"PEOPLE ARE NEVER THE ENEMY. SYSTEMS ARE THE ENEMY. PREJUDICES ARE THE ENEMY. BUT PEOPLE ARE NEVER THE ENEMY."
I often need to be reminded of this!
In an era where the left seems more occupied with being right about their technocratic arguments than engaging meaningful causes related to life and death, it was refreshing to travel from my little corner of the Confederacy amid the throngs of Confederate flags and Trump Minions to meet someone who risked it all. Diane Nash's humility was the only thing that topped her quick wit and intellect. She wrote her will at 19! To put that in context, most of the new left (some twice her age then) won't stand up to their boss and ask for a raise. The new left expects people to follow them into battles over the environment or trade deals,but then turn their back when it comes time to address police brutality and our fraudulent criminal justice system.
The new left has a secular savior complex for Bernie Sanders that's rooted in folklore; one time he chained himself to a little black girl, and yes (for the 1,000,000 time) I know Hillary was a Goldwater girl: I never thought she was any better than the rest of what passes for Democratic leadership these days. The real leaders of the Civil Rights Movement didn't check out once they got their degrees. They understood that graduation was just a new beginning and not the end of a phase. Most of Bernie's followers have probably never heard the name Diane Nash; she, like many of the women in that movement, was overshadowed by their male counterparts: even the ones who were revolutionaries for a season. I did a brief story about her trip to Washington and Lee University for the radio station, If anyone is interested here's my intro and a link to the audio.
Almost 60 years after embarking on a mission to end segregation at lunch counters in Tennessee, Diane Nash is still fighting to end systems of discrimination and oppression. I had the distinct honor of hearing her speak at the Lenfest Center for the Arts on the campus of Washington and Lee University. She talked about her personal philosophy and commitment to justice. I recorded several portions of her talk for a news story about the event. She's a remarkable woman and an American treasure. The women of the Civil Rights Movement have been largely overshadowed by their male contemporaries, but they made sacrifices most of us can't imagine. Diane Nash spent 30 days in jail while she was pregnant with her first child. Her crime: contributing to the delinquency of minors; she encouraged black and white kids to sit beside each other on school buses.
This story is just a brief snippet of a life well lived. I encourage anyone taking time out of their day to engage this post to do more research on this phenomenal woman!