Monday, September 17, 2012

NAACP's Jealous points to lessons from the history of struggle

Bishop Yvette Flunder welcomes NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous to City of Refuge United Church of Christ, San Francisco.

The President of the NAACP spoke yesterday against the current rash of Republican-originated voter ID laws that aim to take the right to vote away from poorer citizens who may find it expensive or difficult to obtain the required documentation. Jealous reminded his audiences of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing forty nine years ago in Birmingham, AL which killed four young girls. The church was dynamited by white segregationists in retaliation for its role as a center of the movement for African American civil and voting rights. He posed a challenge:

We must pass on our history to new generations not as nostalgia, but as instruction.

From the ongoing struggle to protect voting rights, Jealous moved on to call for the passage of Propostion 34, recalling the execution of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia last September, despite serious doubts about Davis' guilt in the shooting death of a white police man. Only replacing the death sentences of life without parole will ensure that a fallible judicial system does not risk killing an innocent person.
It was a privilege to follow Ben Jealous to a series of churches handing out information about Prop. 34 yesterday, but three religious services in a day leave me pooped. Blogging will resume when I recharge.

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