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Cross burning 1993

Cross burning 1993 Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Cross burning
A cross burning late Thursday night in the Moore's Hollow Road area on Irons Mountain is under investigation by Maryland State Police. The hate-crime incident occurred on the road in front of a residence at 11:10 p.m. and was first reported to state police by a resident of the area, police said. The cross was five feet high and made of four-by-fours on which racial slurs were written. The cross was covered with a flammable liquid and ignited just before it was discovered by the caller, police said. Police were told two white males, approximately 20 and 40 years old, were seen leaving the area when the incident occurred. No further descriptions were provided to police.

Cumberland Times-News
June 11, 1993

Cumberland Sunday Times
June 13, 1993

Burning of cross has no place here

Some people were surprised; others shook their heads and lamented, “Not here.”

Still others — few in number, we hope — cheered at the news that someone burned a cross late last week at Moore's Hollow Road in Allegany County.

A cross burning here? Isn't that something reserved for down South and something that is dying out? Why on Iron's Mountain?

Expressions of bigotry are not limited by geography or time.

Despite better understanding of race, religion and other things which make members of society different, hate survives.

Hate lives wherever people tolerate or fear it. It may be the product of misunderstanding or jealousy or a number of other negative emotions.

The Moore's Hollow cross burning may have been a lark for some young people who really do not understand what the image of a burning cross means.

On the other hand, maybe they completely understood its meaning as they ignited the five-foot-tall cross fouled with racial slurs.

Why burn a symbol which to Christians means the greatest love known? Perhaps that too was part of their twisted act. In the past an Iron's Mountain church has been the target of vandalism. Is there a connection?

We hope not. We also hope these people think this is prank they do not consciously fan the flames of bigotry.

But if that is the case, there are a few things these valiant defenders of the night should understand.

We will vigorously defend a person's right to express their opinion in writing, speech and deed. But there are limits!

Society will not allow you to cross those limits. Think about it.

No one can scream "Fire!" in a crowded theater and not expect to see confusion as people push their way to the exits.

That is why that type of irresponsible speech is illegal.

People can get hurt — or worse — in the panic that ensues and anyone who reckless endangers another person can be charged with a crime.

Flaming the fires of bigotry is also reckless. At minimum, it upsets minorities who too often feel uncomfortable. Does this in some way make the cross burner feel superior? Perhaps.

Maybe the cycle of hate is unending because it feeds on itself.

English Clergyman Caleb C. Colton said it this way: "We hate some persons because we do not know them and we will not know them because we hate them."

Promoting understanding, then, may be the best way to counteract hate. And unrequited hate also has its reward.

Wrote Harry Emerson Fosdick, "Hating people is like burning down your own home to get rid of a rat."

Does that self-consuming hate make sense to even the most committed bigot?

Sadly, for some of them, the answer is yes.

That is why we applaud the United States Supreme Court decision to permit longer prison sentences for people who commit hate crimes motivated by bigotry.


Cumberland Times-News


Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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