CBS Local (Chicago), July 16, 2013
A sign posted outside a south suburban church is generating a powerful debate over race in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict.
The marquee outside the First Baptist Church of University Park earlier this week read: “It Is Safe To Kill Black People In Amerikkka.”
Several comments on the church’s Facebook page took issue with the reference to the Ku Klux Klan in the word Amerikkka, with many saying the church’s sign is hateful and divisive and implies that all white Americans are racist.
The church responded by saying: “The message on the sign is not a message of hate. It is a message of awakening and call to action. It is a message not intended to divide, but to cause honest reflection in order to make this country a better place for ALL.”
After the shooting of a black man by a white man in Montgomery, Ala., in 1949, Rev. Vernon Johns posted a sign outside the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church that read: “It Is Safe To Kill Negroes In Montgomery.”
The church has since changed the wording into a question: “Is It Safe To Kill Black People In America?”