“Nonviolence is the only honorable way of dealing with social change, because if we are wrong, nobody gets hurt but us, and if we are right, more people will participate in determining their own destinies than ever before.”
Rev. C. T. Vivian
Reverend Vivian, 95, passed away on Friday. He was a civil rights leader, an advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr. and national leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC). He was assaulted by Sheriff Clark in Selma, Alabama, for trying to register Black voters, beaten by guards at the Hinds County Prison Farm in Mississippi after being arrested during the Freedom Rides, and beaten and nearly drowned in St. Augustine, Florida, by a mob of chain-wielding white segregationists. Reverend Vivian was not wrong; and, strengthened by the courage of his convictions about right and justice, he went to jail and was threatened, attacked, injured, and nearly died without ever being intimidated into stopping. Reverend Vivian was right; America was wrong and was and is too slow to dismantle the injustices he rose up to challenge. He lived a life to make America better. Rest in peace, power, and justice, C. T. Vivian.
News of Reverend Vivian’s passing was soon overshadowed by the passing of Representative John Lewis but no country is so rich in heroes that we can only spare attention for one.
Read yesterday’s Thought. Thought of the Day (TOD) is selected by Rick Larios, Monday-Friday, minus public holidays and an arbitrarily chosen summer vacation. Saturday and Sunday, Stacey will be selecting TODs from the archives of past postings. Often, but not always, a comment comes with the quote. TOD originates as a personal email list-sharing and is further shared here with permission. A poem appears in full on Fridays; the copyright belongs to the poet and/or publisher. Buy poetry you like. It will be good for you, good for poets, and order from your local community bookstore and it will be good for them too.