Perhaps you've never heard of Edmund Winston Pettus, a Civil War General, U.S. Senator, and in 1877, the Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. But you know his bridge.
History shows that liberals need radicals. We need radicals because drastic change against entrenched evil and concentrated power requires personal bravery to the point of obsession. It requires a radical sensibility to look beyond today's limits and imagine what seems sheer impossibility within the current social order. And sometimes it's necessary to break the law to redeem the Constitution. No great social change in America has occurred without radicals, beginning with the struggle to end slavery. Causes that now seem mainstream began with radical, impolite and sometimes civil disobedient protest. But here's where the story gets complicated. Radicals also need liberals. Liberals can write policy proposals to their hearts' content. But unless they are backed by radicalism on the ground, they are playing in a sandbox.
They say two LGBTQ groups in Boston were invited to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade this year. Progress is measured in years. We can't always see it. It moves too slow at times. But this year, I can certainly attest -- with the changes on parade, the long road to equality has dutifully risen to meet me.
What a terrible irony that in this year of celebration of the Selma marches we are witnessing the resurgence of overt law enforcement brutality and injustice in Ferguson, Cleveland, New York City, and elsewhere, reminding us how far we still have to go. The continuing protests against unequal justice under the law by those enjoined to protect all of us and all of our children after the deaths of teenager Michael Brown, 12-year-old Tamir Rice, and others are a wake-up call about the deeply embedded systemic racism still alive in America. Each of us has a responsibility to root it out and stop it in its tracks.
Coaches are often teachers, mentors and guides. The impact of a good coach is not limited to the pitch, ice, court, or water, as what they teach us has the potential to shape how we see ourselves. They inspire and instruct, teaching us not only how to play better, but also how to be better.
Let the anniversary of Selma inspire all of us to rededicate ourselves to the sacred conversations and actions needed for the pursuit of justice.
I refer of course to the steps being taken by state legislatures around the country to give religious cover to those who continue to find satisfaction in asserting their superiority to others by invoking whatever God they happen to be worshipping.
While "getting it" may come easier to gay fathers of children who don't conform to traditional standards of gender, they can face challenges that heterosexual parents may not.
Madonna and many others are intoxicated by the heady whirl of victory -- which the media magnifies in an extraordinary way -- and appear to believe, living within this seductive moment of advances for LGBT rights, that we've "arrived" and the rest of it is inevitable.
Creating rules that hold people down is bigotry no matter how friendly you are about it.
After the 2014 election we knew we would be losing ground for a couple of years. The crop of incoming conservatives featured many new, terrifyingly crazy anti-LGBT legislators.
No doubt you have many questions about the pro bono-ists' civil-rights-based challenge to the state's cap on the number of charter schools. As always, I am happy to shed light.
The same big corporate interests that are behind the legislative push to deregulate our environmental laws and prevent any meaningful action to protect our planet are the same ones pushing to restrict access to the ballot, effectively rolling back 50 years of civil rights gains.
I wrote a book about Obama's conception of American identity, as well as his depiction of our country's values and history. Although in my research I came across countless examples of him talking about America, I've never heard him do so in as profound a way as he did in Selma this Saturday. The president subtly rejected the Giuliani approach.
The list of issues in the black community can fill an entire book. Of course, progress has been made. Even so, complacency and satisfaction with our condition in the new Jim Crow Era cannot exist, or further progress will not be made.
I look forward to the day when art imitates life and people with disabilities are not portrayed in film only as victims or the heroes, but also as the woman behind the counter, or the best friend, or the love interest. This is the true reality in our world. People with disabilities can be anyone.