Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Montgomery and Selma, Alabama

This day was one of the most emotional days that I have had since the day that I visited Aushwitz last year in Poland.

The first part of the day, we toured the state capitol of Alabama and it was ironic to see the history between the state capitol and the Southern Poverty Law Center. At the state capitol they mainly talked about the white history of Alabama and it depicted the Native Americans as hostile and only depicted the blacks during the Reconstruction Period of their history.

On the other hand, as we went to the Southern Poverty Law Center, it was evident that they showed a another side of history that was not portrayed at the state capitol. The thing that stood out to me that most about the SPLC was the tunnel of hate crimes that were depicted and the wall of tolerance. As I was reading about the hate crimes, I couldn't help but conjer up so much emotion that my eyes were filled with tears. I didn't understand how someone could hate someone so much to commit these crimes against someone else that they hardly know. It is something that I don't quite understand and perhaps never will.

The next leg of the trip was one of the most emotional as we arrived in Selma, Mississippi. We went through the slavery museum and the way in which we went through the museum was a simulation of what it was like to be a slave from the moment of capture. Although this version was really nice in comparison to what it really was, it was very emotional and very degrading. We couldn't look at our leader, gotten checked out by the overseer, had to walk with knees bent, spent time in the dark dungeon, the ship and when we arrived, the thing that happened afterwards was even more frightening. The overseer picked out 10 good slaves and then he asked them to choose a bad slave under his conditions but it ended up that those good slaves died because they had chosen others and proved they wouldn't be obedient to the master. When we entered the plantation, we found our former slaves dead. Afterwards, just thinking that this was not even close to the actual human rights violations taking place, it was enough to emotional drain me and make me feel like I wasn't even a human. For feeling this, it made me feel fortunate and also make me want to treat every person with respect and dignity, even those that annoy me or treat others wrongly. Although it is difficult, I feel like it is what we are called to do.

1 comment:

  1. Selma is in Alabams, not Mississippi. Thought you would like to know.