There is so much of history that we don’t know. There is no way it would be possible, for all of us, to know the all of it. I was reminded of this last night. I discovered some more of our history. But, is it important that we know? Or even bother?
I think, we humans, are here to learn. To grow. To be the best little human beings we can make of ourselves. By strengthening our own virtues, we are better able to help others. We learn. And then we do. And, as the quote by Rita Mae Brown so aptly puts it: “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
Last night, we went to a concert in Dayton. It was performed by the World House Choir, and it told the story of the life of Bayard Rustin.
And just who the heck is Bayard Rustin? I didn’t know, but now I do. Bayard was an American leader in social movements for civil rights, nonviolence, and gay rights.
He was born in 1912, and he died in 1987. He worked side-by-side with Martin Luther King Jr., and he spent his entire life, striving for human equality.
His story is a long one — and interesting. I won’t dive into all the details here, but he faced adversity, not only for being a black man, but also for being a homosexual man. He worked tirelessly, in the effort for true freedom for all.
So many people don’t get that.
So many people turn their heads. Or worse yet, they embrace hatred.
I live in a part of the country where the population is mostly white people. White, conservative, fundamentalist evangelicals.
I’ve heard many of those people make fun of things like “Black Lives Matter.” Many don’t seem capable of understanding our First Amendment Rights, and how that First Amendment belongs to us all.
And then I hear a story like the one I heard last night. I sat, in a church in Downtown Dayton, and listened to the choir sing the life of a man and his struggle to be equal. To be free. In a world, in his time, where it was illegal for a black man to marry a white woman. It was also illegal to be gay. But it was well within the law to hang a black man from a tree. That was his world. That is our world, not so very long ago.
I have a big wish that people would begin to understand, what it means.
For all people to be afforded the same rights. Equally. I wish they’d really get it.
We are a long way off.
And daily, it makes my heart heavy with sadness.
The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. — Chief Joseph
The history of the past is but one long struggle upward to equality. Elizabeth — Cady Stanton
Before God we are all equally wise – and equally foolish. — Albert Einstein