The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “civil rights

Beyond Measure

Posted on September 5, 2018

With all the shenanigans erupting in Washington and America at present, it was disappointing to watch a couple of political activists kick Bernie Sanders to the curb in a recent interview.  They were excited about some new blood from their own generation winning primaries as part of the growing socialist movement in the Democratic party.  All that is exciting and speaks to the need for democracy to renew itself, but to regard Sanders as irrelevant is a sad portent – specifically because if that pattern continues, then they, too, will eventually be sidelined in similar fashion. Bernie Sander’s history of activism is important because he was once where these activists are, only the price he paid for his beliefs was likely more severe.  The…

Behind Lincoln’s Back

Posted on September 8, 2017

It has become known as one of the greatest protest movements of the modern era, and one of its most poignant and powerful moments was the great March on Washington by those fighting for civil rights. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., some 250,000 people (70% of whom were black) gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to hear King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. It became an iconic moment for how to mobilize and empower a nonviolent rally. It could have turned out another way, however. John Lewis, now an American black congressman but on that day in 1963 was only 23 years old, tells of a key moment that ultimately turned the rally into a success. Lewis was an angry and young black activist…

E Pluribus Unum

Posted on April 16, 2013

We want the hero, never really imagining that collectively we might wear that mantle.  I composed these words in my head as Jane and I delighted in watching “42” at a local theatre.  The inspiring story of Jackie Robinson being the first black player to break the “white” barrier in professional baseball is well known to my generation.  He was a remarkably talented but patient man in a world about to change. Yet I came away from the inspiring movie with the sense that Mr. Robinson’s role in it all, while compelling, was actually underwritten by a kind of citizen activism that came to prominence 20 years later during the 1960s. Yes, Jackie Robinson was a true champion.  Yes, he won Rookie of the…