----- Original Message ----- To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2005 10:29 PM Subject: Re: [HoB/D] The Vicious Issue of Housing Prices > XXX: > > Okay, you asked for it. > > The only way to effect systemic change is to change people's hearts and > minds. They have to actually be converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, > know that their own sins are forgiven, realize they have to do the same > for others. XXXXXX, that's what many said when George Wallace stood in the school house door in Tuscaloosa. But Robert Kennedy won that round for the United States of America and the University of Alabama integrated on the spot, in front of Foster Auditorium. The system of racial exclusion ended without changing the hearts of the people first. Thank God for outside Yankee agitators! Thank God for the Episcopalians who risked life and limb on the Freedom-Rider bus burned in my hometown while my father and other white leadership prayed the agitators would just go away. Thank God for Jonathan Daniels, EDS seminarian, martyred in Hayneville to prevent a racist's bullet from killing a young black girl. If we'd waited until everyone, or even a majority, in Alabama had a heart for integration before we changed the system, I assure you we would still be waiting. People need to do what is right without waiting for a seal of community approval. Jesus is always coming ready or not.. Often hearts change after, rather than before the systems change. We had to break down the unjust system of segregation before Southerners black and white could have a chance to know one another as peers. The system had to change first so that we could re-educate our hearts. I began teaching at the University in 1966, the very next autumn after the Kennedy-Wallace showdown. Several colleagues in the English Department told me privately that the highest grade that a black person could make in their classes was a "C." One black student who flunked my freshman English course showed up to take it from me again the next semester. "Robert, don't you want to try your luck with another professor?" I suggested. "No, sir," he replied; "you won't pass me until I know the material; you will work to help me master it; and you WILL pass me when I do know the material. This is where I ought to be." He earned his "C" the second time round, and then I lost touch with him. About three years later, I was walking with some friends and heard someone calling, "Hey, Mister Crew, Mister Crew...." I turned to see a huge young man whom I did not recognize. "I'm Robert, Mr. Crew, don't you remember? I'm Robert Freeman" he had a broad smile. "Robert, your arms and legs are at least twice their thickness when you took my freshman course. How did this happen?!" He had been scrawny. Now he looked like he might stop a moving railroad train. "I've been pushing cars," he beamed. "Pushing cars?" I asked, confused. "Yes, sir. pushing cars all day long all summer all over Tuscaloosa. I am going to be one of the first black linemen on Bear Bryant's team." Lutibelle/Louie L. Louie Crew, L1 Newark. Member of Executive Council 377 S. Harrison St., 12D, East Orange, NJ 07018. 973-395-1068 http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/rel.2.html Anglican Pages
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