The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 26, 2013

Other Views: The march continues

— Of all the many marches on Washington, going back to at least the 1890s, the 1963 civil rights march had perhaps the most lasting impact — influence that lasts to this day.

The Aug. 28 march was the largest ever in Washington — with as many as 300,000 participants — and the first to be nationally televised. If something went wrong — and many people believed, and even secretly hoped, that something would — there would have been no way the presidential spinmeisters could gloss over it.

That day’s high point was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which entered the canon of American ideals as a ringing statement of where we hope to be someday as a nation.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that we are close enough to that day that it could eliminate parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which the march was instrumental in helping pass. If that decision turns out to have been mistaken, and rear-guard racists try to discourage minority voting, King’s ringing 1963 words on equality will again be invoked, having lost none of their power.

Less noticed that August Saturday 50 years ago were the seeds of two movements that would shape modern America: feminism and gay rights.

The march was sponsored by the “Big Six” civil rights groups, but the man who made it happen was an activist and labor organizer named Bayard Rustin. However, Rustin’s résumé required that he stay in the background: He was gay, a former Communist and a pacifist who served time in prison during World War II. The political wisdom of the day dictated that he stay out of sight.

The civil rights leaders who gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial were all male. Even civil rights icon Rosa Parks, instigator of the 1955 Birmingham bus boycott, a major turning point in the civil rights movement, was introduced but not invited to speak.

The oversight did not pass unnoticed by the black women who did so much of the movement’s heavy lifting and scut work, backstage and out of sight.

Now, here we are 50 years, several wars, urban riots and recessions later. One hopes we’re a wiser, more tolerant and more forward-looking people, as King would have wanted it.

— Scripps Howard News Service

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: No need for No. 9

    “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong

    On Aug. 5, voters will be asked to make a decision about Amendment 1.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: No on Amendment 7

    The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: Bad way to get revenue

    I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.

    July 29, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: Symptom of bad policy

    The Obama administration continues to be surprised and shocked when its policies of good intentions suddenly meet the hard reality of unintended consequences.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rebecca French Smith, guest columnist: Amendment 1: Farmers are 'boots on the ground'

    Take a moment and ask yourself who was the last person in your family to farm.

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View; Makes no sense

    Chess was never my game. It’s too complicated.

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View: Time value of money

     I was shaking my head along with Anson Burlingame (“Much has changed in U.S. over 14 years,” Globe, July 22), then he offered his readers a chance: “Go ahead — take your pick.”

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View: Boiling a frog

    We voters are now being urged to vote on Aug. 5 for Amendment 7 “to fix our roads, highways and bridges.”

    July 28, 2014

  • Our view: 'Yes' on 7

    Opponents of Amendment 7 say this: “Missouri families are already hard pressed to pay their bills during this period of slow economic recovery.”

    July 26, 2014

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Sports