Keep speaking out

Betsy and I raised our three daughters to take the trouble to inform themselves and to speak their minds freely. All of them have matured into intelligent, caring adults who have passed these principles along to their children. One daughter in particular, a Lutheran minister, believes in putting her beliefs into action perhaps more actively than  others. She regularly contributes her views on social media and frequently participates in protest marches, both near her home and in Washington.

No surprise that she has passed this social consciousness and responsible activism gene along to her offspring, and on this past Saturday, one of them wound up speaking her mind on local television. President Donald Trump had come to Greensboro, North Carolina, to attend a private fund-raising dinner being staged in his behalf at the home of a wealthy supporter, who lives, where else? near a golf course.

Some local residents welcomed his visit but not all. Braving intermittent rain, protesters lined the streets as close to the president’s route as Secret Service and police would allow, holding signs and giving voice to their opinions of the commander in chief. This drew the attention of a news crew from WFMY television, one of whose members approached our granddaughter, shoved a microphone at her and asked why she was there.

“We are out here because Trump is coming down to this city and infecting it with his grossness,” she declared, holding a large sign that read “LOVE WINS” in large letters. The letter “o” in “love” was in the shape of a rainbow-striped heart. A more reserved grownup might have chosen different words, but this earnest teenager meant what she said and felt it deeply. That’s what matters.

As an undergraduate in 1963, I joined some fellow students on a trip to Washington where we had the opportunity to speak in person with our congressional representative to urge him to support what was to become the Civil Rights Law. I believe that we do pass our social consciousness and activism along to successive generations. I couldn’t be prouder of our granddaughter and her parents. Keep speaking out, Fiona. You will be heard.


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