I was born in Atlanta , Ga. - let's just go with " in the early 60's". I grew up with the tornado of the civil rights movement all around me. I'm not saying I was all cool and a part of it or anything, no not at all. I was pretty much totally unaware of - well, anything. But, people and places that have become Icons of that movement were very real to Georgians, not just pictures in books or grainy black and white TV moments.
John Lewis was my Congressman for ever. Andrew Young was the Mayor and Hosea could not stay off the 6:00 news, ( not always for good reasons...) on and on. One of the , if not THE, iconic moment/word/event of the 1960's Civil Rights movement ( OK, second behind the "I Have a Dream" speech...) were the marches from Selma , Alabama - across the Pettus Bridge.
Congressman Lewis, under the billy clubs of Governor Wallace.
The racist South won on that first bloody Sunday, but awakened the sleeping tiger of righteous anger. Imagine, people just marching for equality, beaten back my the majority. There was a second and a massive third march over that bridge, and within five months of the third march, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Turns out , there is a Selma , California.
Equality March ~ Sat May 30th
from Selma, CA to Fresno, CA
Leaders from the Civil Rights Movement, the United Farm Workers Movement and the Gay Rights Movement will March from Selma, CA to Fresno, CA in a symbolic sign of respect to the social movements before us.
This 14.5 mile march will take 5 hours and will arrive after the MITM rally has started, where rally participants will be anxiously awaiting the march arrivals.
MITM is the group MEET IN THE MIDDLE in California, who are doing the BRILLIANT task of taking the Pro Marriage Equality movement out of We-ho, and San Francisco and Marin into the heart of RED California. Re phrase our movement, get people over the ICK factor and view it as what it truly is, a CIVIL RIGHTS movement.
I hope that yesterdays " setback" will make , not just Californians but everyone involved in our movement realize that WE CAN NOT DO THIS ALONE. Yes, you are the vast majority there in the happy gay ghetto where you live, and life is good, but there are Fresnos, and Macons, and .. Mendon , New Yorks out there as well. We shall overcome this, but we are going to need a little help from our friends.
This march will be controversial, the African American torch bearers are VERY protective of the words " Civil Rights", and many , many African Americans proudly voted FOR prop eight. This is what Pam Spaulding (♥) of Pamshouseblend has to say on that:
There is no Oppression Olympics that requires a certain level of historic suffering by a group of people to be able to use those words. I refuse to cede them to anyone."
"As someone who is black and lesbian, it's tiring and absurd to encounter the argument that the black civil rights movement somehow exclusively owns the ability to use "civil rights." And the result of that is any challenge to this thinking amounts to stepping on the third rail.