Imams on a plane and Freedom Riders
I couldn’t help but notice an interesting juxtaposition on the front page of today’s Charlotte Observer. Below the fold, there was a story about two Muslim imams who were kicked off a US Airways flight. Right next to it was a story about an event honoring the Freedom Riders from the Civil Rights era. So we have a story about two men kicked off an airplane, apparently because of their appearance and religious preference. And then we have a story about a group of African Americans who, fifty years ago, rode buses in an attempt to test desegregation laws at bus and train stations. I’m thinking that a smart editor placed those stories next to each other deliberately.
The Freedom Riders story, by the way, highlights an event at the Levine Museum of the New South tonight. Among those in attendance will be Charlotte’s Charles Jones, whom we profiled in the February issue. Jones tells us that he has received an amazing amount of feedback from the story and has been invited to speak at numerous groups because of it. He even appeared on Oprah along with a host of other Freedom Riders. It’s always gratifying when a story takes on a life of its own after we publish it.