Capital on the Plains, an SGA initiative, hosted a town hall featuring U.S. Sen. Doug Jones and an in-depth discussion on the civil rights movement and the trials following the 16th Street Church bombings.
Jones has been in the political world since he graduated from Cumberland School of Law in 1979. On Wednesday, he came to share with students his experience as an attorney, where he convicted two of the men responsible for the bombings.
The bombing occurred on Sept. 15, 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama. There were four deaths and a great deal of physical and emotional pain.
“We live in the Bible Belt," Jones said. "People are very attached to their churches. They didn’t understand how a bomb could explode in the house of God.”
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The bombing occurred during the height of the civil rights movement, and Jones said the racist rhetoric from the KKK was to blame.
The racial atrocities that occurred in the 20th century were truly horrific, Jones said. From segregation in schools to physical attacks, such as the bombings, Jones mentioned how the fight for equality can never stop.
Jones commended Auburn for hosting events that allow for dialogue and emphasized its importance.
“Things tend to repeat themselves, and that’s why we have to study this,” Jones said.
The racial atrocities that occurred in the 20thcentury were truly horrific, Jones said. From segregation in schools to physical attacks, such as the bombings, Jones mentioned how the fight for equality can never stop.
“Hate is on the rise, and I’m not just talking about one person because it goes around," Jones said. "Therefore, we have to be more civil, we won’t survive as a democracy if we don’t."
Mary Margaret Turton, SGA president, highlighted the significance of hosting events such as this one.
“It was an impactful conversation for the Auburn University Family to be able to experience and opportunity to learn more about a horrific act of racism that occurred in Alabama and the brave steps that were taken by many Alabamians to bring justice to those effected by the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing,” Turton said.
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