Are Black People In Birmingham Safe With Police Nearby?

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Cydney Smith
October 8, 2019

Alabama is known for its history of racist state violence. From police siccing dogs on children marching for civil rights to contemporary Republicans practicing racist gerrymandering, it’s no surprise that CHURCHES are in on the bigotry, too.

But one specific church is getting its own police force - and this spells danger.

Governor Kay Ivey, a woman who wore blackface in her youth, passed the law allowing Briarwood Presbyterian Church (BPC) to hire its own police force. And we condemn this move for one dangerous reason...

BPC is no stranger to racism - and neither is Alabama’s police. Historically, many Southern churches and police have joined forces to embolden racist mobs and lynch countless Black people. It’s not farfetched to think this trend of racial violence could continue at BPC.

Their current pastor advocates for Confederate flag use and proudly speaks at white supremacist ceremonies; their high school infamously waved an antagonizing Trump banner at a majority-Black high school.

Located only 20 minutes from the majority-Black Birmingham, a church like THIS will govern its own police force. Terrifying.

A racist past - and arguably present - wasn’t enough to stop this law from passing. Now, we’re left questioning the safety of Black people anywhere near this church. Hopefully, the law granting BPC a police force continues to be challenged.

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