I Know You Wayne LaPierre
In 1976 I was a young political science professor at Colgate College in Hamilton, New York. I was teaching a class on Contemporary Political Thought which had a two-day section on gun control. I wanted to find a guest speaker who could present the “other side” in a thoughtful way – to give the students all the arguments that hold water philosophically. A colleague in the political science department had gone to one of the colleges in Cambridge, England and recommended a classmate of his who worked for the National Rifle Association.
Why the South?
Because I live in the Boston area, people often ask me why I’m involved in the South, including serving on the board of The Highlander Center. I answer that I spent my formative teenage years living with my parents on a farm in Maryland, and that experience shaped me culturally. But all you have to do is show the slightest interest in hearing more and I’ll tell you the political reasons I feel the South is a crucially important focus of progressive work.
While cleaning out stacks of old papers and files, I came across an article I had clipped from the New York Times in November 2004. The title was “Enforcement of Civil Rights Law Declined Since ’99, Study Finds.” Charges of civil rights violations have remained constant, it said, but prosecution of those violations has dropped by almost fifty percent.
Million Dollar Baby
I read review after review of Million Dollar Baby and thought I’d better see it, even though I knew it would be one beating after another, which would cause me to close my eyes and hold my breath. Not relaxing, but according to the reviewers, required viewing.