Sunday, March 7, 2010
Anniversary of Bloody Sunday
Today is the 45th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. On March 7th, 1965, 600 men and women began a peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in the name of civil rights. As they began to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, they were met on the other side with tear gas and swinging billy clubs. State and local police had been ordered to break up the demonstration.
The bloody event was caught on national television. Ten days later President Johnson sent the National Voting Rights Act bill to congress.
As I sit and click through pictures of the event, one of which I'm including here, a few things come to mind. I think of the bravery of the men and women who marched, I think of what must have been going on inside the heads of those who were ordered to beat and gas their fellow citizens. I think of the untiring resolve, and how those who had literally bled for their rights must have felt when that bill passed.
Now, I know voting is still clouded by controversy and has a long way to go before it reaches the illumination of true equality. However, this anniversary gives me hope.
As a social and political activist, I truly believe that people have the power to change things. I believe that people can effect change if they organize, educate themselves and move towards a common goal.
And that is my goal. I hope to bring together a group of organized, informed citizens and move forward, not left or right, but forward. For there is something very wrong with this country and it is the people who must rise and change that, just as those men and women did in Selma. A silent people is a helpless people.
Have a reflective anniversary.