I'm watching the movie Selma
and it's frightening
and terribly sad
what black people had to go through
to get the rights we all are guaranteed by our constitution (which needed a number of amendments to 'clarify' what those rights are)..
And the courage of these activists astounds us 50 years later.
The freedom marchers took the only path with any hope of success against the most violent and predatory "traditions" ever found in the US, a "way of life" so prevalent that the KKK and White Citizens Council achieved their intention of appearing immovable. But the walls came crumbling down, and now most of us are revolted by what those racists - simultaneously vicious and pathetic - did to perpetuate their "way of life."
And LBJ, when stalling simply led to more murders, followed the shift in the wind and pushed through the Voting Rights Act, even to adopting the phrase which made him so angry in the preceding months, “We shall overcome.”.
(It’s worth pondering that nonviolence like this wouldn't have worked in fascist Germany because other ‘ideals’ carried the day and retaliation was fatal.)
But here in the USA, as MLK, Jr., said, "No lie can live forever."
Except of course, that the lie comes back cloaked in other names, such as "preventing voter fraud" and "clearing convicts from the rolls," and "redistricting" (AKA jerrymandering),
Like feminists who find that there is still plenty of work to do, civil rights activists know that hard won gains can melt away if we aren't vigilant.
Still, the over aching question is: Why, in the Greatest Nation on Earth, don't we get the loaves instead of the crumbs? While we focus on the illusion of Us and Them, for instance, while blacks and white argue, we don’t notice who is pulling the strings.