Keep on marching for justice — the way heroes of the civil rights movement showed us how
“I photographed Dr. King at Soldier Field as he spoke these words: ‘I am still convinced that there is nothing more powerful to dramatize and expose a social evil than the tramp, tramp, tramp of marching feet.’”
The following suggestions for how to protest are based on my experiences as a civil rights activist and photographer, in marches in the South and North, with civil rights heroes past and present.
1. Marches must be peaceful and designed to change laws; rid the country of illegal, oppressive or harmful practices; remove from office bigoted and hateful politicians; educate and inspire.
2. Marchers never destroy, tear down, vandalize, taunt, set fires, damage or injure people or property. Period.
3. Limit marchers from six to eight people across for better control. Marches often delay traffic, but that should never be the goal.
4. Experienced and trusted protesters should be in the front line of all marches. They know what should and should not be done when confronted by police, infiltrators or groups with opposing objectives.
5. If you march, leave your bicycles, skateboards and roller skates at home. Bicycles and skateboards have been used as weapons.
6. Absolutely no umbrellas allowed. Let the “umbrella babies” be exposed for who they are and what they do: infiltrate peaceful protests to vandalize and engage in violent action. Marchers must not give unwitting cover to those who come to sow discord and create an atmosphere of violence and hate.
7. Marchers with anger management issues must stay home. Any violence by protesters will play a starring role in Trump campaign ads shown repeatedly around the country.
8. Find creative ways to march peacefully and respectfully, in small groups in neighborhoods, on issues important to families living there.
SEND LETTERS TO: email@example.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be approximately 350 words or less.
9. Choose your civil rights marches wisely. Don’t get distracted by issues of little immediate importance. Marches should focus on issues that make revolution unnecessary.
10. Before marching, watch news clips of men and women like Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, John Lewis and others. They marched, stood and knelt with dignity. These actions spoke to the heart and soul of America and changed our country forever. We must do no less.
While I photographed Dr. King in Soldier Field on July 10, 1966, he spoke these words from the podium: “I am still convinced that there is nothing more powerful to dramatize and expose a social evil than the tramp, tramp, tramp of marching feet.”
So, let’s keep on marching.
Bernard Kleina, Wheaton
Income inequality is reality, not myth
It’s always helpful to puzzle through statistics as Mona Charen did in her column on Aug 21.
Charen pointed out that “there are many more single adult households than in times past. So ‘household income’ can appear lower, when the income of individuals has actually increased.” Makes sense.
It’s also helpful to keep questioning the interpretations of statistics. Earlier in the article, Charen argued that middle class wages have not stagnated over the past 30 years because “since 1990, the wages of typical workers (not managers or supervisors) have increased by 33%. Maybe that’s not enough, but it’s not stagnation.”
Seems worse than stagnation to me since, due to inflation, prices have increased by 98% over those 30 years.
Kevin Coughlin, Evanston
Save democracy on Nov. 3
Every day, Donald Trump takes another action to compromise our upcoming election. Americans are expected to vote by mail in record numbers this fall. Trump appointed a postmaster general who immediately began to remove mail-sorting machines and mail boxes, and to cancel overtime, guaranteeing that mail delivery would slow down. Trump’s campaign is now suing several states to impede voters casting ballots by mail, claiming widespread fraud despite a lack of evidence.
Now he says he will send cops as “poll watchers” on Election Day. This is pure intimidation.
We are seeing the destruction of the cornerstone of our democracy, our precious right to vote. Speakers at the Democratic convention were absolutely right when they said our nation is facing one of its most crucial elections, Our democracy is at a crossroads. In one direction is a continuation of our basic institutions, in the other is the destruction of our way of life by the rise of a dictator.
It is essential that all Americans have the opportunity to cast their votes in a timely and safe manner. We can’t let Trump destroy that opportunity. If he wins on Nov. 3, it will be the end of the United States of America’s “Grand Experiment.”
Karen Wagner, Rolling Meadows