In most situations, a flier advertising a pastors’ conference wouldn’t cause much stir, but one event in West Alabama has the townspeople of Winfield upset.
The flier was discovered at Norris Music in downtown Winfield Monday advertising for a conference titled: “Annual Pastors Conference All White Christians Invited.”
“It was put up throughout the town in the middle of the night. When everyone was asleep without the permission of the business owner.” Norris Music manager Tyler Cantrell said.
Normally when you put up fliers that contain some sort incendiary remarks or controversial language, doing it at night is generally for the purpose of maintaining anonymity. Except in this case, each one has a detailed itinerary including the name of the organizer and the keynote speaker. Here’s a copy of the flier:
By far my favorite part of the three day festivities is the “Sacred Christian Cross Lighting Ceremony (Open to all white Christians)”. Of course, this is obviously meant to represent some kind of biblically inspired ceremony, not to hearken back to “better times” when their parents and grandparents used to do the same thing while hanging a few of them Negroes to the nearest tree.
Needless to say, the residents of Winfield are none too pleased.
Winfield Mayor Wayne Silas says he and other folks in town are not pleased since this event is not representative of their community in any way.
“Business people are upset. The city is upset. The city of Winfield does not condone this,” Silas said.
“It’s surprising to see something like that in our town,” Cantrell said. “I know it’s been here in the past.”
… which is obviously why they’re so upset. As I said, these used to be “whites only” with the exception of a select few guests of honor. And to carry on the tradition we have the architects of the event:
… one of whom is wearing the emblem of his little secret society on his hat. Seriously, if you’re going to pass off a Whites Only cross burning, the least you can do is not wear a goddamned KKK badge for your photo. But then, I’m making too many assumptions about their ability to think things through.
“We don’t have the facilities to accommodate other people. We haven’t got any invitations to black, Muslim events. Of course we are not invited to Jewish events and stuff,” Collier said.
True, but there’s usually more of a practical reason for the black community or Muslim community to hold special events, and less reason for white folks intent on burning crosses. And seriously, they don’t have the facilities? You really think these guys are going to turn any white people away because they’re afraid of violating a fire code?
While burning a freaking cross?
The conference has met for three years in Lamar County and there has been no trouble in the past and supporters say they don’t expect any over the next three days.
Well, it’s about time that changed.
Churches from the Winfield community will hold their own Fourth of July celebration Wednesday evening where they say everyone is invited to enjoy fellowship, pray for the city and the region and to celebrate the nation’s independence.
As before … the mainstream Christians are going to hold their own, all inclusive celebration and once again make every attempt to marginalize those who claim special status as God’s own. Best of luck to you guys.