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A pastor in Indianapolis really wants black people to vote. So much so, that he’s put an image of a hanging outside his church to get people to do so.
The pastor’s image is one from 1930 and features a hanging that took place in the nearby town of Marion, where a group of whites had gathered to watch the lynching take place. He then put the words “Is there a reason to vote?” at the bottom of the image as additional enticement for the viewer.
Rev. Joy Thornton, senior pastor of Greater St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, put the sign up himself, with the help of those who agree with him and he has no regrets for doing so.
“The sign is a reminder of what price has been paid for a precious privilege,” Thornton said, “which is to vote.”
Some are saying that the sign makes them very uncomfortable and that they’d rather not see such imagery. Some are also seeing it as obvious race-baiting, telling African Americans that if they do not support President Obama, white people are going to start lynching them again.
Thornton says that African Americans in the church must move past their concerns with Obama on issues such as black unemployment and same-s*x marriage and support another black man in the White House.
“I don’t think it is as harsh as the fact that when we talk about African-Americans being murdered and killed at an alarming rate,” he said. “It’s not as harsh as the fact we make up about 12 percent of the population and about 90 percent of the incarceration. It is not as harsh as the drugs that we are being exploited within our communities.”