Equal Justice Initiative Memorial to Peace & Justice – Bob Spector

Posted on March 28, 2024

Dear CBS Family,

We are in day 2 of our Civil Rights Journey and have just left the memorial of all those African-Americans who were lynched during the post Civil War/Jim Crow era.  I wanted to believe that this was the result of moral decay exclusively in the South until I discovered three names:  Elmer Jackson, Isaac McGhie, and Elias Clayton.  These Americans were not lynched in the South.  They were lynched in my home state, Minnesota.  In that moment my heart weeped as a wave of despair overcame me.  I could no longer deny that ALL white people were complicit in allowing these atrocities toward African-Americans to exist in America.  Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s I don’t remember learning in school or discussing at home or at my synagogue the deplorable treatment of African-Americans in our country.  Can we justifiably judge harshly the German people of the World War II era without putting ourselves to task for not taking action to stop the systematic murder of American citizens both in the past and today?  Thank you Bryan Stevenson who founded the Equal Justice Initiative for helping those who need protecting from an unjust legal system and for providing us the opportunity to become educated to our past and present.