Monday, January 18, 2021


My children memorized I Have a Dream the way my classmates and I memorized The Gettysburg Address.  

They are both passionate defenses of the American dream - one nation, with liberty and justice for all.  That's the dream.  It's never been realized, though every once in a while our better natures shine through and we do something right.  

It's never been tried across such a large, heterogenous conglomeration of individual fiefdoms - religious, cultural, political, economic bubbles refusing to share or bump into one another without a confrontation.  It's never been easy, or conflict free.  

In the Spring of 1970 we drove from Ithaca, NY to Washington, DC for the Mobilization Against the War.  We passed cars filled with people our age, who looked like us, who shared peace signs through the windows as we journeyed together, part of a caravan of young people who were part of a movement that followed Dr. King's notion of peaceful protest.

We had bandanas to protect our faces from tear gas.  We stayed away from the center of things, avoiding arrest by listening when the police told us that wading in the fountain bordering the FTC building was frowned upon.  Thousands of protestors were herded into RFK Stadium, some held for days, some charged, some released without paperwork being filed.  

I don't remember anyone arrested for a gun violation.... and we were protesting a war.

The images on the Edmund Pettis Bridge are shocking not only for the brutality, but for the non-violent reaction of those being beaten and hosed and bitten by dogs.  It's hard to call them instigators or agitators.  

It's a shame that the right wingnuts who stormed the Capitol don't believe in facts or pay much attention to history.  If they did, they might have learned something.  Equally terrifying would have been a weeks long silent sit in, surrounding the Capitol, allowing access but forcing the Congress to pass by and notice that there was something amiss.

Instead, they are being turned in by relatives who are furious, who have been waiting for the chance to stop their own personal connection to the madness.  And madness it is.  It's the same fight we've been waging since the Founding Fathers kicked the can down the road, forcing the country to deal with slavery and race and opportunity and advantage over and over and over again.

Was there a better way?  Did they hope that we would have evolved to the point where the solution would be obvious?  We'll never know.  

What I do know is that this democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.  Lauren Boebert and Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley may try to besmirch it, but, thus far, they have been held at bay.

I'm going to go around judging people by the content of their character today.


  1. Trumpists really do perceive the world through alternative facts -- the facts of their woundedness, fear and distrust of others, all human emotions but ones unwisely stirred and whipped into a lather of hatred and aggression.
    It is inconceivable to me that MLK could have looked out on the crowds gathered to hear him and not have fully sensed their woundedness, fear and distrust. he had the wisdom to not rile up those emotions, the compassion to set the example of a peaceful way, and the strength of character to walk his talk.
    He is an example to be followed by all but especially by the leaders of our country into a brighter future.


Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!