I Need This Story Told Right Now.
I need this story told now: Sometime around May 17, 1954 (I was a fortnight old) my late Mother called my brilliant Grandfather who taught law to rejoice over the landmark first Brown decision:” Daddy, isn’t it great!?” He replied: “Jean, they will fight this tooth and nail.”
He was, of course, right. There was no acceptance of the Brown decision by the “Solid South.” They engaged in their strategy of Massive Resistance and endless tactics of political and legal nitpicking and gaming against desegregation.
We are there again because we never really left. After eight years of a brilliant dedicated man as president without accusations of corruption, but an endless crisis of resistance from a Senate leader who began by stating his priority was to make him a one-term president; and a refusal on concocted grounds to even grant a Senate Committee hearing to his Supreme Court nominee on the readily-discarded ground that it must await the outcome of an election; and despite impeachment of the man historians are likely to record as the most corrupt president in 231 years of the Republic; and after that president has in the light of any unblinking review of recent events proven his racism and unswerving determination to destroy the legacy of his predecessor; and after this incumbent’s convincing defeat in the last election by his predecessor’s vice president and Asian/Black female running mate by margins in excess of those that brought this demagogue into office; now we see the same burgeoning massive resistance and defiance of institutions and principles long-established and settled.
They are defied because acceptance of the true verdict now requires a repudiation of the ethos this minority has held to its bosom since before Brown and ever since. They stubbornly insist that all men and women are not created equal, but some must be granted special place or favor within this Union, that we cannot believe in Justice for all but punishment for the powerless and pardons for the privileged; that we are not many who care for one and that sacrifice is not a calling but a disgrace.
To accept the results of this election means the principle that America as a place of fairness cannot be overturned by an imagined belief that the convenience of Jim Crow and the pomposity of small hatreds were idyllic.
Yes, Grandad, you saw our future because you knew about our past. I suppose that’s why you you never stopped fighting.
-Albert Turner Goins, Sr.