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Still Marching for Freedom
MLK in SA
Over 100,000 people peacefully marched through the East Side of San Antonio yesterday. This is not uncommon. We really like this march, and for the past 25 years, rain or shine, our Texas burb turns out for MLK day. Here are a few reasons why we are probably in the top ten list for bringing out the crowds every year:
- Dr. King’s messages resonate with our working class, majority-minority communities. Aside from the 80,000+ census count of African Americans, we are a city of blends and spices.
- The commemoration gets substantial city support.
- We love parades, health walks, and marches. Aside from NY & DC, I’d be surprised if there are any other metro areas with more people pounding pavement. Hell, each spring we host an 11-day Fiesta with over 100 events, 4+ parades, and yes, we have a commission for that, too. I must admit, sometimes we go a little overboard, and as you may recall I can get rather snarky about how seriously we take our parades in a 2009 Like the Dew article.
- We’re mostly democrats, (just like our neighbors along the Mexico border and Austin, our capitol of sin) although all them Yankees moving down here have helped turned our Northside red. Aside from DC and Chicago, who else has a Sam Gompers statue?
For a heartwarming collage of San Antonio 2011 highlights, check out a local photographer’s view by Bob Owen.
Sure, I’m proud of our city. I’m proud that we have something so meaningful to get us out of our houses and into the street. Seems like that’s a fitting tribute to a great man of change, and something we could practice more than once a year these days.
- Photo by Joe Ruiz from NOWCastSA's flickr photostream posted with Creative Commons license.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
This past weekend, my wife Jody and I attended a performance of Cyrano de Bergerac performed at the Blackfriar’s Theater in Staunton, Va. Just to hear the language was well worth the one-hundred forty mile round trip. Although I don’t have the skill to read it in the original French, Anthony Burgess’ translation which combines blank verse, prose, and rhyming couplets held our attention for the nearly three-hour performance. He created a contemporary sound for a play written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand based on an historical seventeenth-century troubadour, dramatist, poet, soldier, and sword-swinging duelist known for his razor-sharp wit and w Read on →
There were superficial reasons—when he thundered on the political scene at the Democratic Convention in 2004 and then rode on the wave of that thunder to his election in 2008—to compare Barack Obama with Abraham Lincoln. There was the Illinois connection, for instance, and the gifted orator connection, and the “new birth of freedom” connection. Add to these the evident high esteem, even reverence, held by Obama for that towering mentor of his spirit, and it is easy to link the two of them. But what about things deeper than the surface? A sobering intimation arose in me, in the wake of the Read on →
But the sacred is something that Liberal America, by and large, has not been tapping into. That was not always true. One can sense the sacred in the words of FDR, for example, engraved in the granite in that memorial on the National Mall. (And FDR was not shy about going toe to toe against his enemies, whether it be to help make the nation a better place or to stop the predations of the fascist powers against much of the world.) That was then. But if one listens to the voice of Liberal America in these times, one does not get Read on →
More than a century ago the “forgotten man” of Mississippi and across the South — the farmer, the common worker — decided he’d had enough of “Wall Street speculators who gambled on his crop futures; the railroad owners who evaded his taxes, bought legislatures, and over-charged him with discriminate rates; the manufacturers, who taxed him with a high tariff; the trusts that fleeced him with high prices; the middleman, who stole his profit.” The forgotten man was so angry, historian C. Vann Woodward goes on to say, that he created a movement. It came as close to toppling our two-party system as any effort Read on →