Sunday, November 26, 2006

Nashville Sit-ins
Yesterday, WNET here in NYC ran Eyes on the Prize, the landmark 1987 documentary series about the American civil rights movement. The segment shown yesterday detailed the Nashville sit-ins and the day they went violent: Saturday, February 27, 1960. A video excerpt is here.

It details an amazing example of non-violent protest in the face of violence (BTW, UCLA allows their police officers to taser people for such things). Some of the whites throughout the video throw anti-axioms still used by straight, white, conservative bigots today. Things like: "they were asking for it" and "enforcing equal treatment is violating my civil rights." Watching the video excerpt - the white men talking, the white men beating - reaffirmed my belief that anything that forces straight white males to behave themselves can't be a bad thing.

Seeing this documentary always makes me experience a few things: admiration for the extremely brave students; disgust for the ignorant bigots; hope from remembering that, even in the worst situations, there are always good people; and a nervous contemplation knowing that walking down the street holding another man's hand would still be physcially dangerous in the area I was raised.