Civil Rights Movement Was The Birth Of Activism In Our Nation

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Although I was not in Washington the day that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic “I have a dream speech”, I was one of many Anglos who dared to cross the Mason Dixon Line to battle in the trenches with Dr. King in the following years. 

As we celebrate the anniversary of his epic intercourse on “human rights,” it is up to us who shed our blood and dodged the bullets, to continue to keep alive the true message that Dr. King pontificated. The motivation behind The Civil Rights movement was not just to protect the civil liberties of our black citizens, but all Americans. Dr. King’s work not only changed our social makeup and our legal system, it gave birth to an entirely new generation of citizen parliamentarians.

Prior to this, social and political change was something we could only dream about. The chances of a politician taking up your cause were “slim and none.” But when Dr. King echoed those words, "A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus," he ignited a fire that still burns within our souls: Instead of accepting the inevitable consequences of a broken system, we can indeed take control of our own future and change it.

Not only did the movement transform the consciousness of society by ending overt racism; it was the catalyst that brought a new awareness to our country. All of us, regardless of ethnicity, now realized that we entertained the same spiritual and social concerns for responsible management of our lives and shared equally congruent values.

Entire movements for change grew out of this courageous case for human rights and liberty. New citizen reformers quickly emerged from the embers of the fire that Dr. King had kindled. These pioneers emulated many of the same strategies, and tactics as those used in the Civil Rights Movement. 

Mainstream politicians like Senator Robert Byrd, West Virginia, an admitted former member of the Ku Klux Klan, and Governor George Wallace of Alabama, a viciously self professed segregationist, eventually tried to distance themselves from their former explicitly racist platforms, and disguise their former agendas.

As Dr. King said, “Change does not roll on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.” The Civil rights Movement indeed was the true birth of activism in our nation. Today, many of us same individuals who labored tirelessly working for change in the 60’s, are now leading some of the most aggressive movements for change in our country.

We now realize we no longer must accept the fate that a chosen few elitists have bestowed upon us. Through the legacy of Dr. King we have learned how to peacefully organize and battle the perfidious establishment and regain control of our lives and our country. And yes, our lives do “begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” And that, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

And we must never forget that, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

William Haupt
Tennesseans Against Forced Annexation


Howley Has New Ideas And New Energy For Signal Mountain

Over the last several years, I have had the opportunity to serve with Chris Howley on the Signal Mountain Recreation Advisory Board.  During this time, I obtained an insight into the qualities that make Chris Howley an outstanding candidate to serve on the Signal Mountain Town Council.Chris has spent countless hours on the board overseeing the numerous recreation leagues and ... (click for more)

A Vote For Education Is Critical In Tennessee

In a state where just 28 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math and 33 percent are proficient in reading according to national assessments, education is deserving of more attention in 2014 elections. Across the country, more parents are making informed decisions about their child’s education, but for Volunteer State parents without resources, choices are difficult to come ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

Cold, Wet Front To Make For Chilly And Damp Trick Or Treating; Snow Showers Possible Saturday

A surge of cold, moist air will make for less-than-ideal trick or treat conditions on Halloween night. Temperatures are expected to dip below freezing this weekend. There is a possibility of snow showers in Chattanooga on Saturday. Here is the latest forecast: Today Showers likely, mainly after 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. Calm wind becoming northwest ... (click for more)

Owls Beat McMinn, 30-12, To Complete Unbeaten Regular Season

Undefeated. Sounds nice, huh. After a sluggish first half that produced only three points on a Laszlo Toser field goa., third-ranked Ooltewah came to life in the third quarter, riddled McMinn County’s defense with three Kelvin Leon touchdown passes in the third quarter and went on to beat the Cherokees, 30-12, at James N. Monroe Stadium to secure the school’s third unbeaten ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Clobbers Grundy Co. For 7-AA Title

Notre Dame coach Charles Fant is always hoping that his Fighting Irish football team can get off to a fast start. He never thought it would be as quick as what he saw Thursday night at Jim Eberle Field. With a District 7-AA championship on the line on an evening when they honored all of the fall senior athletes, a football game turned into a track meet and eventually a victory ... (click for more)