This is the part that the freedom riders were arrested on their way from Nashville to Birmingham. They were on a bus, when a police officer suddenly stopped their bus, and asked all other passengers to get off, or they were “free to leave” except the freedom riders. The freedom riders were forced to wait in the bus and in the dark for more than three hours, until some police officers showed up and put them into jail. It turned out that a senator did this to them because it was “for their own protection.” In the jail, they were told to stay there until morning leave Birmingham tomorrow as soon as possible, because Birmingham was not safe.
The tricky part of this is the excuse the senator gave them to justify what he did. He stopped the freedom riders from advocating for equal right, and he claimed that he did that because he wanted to protect them, and Birmingham was not the place they belong to. What appeals most to me is that the fake excuse he used to cover his real intention, and the way they treated the freedom riders. They were left alone in the dark for more than three hours until someone came to explain the situation. Nobody should be treated this way, and I believe no white men would be treated that way back then. The senator left the freedom riders waiting for hours, arrested them, put them in jail, and said all of these were for their own protection—that was unbearable. And I can’t stop thinking that how many other hypocrites would be there like the senator, who said they would support and help the freedom riders, but in the end the only thing they did was stopping them from what they should do.