…fifty years ago, this man would have been lynched. Progressives and liberals are the reason he isn’t lynched today. And don’t let some conservative tell you otherwise. For those of us old enough to have grey hair, we remember which side conservatives were on and which side liberals were on: it wasn’t liberal politicians who went to Bob Jones University to praise its ‘values’, back when BJU was segregated.
And here’s another historical note. Racial progress wasn’t inevitable; it required a lot of sacrifice. It wasn’t that long ago, that publicly saying that you weren’t opposed to inter-racial marriage, in many parts of this country, meant that you would be called a Communist, un-American, and far, far worse. A few even paid for it with their lives. For all those left-of-center who think the political pendulum will swing back on its own, I think you’re mistaken. Liberalism is not a force of nature. Men and women defend it, and men and women can abandon it. Now, more than ever, we need to defend it.
Lest I end on a cranky note, remember that progress does occur-the above picture demonstrates that. Perhaps, setting the bar at ‘no lynching’ is too low-no, I’m certain it is too low. Yet, change did happen. Does more work need to done? Absolutely. Red-lining, educational underachievement, disproportional poverty (or poverty itself, for that matter) are still with us. But we’re moving in the right direction.
And it was a bunch of goddamn liberals who did it.
This was originally posted at my old site on July 5, 2005. I’m in the process of moving posts that received lots of hits, or that I cite often over to ScienceBlogs, so newer readers can see some of my old stuff (And so ScienceBlogs can get the site hits. Go hitcounter! Go!)