Jun 20, 2005
The state of Mississippi is currently prosecuting Edgar Ray Killen, one of the men involved in the Ku Klux Klan murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner in 1964.
This is not the first time Killen was tried. He was tried before in 1967 along with 18 other men. Only seven were convicted. At the time, Killen gloated about the killings, certain that he would be acquitted. In fact, the jury voted 11-1 in favor of conviction. Killen would have been convicted had it not been for one church-going lady who said at the time that she "could never convict a preacher."The media today acts shocked by the fact that Killen was a Baptist preacher in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Yes, he was a preacher, just like thousands of other preachers in little fundamentalist churches throughout the South – and rural Midwest – who openly justified beatings, murders, and terrorism. Many of these preachers used the pulpit to recruit new members to the Klan.
They were the backbone, along with local sheriffs and small businessmen, of the Klan in the South, the ones who called on white people to keep black people "in their place" and to kill those who wouldn't stay there.
Yes, today the people who once benefitted from this reign of terror in the South may let a few of their murdering THUGS be put on trial. They don't need them any more.
They have other murderous thugs in their service – like the officials in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who continue to organize the legal lynching of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a militant black writer who exposed the racist violence of northern Philadelphia's police department.