It is hard to believe that this weekend, and specifically next Wednesday, four days from now, marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington by a crowd estimated at a quarter of a million people, calling for racial equality and justice.
It was a peaceful march, with a crowd of people of all races, an historic moment on the way to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
It was a time of the greatness of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther, King Jr, and his brilliant “I Have A Dream” speech, one of the few greatest speeches ever given by any American in our entire history!
It was a time of hope and optimism, before the tragedy of the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr himself, as well as the tragic war in Vietnam, which took 58,000 lives!
It was a time of optimism and a sense of progress, and now, sadly, the same battles fought over race and voting rights haunts us, as the Supreme Court majority, created by Republican Presidents who represent a desire to move backwards on the subject of race, seem to believe that denial of voting rights and the issue of race no longer is of importance in America, when it continues to be a divisive matter that prevents the full development of justice and equality in this nation!
This is a sad time when the Republican Party, which in large measure supported the civil rights legislation of the mid 1960s, now has adopted the old Southern Democratic racist policies that the national Democratic Party repudiated fifty years ago, and the GOP seems unembarrassed that they have become the “poster boy” for racial prejudice and nativism!
So while we celebrate the anniversary, we are still having to fight the battles won, and then lost, due to the party that once boasted of Lincoln, TR, and Ike, and now boasts of despicable leaders who have no shame, including Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, et al, and their ilk!