Honoring the Memory of James Byrd, Jr.

Clara Taylor is James Byrd's sister.She's spent the past decade promoting racial healing.She says her brother's death opened her family's eyes to howpainful and destructive hate can be.

"But it also galvanized or united our family in our effort to bring about peace and unity among the races. We recognize that ultimately only God's kingdom can solve all of mankinds problems, but each one of us can have a share in working to promote harmony and peace among the races."

Taylor was joined by dozens of members of local civil rights groups.They gathered for a symbolic Walk for Respect, organized by theAnti-Defamation League.

Texas passed several hate crime laws in the wake of Byrd's death.State Representative Scott Hochberg says such laws don't end hate, but they recognize that hate crimes affect the entire community.

"If you look at a simple graffiti act of writing 'John loves Mary' on a railroad trestle that's very different than putting a swastika on the side of a synagogue. If you look at a vandalism act like knocking over a mailbox that's much different than burning a cross in somebody's yard."

The ADL and the other groups participated in a three-mile walkto calling for a community of respect and peace in Houston.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.
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