Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Mascot of February 2016: Shirley Chisholm

Kids today, oy, what are you going to do? (If you do nothing else watch the bottom video!).
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I joke, but with an ounce of truth.  History is not something many people are interested in today.  I suppose such was always the case.  Actually, I don't think think that really.  A lot of people seemed to study history before you could use the internet to google anything - so you learn very little.
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Anyway, many people don't realize how recently the lack of equality was both obvious and unsurprising.  It wasn't until 1968 that American had its first Black Congresswoman.  And she was Shirley Chisholm.  A fighter for people everywhere.

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You can read a lot about her on the net, but the most important things are the most lost in text.  The First Black Congresswoman.  Not big deal now.  But think about it! 179 years after the first Congress.  103 years after slavery ended.  It took that long for a Black Woman to be elected to the house.  And she was an orator that moved you.  She spoke simple truths honestly and without malice.  Not without emotion, but without malice.
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And she shook Washington DC up.  She was a founding member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Woman's Caucus.  She worked with Republican Bob Dole to expand the Food Stamp act (now SNAP) to prevent hunger, particularly for seniors and the children of our poorest Americans.
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In 1972 she ran for Democratic Nomination for President.  Proud to say, she got the most votes from California.
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She was fearless, and the country is better for her.
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And, in her spirit, I ask - almost beg - you to watch the video below.  It isn't about race at all, it is about how your brain works (and stars a white science guy and a bike).  But it will make you question your assumptions.  And isn't that worth just a few minutes of your time?
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1 comment:

ShellyH said...

Mind officially blown! Who knew?