Ann M. Simmons/Los Angeles Times
Patrick O'Neill stood among a swarm of people on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a sign hanging from his neck. “I'm sorry,” it read.
He wore a T-shirt bearing an image of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
When asked by a reporter why he was sorry, O'Neill said: “I thought because I'm a white guy, it might be self-explanatory.”
O'Neill, who is from North Carolina, said that on Saturday he had stood on the bridge and had a lot of conversations with African Americans. Today he wanted to return to demonstrate his support.
“I stood on the spot where people were beaten, non-violent people,” said O'Neill, 58. “I said to myself, I'm a white man of privilege in this country, and so much is still the same.”
He said that North Carolina is facing many of the same challenges as the rest of the nation, such as the disenfranchisement of black men through mass incarceration.
“I feel I need to accept responsibility for my privilege as a white male,” said O'Neill, who runs a branch of a Christian pacifist organization called Catholic Worker House in his home state.
“I didn't want to make it complicated. Just two words of repentance.”
Elvira Carter, 48, overheard O'Neill and quickly approached him: “I just want to shake your hand,” said Carter, a resident of Butler, Alabama.
“I'm here with you in solidarity, sister,” O'Neill replied.
Source : http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-selma-live-updates-20150308-htmlstory.html294