Racism in America: ‘Bloody Sunday’ Selma 1965

“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday March 7th marks the 58th anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday’. ‘Bloody Sunday’ March 7, 1965, became a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. Then-25-year-old activist John Lewis led over 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama and faced brutal attacks by onrushing state troopers. Footage of the violence collectively shocked the nation and galvanized the fight against racial injustice.1

The assault on civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama helped lead to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The voting rights act aim was to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote as guaranteed under the 15th Amendment to the U.S.

The passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 months earlier had done little in some parts of the state to ensure African Americans of the basic right to vote. Perhaps no place was Jim Crow’s grip tighter than in Dallas County, Alabama, where African Americans made up more than half of the population, yet accounted for just 2 percent of registered voters.

In 2021, nineteen states enacted voting restrictions after the 2020 election. State Republicans spent 2021 hunting for the widespread voter fraud that former President Donald Trump told his supporters cost him the election. They never found it. Still, the year was characterized by a wave of GOP-led voting restrictions fueled by Trump’s lie — and more election changes are on the horizon next year, according to newly released numbers from the Brennan Center for Justice, which tracks voting bills and advocates for federal election legislation.2

The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 (H.R. 4) is proposed voting rights legislation named after civil rights activist John Lewis. The bill’s intent is to restore and strengthen parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill by a margin of 219–212 on August 24, 2021. The bill failed to pass the Senate after falling short of the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture on November 3, 2021.3 A second attempt to pass it on January 19, 2022 as part of a combined bill with the Freedom to Vote Act failed as well, where after again falling short of the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture, a vote to exempt the bill from the senate filibuster rules also failed.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santanya

How is it possible that voting rights continue to be an issue in some states in a nation whose founding principle is equality for all. Why are voting rights hampered for some of our citizens? I’m not a constitutional lawyer, but believe under the umbrella of heaven this doesn’t fair well. In the Second American Revolution/Civil War, author Rick Joyner notes “One major failure of the Revolutionary War was if the Founders had truly believed all men were created equal, slavery would not have been possible at all.” He goes on to note “If the American Civil War had been successful, according to heaven’s perspective, there would not have been a need for the Civil Rights Movement or the many conflicts we still face.”4

With this in mind it seems evident that the war did not prevail in a way that established justice and equality for all. We will not nor can we accomplish our purpose as a nation, nor heal the soul of America until there is liberty and justice for all of our citizens. There are costly consequences for those who pervert justice. From the below verses we can clearly see that justice is close to the heart of God:

“You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous” (Deut. 16:19);

“You shall not pervert the justice due to your needy brother in his dispute (Ex. 23:6);

‘’Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly (Lev. 19:15);

“Therefore the law is ignored And justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore justice comes out perverted” (Hab. 1:4);

“But let justice roll out like waters, And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24).

Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows.’

C. S. Lewis

In James 4:1, he asks, “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you?” He goes on to show that the source is selfishness and provides a way to resolve conflicts through repentance of sinful selfishness and humbling yourself before God. Yet, racial conflict goes beyond petty quarrels. It’s often connected to generational sins that have not been repented of as a nation. Jesus warned that, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains (Matt. 24:7-13).  This is described by Jesus in His “Olivet Discourse”.  Jesus’ apostles had asked Him when His coming and the time of the end would be. When I think of the constant upheaval in America today, we are to resolve our conflicts God’s way.

God tells us that His ways are not our ways (Isa. 55:8). His ways are much higher than our ways, and often run counter to our ways. If we want true and lasting peace in our relationships, and in our nation then we need to resolve racial conflicts God’s way. His way for resolving conflicts is not to give us surface techniques that achieve outward peace. Rather, God goes for the heart—primarily our heart relationship with Him. When our ways please Him, then we have a foundation for resolving conflicts with others (Prov. 16:7).


Min. A. Francine Green

.Notes: All Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.

  1. Klein, Christopher, How Selma’s ‘Bloody Sunday’ Became a Turning Point in the Civil Rights Movement, History.com, 20 July 2020, https://www.history.com/news/selma-bloody-sunday-attack-civil-rights-movement, accessed 6 March 2023
  2. Timm. J. O. , 19 states enacted voting restrictions in 2021. What’s next?, NBC.com, 22 July 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/19-states-enacted-voting-restrictions-2021-rcna8342, accessed 6 March 2023
  3. John Lewis Voting Rights Act.  Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lewis_Voting_Rights_Act,accessed 6 March 2023
  4. Joyner R. (2021). The Second American Revolution/Civil War. MorningStar Ministries.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: