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September 11, 2002
Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

September 11, 2002

On September 11, 2002, the Norfolk Journal and Guide front page featured articles reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Among the local religious leaders and politicians quoted in the article, former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder said, “We should be asking not, why do they [extremists] hate us, but, what do we do to cause them to hate us.” Wilder, who was the state’s first black governor and went on to be elected mayor of RIchmond, went on to discuss how Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney had been defeated in the congressional primary in Georgia because of her perceived pro-Palestinian stance. “I do not think that anyone can question Black patriotism,” Wilder said. “But I think we have to be careful about endorsing policies which may not be fair or cause unnecessary conflict here or abroad.” Reverend Marcellus Harris of the First Baptist Church Morrison in Newport News discussed the dangers of racial profiling: “Profiling is a big concern. I was at the airport (in Newport News) when a White woman said she would not get on a plane because she saw some gentleman who looked like they were from the Middle East and may be terrorists. I think citizens and the government may be overreacting. Black folks, especially, should be worried about this...although we have been victims of profiling and terrorists for 300 years. We should be worried about people being arrested and held with no charges. Many of these people are of color. And I fear that people of color and folks who look like Arabs may be targets for profiling.” (Click to view article PDF.)

Another article noted that the Organization of Black Airline Pilots paid tribute to LeRoy Homer Jr., the first officer of United Airlines flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11. “LeRoy dedicated his life to aviation, and he was very supportive of programs that gave youth opportunities to pursue careers in aviation.”