Blaming Victims For Mail Bombs Carries Echoes Of Civil Rights Bombings


This podcast. And the following message is brought to you by jet dot com. Your one stop shopping destination. The jet experience provides a unique and relevant Dortmund with no membership fees. Start shopping conveniently at jet dot com or on the jet app today before thority apprehended a suspect in the mail bomb spree. The case prompted all kinds of speculation about the motivations that could be behind it. Here's what a talk radio host, Michael Savage, had to say is a high probability that the whole thing is set up as a false flag to gain sympathy for the Democrats to get our minds off the hordes of illegal aliens approaching southern boarding that kind of talk echoes back to another era in American history when bombs were tool of political intimidation. And peers Debbie Elliott reports in the nineteen fifties and sixties Birmingham. Alabama was known by another name bombing ham bombing ham, Alabama, be OEM. Be Jeff Jrue grew up on a street called dynamite hill. Because so many black families were bombed for moving into the predominantly white neighborhood. It would push the furniture off the floor break, the windows, and and scare us all to death. So terrorism is nothing new, but this part of Birmingham, Alabama. We experienced person there were more than three dozen unsolved racially motivated bombings in Birmingham during the civil rights era, mostly houses, and churches, and drew says there was a pattern after the attacks. Authorities would accuse victims of planting the bombs most inhumane thing you could you could think of who would bomb their own house, but that rumor was widely circulated in white circles says Diane mcchord or who wrote a book about the Birmingham civil rights movement. Understood motive was that blacks were bonding their own churches and buildings in order to raise money and get publicity for the movement. She says it was repeated publicly by politicians, including Alabama's segregationist governor. Owner George Wallace other common theories were that the bombings were ordered by Martin Luther King junior were part of a communist plot orchestrated by the FBI. It was repeated so often I mean, I grew up hearing this from my father, you know, I think they started believing it and part of the reason they were able to believe it was that until the sixteenth street. Chores Bonnie in September nineteen sixty three when four young girls were murdered. There had been no real the Taliban even after that deadly Kukoc's clan attack. Police said I zeroed in on the church's black janitor as a suspect historian Taylor branch says conspiracy theories were rampant across the south as African-Americans pushed for equal rights showed along the people will go to not to acknowledge something that they don't wanna believe. For instance, what happened in Mississippi during freedom summer in nineteen sixty four free of the civil rights workers were kidnapped by sheriff. Posse of clansman and murdered because the bodies weren't found. Mississippi officials denied the segregation is could have done this car and said first of all they they said there was a hoax Senator James even told that to the president on the phone. I don't leave it free. I don't believe it free. Got it down here. I believe it for the star. Branch says polarizing times then and now lead to an ideological climate where conspiracy theories thrive it's a low point for the country says democratic Senator Doug Jones about Alabama. He's a former US attorney who prosecuted the Birmingham church bombers. We are living in a time. Where words matter just like they did back in the sixties. There were so many things that happen then based on the empowerment that public officials like George Wallace gave do people not understand what it takes to kind of tone down the rhetoric to make sure that things like this don't happen with some deranged fool out there who wants to try to to hurt people thinking that he's got the okay to do it federal officials declined to talk about potential political motivations. But in a news conference announcing the arrest. Attorney general Jeff Sessions acknowledged the suspect, quote appears to be a partisan, Debbie Elliott NPR news, if you like this podcast. Discover the. Rest of the NPR portfolio at NPR dot org slash podcasts. And learn more about eight of the country's top twenty podcasts according

Coming up next