying, “Let them come, because some of them will die with me.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

James Cone knew the risks his father took. So when his father didn’t come home at his usual time in the evenings, he’d stand sentry, looking for the lights from his father’s pickup truck.

“I had heard too much about white people killing black people,” Cone recalled. “When my father would finally make it home safely, I would run and jump into his arms, happy as I could be.”

Cone takes on a theological giant

Cone left his hometown of Bearden, Arkansas, and became one of the world’s most influential theologians. But the memories of his father and lynch mobs never left him. Those memories shaped his controversial theology, and they saturate his recent memoir, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.”

Cone, who once called himself “the angriest theologian in America,” is still angry. His book is not just a memoir of growing up in the Jim Crow era; it’s a blistering takedown of white churches, and one of America’s greatest theologians, Reinhold Niebuhr - a colossal figure often cited by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, Niebuhr’s importance is acknowledged by both liberal and conservative Christian leaders. President Obama once called him one of his favorite philosophers. Niebuhr, the author of classics such as “The Irony of American History,” died in 1971 after a lifetime of political activism.

Cone, however, said neither Niebuhr nor any other famous white pastor at the time spoke out against the most brutal manifestation of white racism in the 20th century America: lynching.

Between 1880 and 1940, Cone says, an estimated 5,000 black men and women were lynched. Their murders were often treated as festive affairs. Women and children cut off the ears of lynching victims as souvenirs. People mailed postcards of lynchings. One postcard of a charred lynching victim read, “This is the barbeque we had last night.”

But Niebuhr said nothing about lynching, little about segregation, and once turned down King’s request to sign a petition calling on the president to protect black children integrating Southern schools, Cone said.

Niebuhr’s decision not to speak out against lynching encouraged other white theologians and ministers to follow suit, Cone said, because Niebuhr was considered the nation’s greatest theologian.

“White theologians didn’t say anything about lynching,” Cone said from his office at Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he teaches a course on Niebuhr. “I tried to find a white theologian who addressed it in a sustained way. No one did it.”

Cone’s criticism of Niebuhr baffles at least one well-known Niebuhr scholar. Charles Lemert, author of “Why Niebuhr Matters,” said King often cited Niebuhr as an inspiration. He said he’d never heard that Niebuhr rejected a petition request from King. “It would be so remote from everything the man was.”

Lemert said Niebuhr had established a long record of speaking out against racism, beginning when he became a pastor in Detroit. Niebuhr may not have spoken out against lynching and other forms of racism later on because of another reason, Lemert said.

“He had a debilitating stroke in 1951,” Lemert said. “By the time the civil rights movement was full blown, he was retired and getting ill.”

Why Cone is angry

Cone has spent much of his career condemning the white church for saying little about slavery or racial justice. Yet his pugnacious reputation doesn’t jibe with his appearance. He is a slight man with a boyish face, cinnamon complexion and dimples. He has a high-pitched voice that drips with the Southern inflections of his native Arkansas.

Cone first gained attention in 1969 with the release of “Black Theology and Black Power,” a book he wrote after urban race riots and King’s assassination.

That book took theology out of academia and placed it on the still-smoldering streets. He became known as the father of “black liberation theology.” He said God was black (he meant it figuratively) because God was closest to those who were oppressed and despised - black people in America.

Cone said his passion for justice comes from growing up in the black church.

Cone blended the racial pride of the black power movement with an emphasis on social justice that had been a part of the black church since enslaved Africans first read the Bible. Jesus' primary message, he said, wasn't about getting people to heaven, but liberating people here and now from oppression - racial, economic and spiritual.

Cone said he was tired of white theologians writing about an otherworldly theology while cities burned and blacks were murdered by racists.

“I felt like I was the angriest black theologian in America,” he once wrote in his book “Risks of Faith.” “I had to speak out.”

Cone inspired some and angered others.

Critics say he developed a divisive, racist theology that describes God as black and whites as evil. They say he’s stuck in the '60s and never abandoned the bitterness of growing up in segregation.

Supporters say Cone exposed the hypocrisy of white churches and gave voice to helpless, poor and oppressed Christians in places as far away as China and Latin America.

The Rev. James Ellis III, an author who has been both critical and supportive of Cone, says before Cone, theology was interpreted through a white male perspective.

Cone has inspired not only blacks but also women and other racial minorities to enter seminaries and the pulpit, he says.

“Whether you agree with Cone or not, he’s definitely someone you need to deal with,” said Ellis, author of “OnThaGrindCuzin: The School Daze of Being ‘Incognegro’ in 1619.”

“He takes the gloves off and gets down to the nitty-gritty.”

Jonathan Walton, an assistant professor of African American Religious Studies at Harvard University, said listening to Cone is like “listening to a Hebrew prophet.”

For many people, Walton says, Cone “exposed that the God that they were worshiping was more consistent with the Pharaoh in Egypt than the Hebrew children.”

Cone said people still misunderstand his theology. He said he does not believe that whites are more sinful than others.

“God made us all as brothers and sisters,” he said. “I’m mad when people don’t treat others as brothers and sisters. I’m concerned about the suffering of all people, not just black people. If anybody is being treated unjustly, I’m with them.”

Singing about the ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’

Cone said his passion for justice comes from growing up in the black church. In his recent memoir, he describes how blacks relied on music and faith to deal with the cruelty of segregation.

On Saturday nights, he said, blacks in his hometown would go to juke joints with names like Sam’s Place to hear blues songs like “Hoochie Coochie Man.” On Sunday mornings, some of the same people would go to church to sing spirituals like “Lord, I Want to be a Christian in My Heart.”

Church comforted Cone, but it also made him ask questions.

“My thing was, if the white churches are Christian, how come they segregate us? And if God is God, why is He letting us suffer?”

The cross, he said, helped him find some answers. He said many white Christians “spiritualize” the cross, seeing it as a penalty Jesus had to pay for mankind’s sins.

But black Christians, starting with the slaves who took up the Bible, also viewed the cross as a way to cope with suffering.

Blacks looking at the images of lynching victims took heart from Jesus’ suffering on the cross and his resurrection, Cone said.

He writes:

“Black Christians believed that just knowing that Jesus went through an experience of suffering in a manner similar to theirs gave them faith that God was with them, even in suffering on lynching trees just as God was present with Jesus in suffering on the cross.”

Cone also talked about his personal suffering in his memoir.

He writes about his wife, Sandra, who died of cancer in 1983. He saw her on the night she died. He said they were joking and laughing as she chided him for not leaving her hospital room to get rest.

He finally did leave, but she died at 3 that morning. Thinking about the cross helped him grieve, he said.

“God talked me through that,” he said, his voice softening. “You look suffering right in you eye and say, ‘You may get me, but you’re not going to have the last word.’ ”

Cone also talks about his parents, Charlie and Lucy, who inspired him and his two brothers. Charlie was a woodcutter who encouraged his wife to return to school, where she eventually earned a college degree.

“I didn’t grow up with a lot of fear,” he said. “I just thought my mother and father would protect me.”

One of Cone’s fears today, though, is that the contemporary black church is losing its distinctive theology. He said there’s less talk about justice and more talk about prosperity.

“You go to almost any black church today, and you don’t hear spirituals anymore,” he said. “What you hear is this happy, ‘I’m prosperous’ kind of stuff. I’m not for that. You don’t come to church to be entertained. You come to wrestle with your spirit.”

Cone may still be angry, but he’s also mellowed. He’s tempered some of the voltage from the language he used in his earlier books. And he’s accepted criticism from some black women theologians who said he didn’t include the perspective of black women in his works.

Yet thoughts of his childhood and his parents never seem far off. In his books and lectures, he returns once again to them, especially when people compliment him for his boldness. In one essay, Cone wrote:

“At most, what I say and do are just dim reflections of what my parents taught and lived.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Bible • Black issues • Books • Christianity • Church • Crime • Culture wars • Persecution • Prejudice • Race

soundoff (2,563 Responses)
  1. LiberationTheologyStudent

    If you've ever wondered what evil looked like, it can be seen in that photo. Do unto others.

    May 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • ran

      I wouldn't call this a lynching. more like justice. Maybe you should research what they did. When you perpetrate a horrible crime don't be surprised when people want to kill you. Maybe they should have paid more attention to "do unto others".

      May 8, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  2. maria

    This is what we supposed to do with all the criminals ,rapists,pedophiles ,I bet jails will be empty by now if this was happening in the modern world ! the justice system is corrupt indeed,look at OJ .Simpson trial or Casey Anthony the one who kill her daughter and many others I believe this hsoulkd still hapening .one get lynch and I bet not more crimes will be commited !

    May 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • What's good for the goose is good for the gander

      Maria, you are a complete, total, absolute, thorough, perfect, downright, out-and-out, outright, all-out, sheer, rank and file, real, consummate, categorical, unmitigated, unadulterated,absolute and UTTER IDIOT!!!!!!

      May 8, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • GODISREALl

      Maria, you are a complete, total, absolute, thorough, perfect, downright, out-and-out, outright, all-out, sheer, rank and file, real, consummate, categorical, unmitigated, unadulterated,absolute and UTTER IDIOT!!!!!!stupid, uneducated, misguided, unbathed, mentally unwashed, dirt eating, vomit eating, bugger tasting, Gadsuit, cave woman MORON!!!!!

      May 12, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  3. bdl1978

    Here's to Christianity, the backbone behind murdering people (racism, genocide, war, etc etc) since it began. The bible is not the history of Christianity, silly christians, and if you knew the history you might question your faith. Sheep

    May 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Nicole

      You shouldn't label all Christians the same way. It is as bad as overgeneralizing race or anything else and it doesn't further debate.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  4. Flamespeak

    Ah, the old picture of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, two men who were caught red handed in beating a man with a sledgehammer and ra ping the man's wife. They were captured by a mob, beaten, and hung in August of 1930. It was the last confirmed case of a lynching occuring in the Northern US of A. There are far better cases to promote the idea of bigotry than trying to martyr up some people who (given the vast amount of eye-witnesses) were going to be killed for their actions anyway. For example, Laura Nelson, who tried to protect her son from a mob of people was lynched for being in the way, a much better case. There was someone who quoted that man older black people knew someone who was lynched, that simply isn't true. As I said, the last known case occured in 1930.

    May 6, 2012 at 3:53 am |
    • ajbuff

      But the definition of lynching means there are many cases which would qualify in the North. And surely these white ministers understood what was going on in the South???? The Til case alone was national news?

      May 6, 2012 at 7:19 am |
  5. bringer of good news

    what america needs is more white people like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3Xe1kX7Wsc

    May 6, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • GODISREALl

      I garantee you that will not work bud!

      May 12, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  6. bringer of good news

    never forget http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lvonshU2mC1qkjb7ro1_500.jpg

    May 6, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  7. bringer of good news

    a concise history of black-white relations in the USA http://amptoons.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/concise_color.png

    May 6, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  8. bringer of good news

    >>> ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT the pathology of white people. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2mjvFNOwmc

    May 5, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  9. sharmon

    I certainly understand your anger. Pressing forward in the light of Dr. King's vision, I set self aside for the whole of the kingdom. May God settle your mind and erase the dreadful memories of the past. Peace and blessing.

    May 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Blooper1

      OK ! Sorry, sorry. I wasn't there at the time. I wasn't born yet. I wasn't living in the South or whatever. Sorry, sorry. And now get back to work and try to be an added value.

      May 5, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  10. master

    Blacks seem to forget that without slavery they would not live in this great country america, and then they wouldnt get their free checks and what not.

    May 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • mauslap

      and that it was the other African tribes that would sell the losing tribes members that are still alive as slaves to the European traders or american traders

      May 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • bringer of good news

      white america seems to forget that without slavery this would not be a great country.

      May 6, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • bringer of good news

      400 years without a pay check could set your great x10 grandchildren back.

      May 6, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • ajbuff

      But by stealing the lives and labor of African Americans from 1619 to 1865 and beyond America built the nation for free – and the North was able to industrialize changing the world forever. Off the sweat, labor, and torture of human beings who were in bondage. Read of on the lives of slaves if you want to understand the misery. And read up on the Jim Crow South if you think life was "ok" through the late 1960s. Most of us were alive when the 14th and 15th amendments were finally enforced – 100 years after being ratified. Yet by then de facto segregation was already set. How many of you live in a well-integrated neighborhood? Have local public schools that are truly integrated? Slavery began in 1619, and Jim Crow finally ended in the mid-60s (legally, anyway.) 350 years of abuse needs long and sustained efforts to be undone.

      May 6, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • What's good for the goose is good for the gander

      Master of the A-H.O.L.E. . . . You are a complete, total, absolute, thorough, perfect, downright, out-and-out, outright, all-out, sheer, rank and file, real, consummate, categorical, unmitigated, unadulterated,absolute and UTTER IDIOT!!!!!!

      May 8, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Jabez Clay

      And the whites seem to forget they are the minority in the world, and their time is coming. . .

      May 8, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • MANDINGO

      The checks aren't "free"but I'll tell you what was; after for hundred years of "free" labor, molesting their women and little boys and baby girls, and white females lying on and laying with their men sinverquenza., no, no, no mas. Nothing is free.

      May 12, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  11. KooLaidMan

    If humans had any sense they would make themselves extinct.

    May 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • octopus

      hope you'll lead us all by example and start from yourself.

      May 5, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  12. kindness

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Currently.... your constructing your own path that suits your sin lifestyle.

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
    Trancend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

    Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Down is up. Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box

    May 4, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • crapper

      Your crazy

      May 5, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Jabez Clay

      You do realize that just because some guy at the church down the road told you there is a jesus, does not mean there is

      May 8, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  13. singer sewing machines

    Great web site. Lots of useful information here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks for your sweat!

    May 3, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  14. AR

    As I black man I'm trying to get over it, but it just continues to come at you again and again. Racism is so real and so ugly in this country. What I really hate now is whites that don't discriminate against you but benefit and remain silent as other whites do. And they smile at you and even want to hold conversations with you – UNBELIEVABLE.

    White Supremacy is a huge problem in this country. FYI – I'm a lover of man kind. I love the white, black, brown and the yellow.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Tim

      Get over it. The most ignorant and hateful racists these days are African Americans. No other group in this country expects so much for contributing nothing. African Americans today have a culture of blaming, not taking repsonsibility, and crying "racism" whenever it suits their needs.

      May 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Patrick

      I hear you, but keep in mind most race related problems today are a backlash, where others have felt the effects of discrimination from others and put up a wall to protect themselves. Most of us are guilty of that and we must always strive to tear those walls down.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Whiteguy

      AR,
      I completely understand your outrage. I've seen it myself. I've also been the only white guy on an inner city bus in Chicago and treated with dignity and respect. You have no idea how much I admire parts of the community, because it would be so easy to take out some of thier frustration on me. I will say this, that we are all becoming more aware of racisms many forms, and I would like to think it makes it only appear to be a bigger problem in the social eye due to avialability of constant media. I will not however, say that it's not a problem, because it is. It's a fight we must win. We all want a better world for our children, and racism is not something any of them will benefit from. Thank you for making me aware of another form of racism.... Racism by proxy. I will be sure to be the white man that speaks up Keep up the good fight, and I wish you all the best.

      May 5, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • M1k3L

      I am white and grew up in rural NC.
      I have black friends that I consider real brothers, not just a term to emphasize "togetherness".
      We all sought after higher educations and were successful in our endeavors.
      I will not dare attempt so say I did not see and experience bigotry but those people are fewer and fewer.
      Non of my (lifelong buddies mentioned above) are seeking employment from those that still hold to the past out of ignorance. Nor would we employ such people in our diverse businesses.
      Speaking in general terms, those folks are uneducated and have experienced such a small part of American life, I truly pity them and because of their faults and lack of self betterment they are stuck in a sad and droll life. imo, they deserve just what they are getting from life, the bare minimum. (white and black) All races are all guilty of this.
      My CFO is one of the black friends I grew up with and I have never met another human being I admire and aspire to be like more than him.
      Times change slowly and it's not easy but it is happening. Perhaps more than you and others may think.
      I respect achievement, setting your personal bar extremely high and quality of character more than anything else.
      If you meet those, I will respect you and go out of my way to help those wonderful people because surrounding myself with their company is a source of joy and fulfillment to me. The skin color is beyond irreverent.

      May 5, 2012 at 4:00 am |
  15. S. Ingrum

    WHITE PPL ARE UNBELIEVABLE!! As soon as 1 black man tells the truth about White America...they want to call him a racist and verbally lynch him. UNBELIEVABLE. Please...DONT CALL YOURSELVES CHRISTAINS!! YOUR NOT. What you are is mental cases. There will NEVER be peace between blacks and whites. Ill never forget the past and never get over it. So we will hate each other til the Lord comes back. Thats what whites want..thats what they will get.

    May 3, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Random

      Since the age that I could understand what racism was and what it really meant, I have discouraged it in all of it's forms. I am white, and I am a from generation Y, so rather young. There will not be an ever present war, as people in general are becoming more and more like myself. Racism in America is dying. It feels like it's growing, but that's because we didn't recognize it in all of it's forms, and as we find them they shock us. I take it very seriously when someone calls something racist, and am careful to examine it before I accept or reject it. I am not responsible for what happened in the past, but how I live and what I teach my children I am most certainly responsible for and will be held accountable for. I have not done anything to you, and I will not ask for forgiveness for something I didn't do. I will however, expect to be held accountable if I do hurt you or your loved ones, and you will be held likewise. That is equality. That's the social contract we've all agreed to. I will do everything I can in all things I do that involve other races to avoid and forbid bias and prejudice, because I am aware of thier existence, and therefore am accountable for thier affects on my decisions. I hope you see the light at the end of the tunnel like some others do, but I completely understand your frustration.

      May 5, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • M1k3L

      I was raised Christian but I do not claim to be one.
      However, if you read my reply, located directly above your OP.
      You will see that not all whites are like you claim on this forum.
      Articles about this type of subject matter bring out the trolls and the lowest denominator of human nature.
      Friday nights don't help either as I strongly believe alcohol plays a huge part.

      May 5, 2012 at 4:26 am |
    • master

      deal

      May 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  16. J M Turner

    I have great sympathy for the cruel things that were once done to the black race. However it is time to get over it. Blacks continue to let it anger them and embitter them. Thus those who once treated them so unjustly continues to rule them. People like Bro Cone are no friends to the black race. He is a angry man who knows very little about the God of forgiveness and the God of pressing on. The vast majority of injustices which are being committed against blacks today are by fellow blacks. That is the biggest issue facing the black race. Why doesn't Cone, Sharpon, Jackson and the NAACP speak about this ? BTW CNN you are the most liberal, biased news media outlet in this country !!!

    May 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Keith

      That is easy for you to say, when you have never gone through anything like things those individuals went through just for being a different color. You passively aggressively write off their life experiences that molded them and the same experiences that advance you as a white person with economic and political gains as if it is nothing. If you had to deal with the inhumane injustices such as these men in their youths and early adulthood, you wouldn't have made it because of your self righteous indignation of believing that you deserve everything you have gotten in life without making any kind of sacrifice or suffering for the cause.

      May 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Me

      WOW Keith....your post has to be the most ignorant thing I have read on here (and that is say a lot!!!!!!!!!!)! So you are saying that all White people don't work hard and don't deserve what they have earned?? YOU are the problem with society today, get over yourself!!!

      May 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Eduardo

      JM Turner- open your eyes and see that there are many white supremacist groups or folks that still nor will ever accept a black person or brown person near them. Those are the ones to ba aware of!

      May 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Tim

      African Americans have already a built a culture of being "Victims". They will never take responsibilty for their own actions as long as they can reference something horrible that happened in the past. Apparently, black people in this country are the only ones who have ever had anything bad happen to them, and it is an excuse that can be brought up for any occasion...grades, jobs, success, etc.

      May 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • M1k3L

      This entire thread saddens me.

      Keith:
      Can you not see you are just as guilty as the person you were replying to?
      You make sweeping generalizations and state that achievement is purely due to white advantages? Even political?
      Do you honestly believe that all whites are born wealthy?
      Do you truly believe that all white success is due to bias and white favoritism?
      I do not think you do.
      I think you were only trying to make a point and let emotions get the better of you due to the ignorant comments here.

      Eduardo:
      White supremacist groups? Just what jobs are you applying for?
      Seems to me their major job is crystal meth and other drugs. Those skinheads and tattoo covered losers spend more time in prison than hiring people or running a legit business of any kind.

      The OP is foolish to tell others to "get over it" but you two sunk even lower imo.

      May 5, 2012 at 5:00 am |
    • joneb

      I am a white woman who saw many injustices done to blacks in my youth. It is not reasonable to expect groups to get over treatment that was done for generations and hundreds of years ust because someone has stopped mistreating them. History shows that whole nations do not forget! There is still discrimination as you can tell by the way people on here write. The thing is we all need to work together to improve the world. Forgive, we don't even forgive our neighbors, how can we forgive others who still continue to mistreat in so many ways. Just check out the numbers that are stopped for traffic problems, more of color than whites. I had a black student stopped for going 60 in a 65 zone and hand cuffed, and that was one month ago. He did nothing wrong. They wrote on his ticket going 60 in a 65 mile zone. So there are still issues. We have work to do yet.

      May 8, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  17. Brian

    Clearly this man is a rascist, why do you publish racist rants CNN ?

    May 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  18. paul

    All through the years there has been racial injustice,Jews against Gentile,blacks against whites,muslims against Christians,hate is in everyones soul.Be born again and become a new creature in Christ.Only then can you BEGIN to put GOD first.Evil will continue until our Lord returns but our duty as followers of Christ means to LOVE everyone and spread His message that a relationship with GOD is only possible through Him Jesus Christ

    May 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • bringer of good news

      america needs more white people like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3Xe1kX7Wsc

      May 6, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  19. Sister Friday

    I can see his point of view...I too find it extremely hypocritical of White, Christians to claim Christ but hate someone because of the color of their skin. They try to say that they don't hate people of color, but if they took a really good look at themselves they would realize that they do. The same for Blacks. I understand that America has an ugly, ugly history...many older African Americans knew or knew of someone who was lynched. The satisfied faces of the white citizens enjoying the scenery makes my stomach turn...but if Jesus can forgive those who crucified Him then shouldn't we practice that same forgiveness.

    God is a God of love...He is LOVE...so if we proclaim to be followers of God then we should practice being more like Him.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  20. Marquice

    Karma is a "Beast".

    May 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.