Business and Management
Submitted By toricparker
October 23rd, 2011
Mrs. Griffin Forgiveness is an indulgent feeling that supports the willingness to forgive. The people in the short stories inside the book Somebody Told Me, written by Rick Bragg, committed a great amount of misconduct, and then had deep regrets afterwards. In “Just a Grave for a Baby but Anguish for a Town,” a church asked the family of a mixed race baby to remove her body so they could keep it a white’s only grave yard. Two soldiers in the story “Fort Bragg Area is haunted by Ghost and Two New Deaths,” were charged of murder for killing two innocent African Americans. In “Emotional March Gains a Repentant Wallace,” all George C. Wallace wanted was forgiveness for his horrid actions during the civil rights movement. The individuals gave sincere apologies for their wrong doings; however, their forgiveness will never remove the hurt in the hearts of the ones who were affected. All Jamie Wireman wanted was for her beloved baby girl to rest in peace. Whitney Johnson only lived nineteen hours, and was buried right beside her grandfather in the Barnett’s Creek Baptist Church cemetery. Jamie and the rest of the family became overwhelmed after the church found out Whitney was a mixed race baby and asked for her body to be removed and buried somewhere else; “‘There was no peace in it,’ Ms. Wireman said. ‘It was bad enough that the Lord decided to take my baby. But then they wouldn’t let her rest’” (Bragg 182). Only did the church ask for a sincere apology after the whole community found out and began to look down upon the deacons who took part in the atrocious act. Even though what the church wanted was extremely racist and downright awful, the family of baby Whitney accepted the apology. It
was hard for Jamie Wireman and her relatives to forgive the church, but it is certain that they will never forget such a traumatic event that greatly affected their lives. Nobody in the town of Fayetteville, North Carolina understood why two innocent people had to be killed in their town just because of their skin color. Two soldiers, James Burmeister and Malcolm Wright, were known for their racist views. James flew a Nazi flag above his bed, produced white supremacist literature, and was reported speaking disrespectfully about blacks. After having drinks at a bar, the men roamed the streets in the black populated areas and found Jackie Burden and Michael James walking down the street and began an embroilment with them. Nobody in the town could figure out why the soldiers would kill Jackie and Michael just because they were black; “Mrs. Smith does not want vengeance so much as answers. She would like to look into the soldiers’ faces and ask them, why? What happened to them in their lives to make them hate enough to kill her son, an anonymous man to them” (Bragg 192). The families of Jackie and Michael had so much confusion and sadness in their hearts and could never forgive the men that aimlessly took the lives of two people they loved so much. Thirty years after the civil rights march in Selma, Alabama, George C. Wallace strived for forgiveness from the people who marched because of segregation during the civil rights movement. During the movement, George Wallace approved of and preached the evil of integration. He also wanted his state troopers to intimidate all of the marchers who marched for their rights among Highway 80. For ten years Mr. Wallace admitted to his misdeed, and on the day of March 10th in 1995, he wanted to make his apology public. Many of the people who attended the speech applauded as George Wallace spoke and forgave him for his actions from the
past; “‘it’s very important, in this day and time,’ said Gerri Perry, the principal at St. Jude. ‘It is important for the people to see him, saying this. Back then, 30 years ago, I didn’t think I would ever see anything like this’” (Bragg 142). Small amounts of people who attended said he was just trying to clear a path to heaven than to soothe the painful memories of others. Even though the civil rights marchers of 1965 forgave George Wallace, never will the memory of those dreadful and unfair days fade away.
The horrendous acts in the stories were truly devastating. Each and every person affected felt a sense of hurt by the saddening events. The apologies were thought to erase what happened and fix everything; however, even the forgiveness of a person could never heal the broken hearts. No matter how hard a person tries, it is easy to forgive, but you can never forget.
Bragg, Rick. “Emotional March Gains a Repentant Wallace.” Somebody Told Me. New York: Vintage Books, 2000. 140-142.
Bragg, Rick. “ Fort Bragg Area is Haunted by Ghost and Two New Deaths.” Somebody Told Me. New York: Vintage Books, 2000. 189-192.
Bragg, Rick. “Just a Grave for a Baby but Anguish for a Town.” Somebody Told Me. New York: Vintage Books, 2000. 180-182.…...