Saturday, November 8, 2008

They were not afraid

This is in memory of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman, two Jews and a black man who were murdered in 1964 simply for trying to ensure that all Americans had equal rights and equal protection under the law. I've been thinking about them this week in light of Barack Obama's election to be our next president.

All three showed great courage. Schwerner and Goodman could have enjoyed their comfortable white, Jewish middle class lives, but something compelled them to go to Mississippi. This was a time of legal segregation, when African-Americans in the South could not vote. They knew that until we're all free, no one is free. Somewhere along the line, we forgot about that on Tuesday - in California, Florida, Arkansas and Arizona, were antigay ballot measures were approved. Here's another reminder:

"Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Ga. and St. Augustine, Fla., and many other campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions."
Coretta Scott King

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