Maya Angelou was a legend. Throughout her life, her words changed people, most would say for the better. Children learned about Maya Angelou’s poetry in school. Politicians had no choice but to acknowledge her verbal power. She was a great activist and poet; whatever people thought of her, there’s no denying that she changed the world.
Since Maya Angelou was such an outspoken voice for human equality, it should be no surprise that the Westboro Baptist Church has set their sights on her.
Between Wednesday and Thursday, the Topeka, Kansas, hate-group tweeted several disrespectfully doctored photos and a request for information on Maya Angelou’s funeral. Angelou’s memorial service was Thursday night and was open to the public. There has been no word about her funeral yet.
There’s been a great deal of media outrage since the church posted its first tweet on the subject:
— Westboro Baptist (@WBCSays) May 29, 2014
Dani Strehle from PopWrapped posted, “Don’t they just kind of make you feel dirty? Not in the ‘Oh my God my soul is tainted, I’m such a sinner, I’m clearly going to hell unless I repent’ kind of way; but more like ‘Ohhhh my God, I can’t even say their name without feeling like I need to shower away the filth of their repugnant ‘Church’.”
“Anyone with a pulse should be outraged that Westboro Baptist Church would even consider picketing the funeral of Maya Angelou,” Jodi Jill at the Examiner wrote. “The action is not only hateful and disgusting, it goes against all the love that Maya Angelou shared with the world through her words.”
The Westboro Baptist Church is quick to seek out anybody who does not conform to their standards. They’re known for picketing everything from real churches to concerts to funerals of military personnel. Often, people are known to fight back peacefully, through the use of counter-protests.
In 2011, when the church attempted to picket a military base, people dressed up as zombies and stole attention from them, successfully. A petition was started in 2012 to try and get the church legally recognized as a hate group. On top of that, people constantly draw up signs to counteract the bigoted, racist signs the church bring with them.
Maya Angelou made such a significant impact on the world that there is no doubt people would show up to her funeral to protect her and her family. Just remember, Angelou believed in love and peace. If a protest does happen and people go to protect her, do it as she would have done it; with love in your heart.
Words are more powerful than hate.
“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise.” (Quote from “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou)
[Images courtesy of Twitter]