The greatest American civil rights leader of my lifetime was a South African. I say this not just because Nelson Mandela’s fight for equality and justice followed a path blazed by Henry David Thoreau and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I say this because he carried the torch for freedom at a time when it was under siege throughout the world. He held it high and with dignity, never letting it be extinguished by violence and recrimination.Read More
Ask Tea Party adherents what inspires them most and many will say their reverence of history. Indeed it’s not unusual at Tea Party rallies to see bands of self-referential patriots dressed up in Revolutionary War garb, wearing tricorn hats and carrying their defiant Don’t Tread on Me flags.Read More »
I know you’re frustrated with Barack Obama. You don’t understand how he was elected president. Twice. He wasn’t a war hero, an entrepreneur, or an executive of any kind, but a community organizer. (All work has dignity.)Read More »
Hop into your time-machine to 28 August 1963. A huge crowd of mainly dark-skinned Americans has assembled in Washington before the Lincoln Memorial to demand full civil rights and equality. Most of the people there have lived their lives in the shadow of that momentous Supreme Court judgment, and the profusion of ignominious apartheid-style laws and petty spiteful regulations that it justified. Martin Luther King steps up, the final speaker.Read More »
National Park Service Declares It Off-Limits To Development
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama today declared the nation’s Racial Divide a National Historic Landmark, giving it protected status against developers who might try to close it.
The move comes on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s watershed “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963, was a turning point in the civil rights movement, uniting whites and blacks together in common cause against racism.Read More »
Denise Graveline, whose The Eloquent Woman blog is one of the best resources for notable material about women and public speaking technique, has done us a favour by looking in some detail at the words of President Obama on Trayvon Martin.Read More »
Richard Wagner, the great German composer, was born two hundred years ago on May 22, 1813. Wagner was one of the most stupendous musical geniuses who ever lived. He was also a notorious anti-Semite. Even on his two hundredth birthday, there is no ignoring the dead elephant in his living room.
At the same time, to say that Wagner was an anti-Semite, and to say no more than that, is too simple. It is too simple because Wagner was very much a self-contradictory genius, and his contradictions extended to his attitude toward Jewish people.
In other words, Wagner was an anti-Semite, but… And the but was not inconsequential.Read More »