Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The long view of "change"

Sometimes, these days, it seems like mean habits die so slowly that we're standing stuck in the mud and there's no hope of change. The hyperventilating media have a way of making it appear true. So, when some of us get frustrated with the pace of progress demonstrated by our society or government, it's understandable.

Arguments thought to have been debunked long ago by the tide of history still wash like waves across the current marketplace of ideas. Yet, when I think of how it really was when I was a kid, growing up in Virginia in the '50s and 60s, I know the evolution of thinking about matters racial has brought us a long way.

At least it has for most of us.

Click here to read a page (from Virginia Historical Society) about Massive Resistance -- the most shameful political strategy in Virginia's post-WWII history. Take a few minutes to remember, or perhaps learn, how it was just 50 years ago. Think about what it took to free Virginia from the Byrd Machine's decades-long grip ... it took relentless determination and it took time.

Today most Virginians think the separate schools, water fountains, movies theaters, etc., of the Jim Crow Era belong in a museum along with the blatantly racist seventh grade Virginia history book I was forced to study in 1961. Times have changed all but the most stubborn of us. And, yes, some Virginians are still stuck in time ... so it goes.

Also note the cartoons by Fred O. Seibel (see the 'toon above). He was the quite well known political cartoonist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch in the middle of the 20th century. Who else remembers his Moses Crow character (the little bird with the specs on his beak)?

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