I sure do hope my friend who wrote this doesn’t mind my sharing…
HOW MANY TIMES CAN A MAN TURN HIS HEAD?
If the Republicans were as grand as their old party name implies, they’d pay attention to history. If they did, they’d know there’s a power greater than Donald Trump and that it’s coming straight for each and every one of them.
And it’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the wrath of the American public.
True, sometimes the good people of this country can take what seems to be an eternity to come to their senses. But what’s also true is that sooner or later, the better nature of America prevails and when it does, it can be a righteous, wondrous and ultimately unstoppable phenomenon.
Despite their victory last Friday, the Republicans ought to be mindful of that lesson. But they’re not that grand and they’re not that smart, so let’s take the time to refresh their memories.
This weekend may mark the 54th game of the Super Bowl. But long after the last touchdown is thrown and the last hot-dogging move made in the end zone is long forgotten, what happened on this weekend 60 years ago will remain far more important.
To be specific, on February 1, 1960, four young black college men sat at a whites-only lunch counter at the Woolworth’s department store in Greensboro, NC. Refused service and asked to leave, they remained in their seats until the store closed later that evening. The next day, they returned with 20 other students and the day after that, their number had grown to 60.
By February 4, more than 300 people joined in the nonviolent sit-in, and by noon on February 6, there were over 1,000 protestors and counter-protestors jammed into the store. That might have been that, except that it wasn’t.
Although it didn’t happen overnight, these growing protests lit a fire in the American consciousness. It took until July 25 of that year for Woolworth’s to serve lunch to its first black customers and the Civil Rights Act outlawing segregation and banning employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin wasn’t signed until 1964.
But as Bob Dylan sang two years previously, the answer was already blowin’ in the wind when the Greensboro Four sat down at a non-descript lunch counter downtown.
Theirs was not the first sit-in. But most crucially, it wasn’t the last. Their protests initially spread throughout North Carolina, but soon after that, there were protests all through the South, in Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia and Louisiana, and that was all before Woolworth’s capitulation that July. The signs of change throughout our country were spreading, even if not everyone knew it yet.
The question today, then, is whether these states’ current Republican senators know it now?
There are 19 of them, by the way. More than enough to have resulted in a fair impeachment trial in the Senate.
But Richard Burr, Thom Tillis, Lamar Alexander, Marsha Blackburn, Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott, Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Richard Shelby, John Boozman, Tom Cotton, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, respectively, voted against growing public opinion and refused to remember Bob Dylan’s other prophetic words:
“Come senators, Congressmen/Please need the call/Don’t stand into the doorway/Don’t block up the hall/For he that gets hurt/Will be he who has stalled/There’s a battle outside/And it is ragin’./It’ll soon shake your windows/ And rattle your walls/For the times they are a-changin’.”
Come the November election, perhaps these senators will wake up and realize just how far off the mark they really were this first weekend in February.