Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Rather than spend this day looking for an apt quote by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King to share, or a link to one of his speeches, I decided to sign this online petition that demands the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, be renamed for Rep. John Lewis, one of MLK’s allies, who upon this same bridge was nearly beaten to death by people who refused to accept the idea of equal rights being granted to black Americans.
Edmund Pettus, the bridge’s namesake, was not only a Confederate brigadier general. After the South was defeated he went on to become a grand dragon in the KKK and then a United States senator from Alabama from 1897 – 1907. He was the last Confederate officer to be granted such a high position in the government he’d once fought fiercely to overthrow.
Not only does Rep. John Lewis deserve to have this bridge named after him for the life he’s led, the sacrifices he made, and the violence he suffered on this very spot, but Edmund Pettus has long deserved to be consigned to history’s dustbin.
Confederate monuments in America will take more forms than statuary; some of them are bridges, some of them are elementary schools, and some of them are laws. All of them have been shielded by either stubborn, petulant racism or by the fool romantic notion that every lost cause is in its own way noble, when in truth some causes are lost because they should never have been taken up as causes in the first place.
I don’t know how much power any online petition has to affect change. Sometimes it’s not so much the signatures that do the work as it is people talking about why they affixed their signatures.