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View Diary: BREAKING: James Hood Dies: Defied Wallace; Integrated U of Alabama (82 comments)

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  •  No. He was heroic. (8+ / 0-)

    You try walking into an all white university in the south with only the National Guard standing between you and people with sheer hatred in their eyes wanting to rip your head off for attempting to change their school forever.

    Look at that picture up there.  Just how many people today would do something like that -- even if there were hundreds of people with them?

    Congressmen and women of today are generally too afraid to vote their freaking conviction and that's not putting their lives on the line.

    •  This 1957 Photograph Reflects Your Comment (9+ / 0-)

      with only the National Guard standing between you and people with sheer hatred in their eyes

      An excerpt about one of the Little Rock Nine from a diary I wrote in 2010 - The Baby Boom Generation, Part I of III - The Wonder Years.

      Elizabeth Eckford walks away after being denied entry into the school

      No images were more striking, or more heartbreaking, than those of 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford.

      She had arrived first, and alone.  Angry swarms of white people confronted her, jeering, chanting, and shouting epithets.  Three times she tried to enter the school.  Each time soldiers barred her from entering, and, the third time, directed her away.

      She walked on, toward a bus stop, seeking a bus to take her to safety.  A photograph -- one of the most enduring images of the civil rights movement in the United States -- shows her walking away from the school.  She is starkly and completely alone, and easily within striking distance of those at the front of the large and frightening crowd of white people following her.

      It is impossible to look at this searing photograph without trying to comprehend what young Elizabeth Eckford might have been thinking and feeling at that time.  It is painful to contemplate how frightened she must have been and how alone and vulnerable she must have felt.  link

      •  It seems that it never gets easier (1+ / 0-)
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        January 03, 2003|From Associated Press

        Police shot and killed the son of one of the Little Rock Nine, the group of blacks who integrated the city's schools in 1957.

        Police said they were called after neighbors saw Erin Eckford, 26, firing an assault rifle into the air Wednesday night. Police shot him with a bean bag round, then opened fire after he pointed the rifle at them, authorities said. He was struck six times, police spokesman Sgt. Terry Hastings said Thursday.

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:27:16 PM PST

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      •  Funny how I've remembered many other (0+ / 0-)

        pictures from that era very well. I must have wiped this one out because of the pain. Hit me again like a ton of steel. The 4 women just behind her, I wanted to get behind her  facing them until she was out of earshot.

        I was 5.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:06:14 AM PST

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      •  What I see is derangement disorder in the crowd. (1+ / 0-)
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        There is something emotionally and intellectually missing from these people.  It is what we see today in the modern GOP, if you string together a group of the modern right wing, they look and sound the same. The more things change, the more they stay the same.  These people were deranged as are their descendants...the modern right wing.  You know why we have 300 million guns in this country....look at the anger and hatred in that picture.

        •  The "deranged" in today's GOP are the majority (1+ / 0-)
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          of their Members in the House of Representatives.

          By their recent voting records and adjusting for the 2012 elections, a total of 150 Members.

          That compares with 84 sitting Business Republicans, the "Bizzies."

          The conversion from Bizzies to Far Right wack-jobs has been going on since 1984. The biggest single change was 2010 when 38 seats went to the Far Right Birchers.

          "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012 "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army/McCarthy 1954

          by bontemps2012 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:32:11 AM PST

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    •  Heroism like this is fostered by movements (1+ / 0-)
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      Is the point I was trying to make.  It isn't done alone.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:03:21 PM PST

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      •  but you still don't discount (4+ / 0-)

        what the individuals did. They are heroes, period.

        Try going to a formerly all white Mississippi school in the 1970s, when the federal government forced the state to integrate. Yes, you have a "movement" behind you, but the children still have to go into enemy territory for an education. There were fights between black and white boys every day. Bloody fights.

        The white teachers weren't very helpful. Well, maybe a couple. Those usually were imported from other non-Southern states. And the biggest insult? The Superintendent ordered the campus swimming pool covered in dirt permanently to prevent any racial mixing!

        How do I know? I was one of those children sent to that school. No one held my hand and there was no police protection. As with Mr. Hood and Ms. Malone, the federal government gave them access, but once inside they were on their own. It's then when you sink or swim. With little support, it's a wonder we all didn't fail! I understand why Mr. Hood left. Who needs that type harassment?

        Have you withstood anything similar?

        •  The different parts of a movement are all (1+ / 0-)
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          essential. Like in a play, there are main characters and crowds.  For those of us in the crowds, in cities like Evanston, IL where I grew up, seeing those characters in major roles, giving their speeches, walking their paths between those angry, hating mobs - strengthened our resolve, efforts. I remember the roller coaster of emotions -from anger and tears, to finding something I could do. Fold letters and put them in envelopes. Put on the stamps. Talk to my mom as she put another sheet of ink in the mimeograph and started turning out more copies.

          Jumping up and down with the victories, however small. It was always a wonder that very young people succeeded against the odds, the ugly and the people praying for them to fail.

          There in Evanston, 7th grade, '64 - '65, English homeroom, the guy with the Magic Johnson smile and the name of a white cartoon character,  figured out this white girl had a thing for him. We didn't do much but talk and smile. The kids at that junior high school figured it out. We were outside the lunchroom one spring day talking when the kids at the nearby picnic table started singing "Mrs Brown you've got a lovely daughter."

          Dad surprised us after school was out for the summer with the news that we were moving to KC. Never had even gotten Charlie's phone number so I couldn't say good bye.  

          When the RW haters tried to change that school district in North or South Carolina to stop busing awhile back, there was a video on the people in the town, the kids in the school. The best part were the ebony and ivory pair that had been dancing together since they were little girls. Their faces when they talked or danced were the same reward as Obama's inauguration.

          It took a lot of people, a long time to get that far.

          The ones out front in the early days truly inspired others to get behind them,  no matter how far away we were.

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:38:20 AM PST

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    •  There are some exceptions. (0+ / 0-)

      Let's see Rep John Lewis D-GA  5th District, since '87. :)

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:51:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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