Today was Martin Luther King Day of course. I wrote a short post for the other blog but hadn't said anything here except to talk about a 3 day weekend.
I don't know if I ever mentioned that my birth mother was married to a person of color. They met during WW II but had to wait to marry until California rescinded its miscegnation law in 1948. I met him for the first time when I moved to CA in 1958. Wonderful man who died not long after I came out here.
Henry and my mother were stopped on the street by police both before and after their marriage and made to show i.d. The police assumed that only one type of woman would be walking with a black man. She didn't tell me about all the incidents of harassment but I'm sure there were many. They were restricted to certain neighborhoods of course.
And this was San Francisco, CA.
The country has changed greatly since then but not nearly enough.
Doctor King died for his beliefs. There were many others as well as innocents who were killed simply because of the color of their skin. Medgar Evers, Viola Liuzzo, the three young men who died for helping blacks to vote, and 4 little girls in a Birmingham Sunday School. That is just a sample, not a complete list. Racism was (and is) the shame of our nation and we must never forget the people who paved the way for children like my great-granddaughters. They may not grow up in a perfect world but it's certainly an improvement over what went before.
Here's what I wrote over on Is America Burning:
I was a mile or two away from that motel in Memphis in April 1968 buying groceries with my then mother-in-law. I'd gone out to bring the car around and turned on the radio to hear the breaking news. I walked back and got the store manager and he shut it down. We went back home and listened in horror. My mother in law was a product of her time and place in some respects but she was weeping along with me.
It would have been a tragedy no matter where I lived at the time. I was in California for JFK and Memphis still (in hospital giving birth) for RFK. There's no good place to hear something like that. But there's something about being right there that's different. It's still like it was yesterday.
Here is Tom Paine today reminding us all to not lose sight of Doctor King's other goals which he did not live to achieve
THE LINK IS IN THE TITLE OF THE POST