I don’t write a lot of serious posts, but when I saw these pictures I couldn’t let it just go pass. These were taken during the integration of the New Orleans schools in November of 1960. There is a good article to read on the subject in today’s NOLA paper.
I found these two pictures to be so sad and yet ironic. One is a picture of someone who believes “God” does not want integration. She and her friends stand together in the name of their god to intimidate and jeer at children as they go to school. The other is a picture of someone who believes “God” does not discriminate. She is courageously taking her child through a crowd of god-fearing people to take her daughter to the school that has been integrated.
The feeling of sadness I think is obvious, or I hope so. The feeling of irony may not be so obvious. Today I see god-fearing people again with their signs and their hatred and fear everywhere whether it be at the funeral of homosexuals, the attempts to build a Mosque, or a political gathering. And occasionally I see courageous people who do the loving thing just because, well it’s the loving thing.
I’m realizing when we celebrate 50 year anniversaries now as “historical events,” that I am part of those events. And that’s not a bad thing when it was joyous moments like the first time the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, the first time a man landed on the moon, or Nixon’s resignation; but when it’s moments like this, it reminds me of the fact that terrible and tragic events were not that long ago. That what I do today will be judged by others. And I have to decide, every day, in 50 years, what picture do I want to show up in?