Monday, January 31, 2005

The Revolution Hadn't Been Televised

Do you remember the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963, where four innocent, young black girls were killed in a bombing by racist terrorists? Denise McNair was one of the four. Did you know that she was a "friend and playmate" of the newly confirmed Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice?

Power Line's Scott Johnson (aka: The Big Trunk) writes a piece for the Weekly Standard about Birmingham's New Legacy. In it, he reminds us that in 1963, Professor Rice was only eight years old when, on September 15 of that year, during its annual Youth Day celebration, a bomb exploded in the basement of the church which killed Denise McNair and her three friends.

This is what Secretary Rice had to say about it in a commencement speech she gave on May 17, 2004, at Vanderbilt University:
I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, before the Civil Rights movement--a place that was once described, with no exaggeration, as the most thoroughly segregated city in the country. I know what it means to hold dreams and aspirations when half your neighbors think you are incapable of, or uninterested in, anything better.

I know what it's like to live with segregation in an atmosphere of hostility, and contempt, and cold stares, and the ever-present threat of violence, a threat that sometimes erupted into the real thing.

I remembered the bombing of that Sunday school at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963. I did not see it happen, but I heard it happen and I felt it happen, just a few blocks away at my father's church. It is a sound that I will never forget, that will forever reverberate in my ears. That bomb took the lives of four young girls, including my friend and playmate Denise McNair. The crime was calculated, not random. It was meant to suck the hope out of young lives, bury their aspirations, and ensure that old fears would be propelled forward into the next generation.
Referring, appropriately, to the monster segregationists as "terrorists," Rice added that "those fears were not propelled forward. Those terrorists failed."

I recommend that you catch the whole piece if you can.

Hugh Hewitt mentions that Galley Slaves blogger Jonathan Last, an editor at the Weekly Standard, is cleverly channeling excellent bloggers like Johnson into the magazine. I say, "bring it on." This is a great way for the blogosphere to influence the MSM, though I really don't consider the Standard as "mainstream" per se.

Recently, RI Blogger Justine Katz of Anchor Rising was featured in a recent issue of National Review. These are good changes to the way things go in the industry. The blogosphere has been at the root of this kind of change. Let's hope it continues.

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