For Truth and Honor's Sake: I Will Show You Change, and It Will Not Include George Bush

For Truth and Honor's Sake: I Will Show You Change, and It Will Not Include George Bush

 

Amidst the fervor and spectacle and soaring rhetoric of Sunday's commemorative march in Selma, a small incisive morality play was quietly unfolding. Diane Nash, longtime civil rightsactivist in Nashville and elsewhere, co-founder of SNCC and key colleague alongside King 50 years ago, declined to march, citing the photo-op-ready presence of George Bush: "The Selma movement stands for nonviolence and peace and democracy, and George Bush stands for just the opposite. He stands for violence and war and stolen elections, and, for goodness sake, his administration had people tortured." Nash later reiterated her opposition to appearing with Bush, whose presence - irony alert - was mostly noted by paranoid right-wingers made furious when the "radical progressives" at the New York Times cropped him out of a large photo. Speaking at an event honoring civil rights foot soldiers, Nash said to cheers, "I'm not marching anywhere with George Bush." She also stressed the lessons of Selma remain vital in the here and now:  "It is a huge mistake for Americans to leave the future of this country in the hands of elected officials. … Suppose we had waited for elected officials to desegregate lunch counters, buses, and to get the right to vote? I think 50 years later we would still be waiting....It is important, critical in fact, that citizens take the future of this country into their own hands and make the necessary changes." Her principled stance echoed the stalwart John Lewis, who was likewise there 50 years ago, who marched with Obama, and who issued a series of eloquent, moving tweets about the events then and now. He ended with, "When people tell me nothing has changed, I say come walk in my shoes and I will show you change." John Lewis, Diane Nash and so many others give us hope.

Nash marching in Nashville

Lewis getting his skull fractured at Selma

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