Posted on Facebook, August 24, 2013
Thirty years ago, I piled onto a bus with my best friend, some radical nuns, and a mass of others for an overnight drive from Saginaw to Washington, DC. I thought parking in the Pentagon lot was kind of funny, given that we were there to march for peace, for racial and gender equality, for an end to the insanity of our nuclear buildup – and of course to celebrate and commit to Dr. King’s dream.
That morning, we brushed our teeth in front of the White House, and collected with unimaginable masses of people to march. It was a typically and oppressively hot August day, and many assembled at the Lincoln Memorial waded into the water. Of course we sang We Shall Overcome, and my youthful, white-privileged self took special significance from the fact that one of those I joined hands with was a black man, a stranger.
I was a month shy of 16. I had my way paid by a friend of the family, the path paved by sacrifices of countless others and privileges I was too young to see.
Today, I’ll take my daughters to the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate the bending of the arc toward justice, to rededicate ourselves again to the dream. I know they are too young to see most of their privileges, but I hope today’s march will stir something in them, a glimmer of what it means to feel such intense dissatisfaction with injustice that you cannot stay silent or on the sidelines. And the joy of being part of something much bigger than yourself.