The Widdershins

Glory!

Posted on: March 7, 2015

Fifty years ago — March 7th, 1965 — Bloody Sunday!

As gruesome as it was, has the learning faded?

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26 Responses to "Glory!"

For me, it never will. As you know, I am a Southerner. I was sixteen years old at the time, and will never, ever forget the sight of the massacre on the Pettus bridge. To this day, I can conjure up that moment just by closing my eyes and thinking about it. My parents were hardly liberals but definitely humans, and the pain in their eyes is burned straight into my soul. While they were not completely on board with full blown equality they were horrified that anyone would be treated so cruelly for wanting to better their life. Further, Georgia was neither Alabama nor Mississippi, and civil rights were being handled in a much more orderly fashion. This is not to say that the average Georgian was wild with delight – they had lived their entire lives with the concept of “separate but equal”, but they would not countenance someone walking peacefully being beaten to the brink of death, either. That episode was one of the tipping points of the Civil Rights movement. It was a bridge too far for most of us.

Sadly, I think that yes, it has faded and so we need to be reminded. That is if we’ll pay attention. My mother and her family were from Alabama, north of B’ham but in the area. She was long gone from the state by the time of the civil rights movement. To be honest I don’t really recall the incident. It just didn’t register with my kid brain.

There were 98 members of Congress who arrived yesterday in B’ham, They went to the Civil Rights Institute and the 16th street church. I’m not sure of the breakdown of how many were Repubs. Sadly, Steve Scalise, R-KKK, decided not to attend or go to Selma. I believe he said “Maybe next year” or something like that.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/234057-scalise-says-hell-go-to-selma-next-year

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/06/1369007/-Not-one-member-of-House-GOP-leadership-to-attend-Selma-50th-anniversary-commemoration

I believe Maj. Leader McCarthy has now stated he will attend the events in Selma.

Further, Georgia was neither Alabama nor Mississippi, and civil rights were being handled in a much more orderly fashion

Nah…not gonna work Chat.

Georgia gave us Lester Maddox. Just as Alabama gave us Wallace and Bull Connor. Mississippi gave us Ross Barnett and Theodore Bilbo among others and La. gave us Leander Perez among others.

True, although Marvin Griffin was Guv in 1965, Lester from 66-70, then Carter. These Guvs did not unleash dogs, batons and/or fire hoses even once. Arrests, yes. Bloodbaths, no.

@5: I never said that they did. But the lot of them were against integration and civil rights for black citizens.

Can’t argue that. Not certain that most of the citizens were in favor of it, either. It was not the norm. It was as novel a concept as wearing a bathing suit to church might have been, That said, the idea of outright cruelty was not the norm, either.
Cultures change with agonizing slowness, as any woman can attest.

chat@7 said: That said, the idea of outright cruelty was not the norm, either.

That’s true. I’m not that much younger than you chat, but there was a lot of the stuff of the times that just didn’t register with me then. Maybe I was just clueless then? LOL! I just wasn’t cognizant of it at the time.

No, you weren’t clueless, just conditioned. We have the luxury (?) of taking a long, backward glance at history now.

I really did miss the 60’s, not having been born until 2 years after Bloody Sunday.

Like Fredster, I also think that we need reminding…especially considering the police killings of black men which continue to occur with tragic regularity.

In a larger sense, I believe that some of the laws that the Southern States are trying to pass (or passing) against women and LGBT are just as punitive and discriminatory as the racist laws in existence in 1965. Do we really have to evaluate whether every law that separates people into “us and them” is morally right? Can we not just take it for granted that laws which create an artificial underclass are morally wrong?

When the answers to these questions are “No” and “Yes,” I’ll feel we have learned the lessons of Bloody Sunday.

Not only the South, but the Midwest as well. Absent the Western and more libertarian states, these laws are pervasive in the Republican led areas.
I agree with you in spirit that any law that encourages separation is innately flawed, but law by definition codifies behavior into right and wrong, which deteriorates rapidly into “us” and “them” if we are not careful.

I see your point, Chat, although I feel that most laws separating people into either criminals and law-abiding citizens are not aimed to create an artificial underclass. The exceptions are laws like the ever-more-terrifying anti-abortion measures coming mostly from the South, which create an artificial underclass of women-as-criminals, because they are the only ones who can get abortions.

And, I am not sure that I agree with your characterization of where these laws are being passed. The Northeast is not more “libertarian.” We are more socially liberal, which is not the same thing – although it used to be a lot closer in meaning!

I am not at all classifying the NE as libertarian. “…and more libertarian areas” was meant to modify “Western”. I also agree that the original intent of separating “law abiding” from “not so much” was not intended to Balkanize society, but that has been the eventual outcome. Relatively small faux pas can have an outsized impact on the rest of a person’s life these days, e.g. the school-to-prison pipeline for throwing gum and science experiments gone awry. Further, the more that for-profit prisons flourish, the more people will find themselves in this position.

The more Draconian anti-abortion laws are enacted with full knowledge that they will likely not last very long. The more insidious and therefore dangerous ones are those which set an impossibly high bar for a woman’s treatment center. Free-standing surgical centers need extremely high standards, and if abortion were still a totally surgical procedure this would make sense. As most early term abortions are performed with oral medication, the only real necessities are a reasonably clean environment, a licensed and accredited practitioner, a glass of drinking water, and a ride home. No fetus will need full resuscitative efforts in this scenario.
I assure you, that if this is permitted to stand in the South, the Republican Midwest will quickly follow. And it will metastasize rapidly until people get out and vote these bozos out of office. Oddly, the people that it hurts the most are the ones that are not voting. I am frustrated, and have no clue how to solve this.

I completely agree, Chat. I don’t know how to solve it either. Perhaps the prevalence and availability of birth control over the counter (i.e., condoms) has given younger women a false sense of security, and the only way that they will realize the danger is if/when it happens to them.

MB@10: Have to agree with chat here. Not so much the southern states but more like the Republican-led states, which coincidentally there are a number of in the south!

chat@9: I might still stay with clueless: military brat living in military housing, most of the time on bases-very insulated. The military was “officially” integrated by this point and watching the news wasn’t anything I did with regularity until Dad had to go to Viet Nam. (shrug) Who knows?

Just so everyone knows:

@15 – Coincidentally?! No, I don’t think so. If the electorate were not receptive to their messaging, then the Southern states would not be so uniformly Republican.

It’s not all the voters’ fault, though. The Democratic Party completely flailed in 2014…even my home state of Maryland, which is not really Southern, has fallen under the control of a Republican governor. We can thank Obama for that mess.

@17: there is no emoticon I know of for tongue-in-cheek. If there were, I would have put it in there. 🙂

@18 – LOL! Sorry, my sarcasm-eter must be broken. 😀 I still stand by my diss of the Democrats, though!

It must be good to know that if you don’t use the phrase, then the condition must not exist. LOL!

@19: No problem! There should be an emoticon for that. I saw a text one but I don’t think it looks that good.

There should be a sarcasm font.

@22: True dat.

Love the conversation and the learning.

Do you think it is the hollowed-out mindset of “zero sum gain” meaning that if anyone else gains, I therefore lose. If someone else can vote, it diminishes my vote. If someone else can marry, it diminishes my marriage. If someone enjoys freedom of speech, it impedes the attention due me. If a group enjoys freedom of assembly, then it detracts from my crowd.

The country has been on a parsing frenzy for the last 30 years and it is so insidious and universal, no one has called it out. This zero sum gain mentality has led to the “I got mine, sorry about your luck” philosophy that permeates political discourse now.

The biggest job, I believe, is to promote the idea of “we all do better when we all do better” — that doesn’t just work with a consumer economy, but it works with a society of guaranteed minority rights. Just a half cents worth of opinion this Sunday evening.

At the moment we are pursuing a course of “We all do better when we do what I want.”

Prolix@24: I think you nailed it on the head.

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