WORDS OF WISDOM FROM BRODER…. From time to time, I note my frustration with David Broder columns, so I suppose it’s only fair to give credit where credit is due. His piece today was actually quite wise.
Broder noted that he couldn’t make it to Beckapalooza yesterday, but nevertheless shared his memories of having been at the same location 47 years ago, covering the civil rights march for the now-defunct Washington Star.
The columnist noted that, in 1963, there was quite a bit of uncertainty about what to expect that day — in the media, in the Kennedy administration, throughout “white establishment Washington” — knowing that protests can “get out of hand” sometimes.
Broder, a 33-year-old beat reporter at the time, quickly realized “that the mood of the day would be fellowship and the spirit one of brotherhood.” Attendees, he found, “came to affirm their solidarity and, if you will, their humanity.”
Even before a word was spoken — let alone the eloquent words that have echoed down through history — it had become absolutely evident from the people themselves that achieving civil rights would be the way to heal, not damage, the country.
I went back to the Star wondering what it was we had been afraid of. And I’ve remembered this many times since, when people have tried to teach us to fear certain things, such as someone else’s marriage or place of worship.