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September 25, 1987 - Image 88

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-09-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

PEOPLE

CUSTOM
CLEANERS

LAUNDRY ALTERATIONS
SILK FINISHING

855-4870

Hunter's Square
Orchard Lk. & 14 Mile
Farmington Hills

WOULD LIKE TO
WISH YOU AND
YOURS A
VERY HAPPY
NEW YEAR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR
FROM THE STAFF
AT
CASUAL . CLOTHING
COMPANY

559-1551

To all of our friends and customers...
our sincerest wishes for health and
prosperity in the New Year

from three generations
of the Weintraub family

Southfield, MI 48034

Hghway,

HOURS. M-F 10arn-5145pcn, Sat 10am-5Pm
NOrthWeStettl

"SUNSET STRIP" 29536

PHONE: 357-4000

se

HAPPY
NEW YEAR.
HAPPY
NEW YEAR!

Guaranty Federal
Savings Bank

INN

_AA /111=1111

We outnice the other banks.

TAYLOR, LINCOLN PARK, DEARBORN, RIVERVIEW. WYANDOTTE. ALLEN PARK, TRENTON, SOUTHGATE, FARMINGTON HILLS

374-3300

.84

FRIDAV,SEPT. 25;1987

71:

Tribute To Rustin:
Living The Great Ideals

JOHN BUCHANAN

S

ince journalism is the
first draft of history,
it's especially hearten-
ing that the nation's
newspapers provided such ex-
tensive coverage of the career
of the veteran civil rights
leader Bayard Rustin, who
died recently at the age of 77.
Rustin was the kind of
public figure whose ac-
complishments all too often
are unreported and
unrecognized. As an assistant
to A. Philip Randolph and a
mentor to Martin Luther
King, Rustin was a leading
strategist for several decades
of civil rights struggles, from
Randolph's March on
Washington Movement in the
1940s, to the Montgomery
bus boycott and Freedom
Rides of the 1950s, and
countless marches, sit-ins,
and demonstrations during
the 1960s.
It was especially poignant
that Rustin died in August,
almost 24 years after his
greatest accomplishment:
organizing the historic 1963
March on Washington, at
which Dr. King proclaimed,
"I have a dreamy' For millions
of Americans of my genera-
tion, that march — perhaps
more than any other event of
our lifetimes — symbolized
the hope that the American
dream and the promises on
paper of the Constitution
'could become a living reality
for all the people.
As James Baldwin wrote of
that day in August 1963:
"That day, for a moment, it
almost seemed that we stood
on a height, and could see our
inheritance; perhaps we could
make the kingdom real,
perhaps the beloved com-
munity would not forever re-
main that dream one dream-
ed in agony."
While the days of late
August call to mind memories
of that wonderful moment,
they also call to mind simpler
memories: of young people go-
ing back to school. And I find
myself wondering whether
America's young people will
have the opportunity to learn
about Rustin and about other
leaders.who shaped our socie-
ty by participating in the con-

John Buchanan is chairman of
People For the American Way, a
250,000-member nonpartisan
constitutional liberties
organization. A Southern Baptist
minister, he is a former eight-term
Republican Congressman from
Alabama.

Bayard Rustin

flicts and controversies of
their times.
Bayard Rustin was, as the
Atlanta Constitution declared,
"a hero for our times." But
will our young people have
the opportunity to learn
about Rustin and similar
heroes and heroines?
When I read the articles
that appeared about Rustin
following his death, it occured
to me that so much about his
life is inextricably linked
with events and concepts that
have been banished from our
textbooks — or, at the very
least, stripped of their excite-
ment and emotional impact..
Rustin was born il-
legitimate; he grew up in a
small town in Pennsylvania
where racial discrimination
was a daily reality; a former
Communist, he later became
a fierce critic of Soviet
totalitarianism; a committed
pacifist, he was imprisoned
for refusing military service.„
a dedicated practitioner of
civil disobedience, he was ar-
rested countless times for
refusing to obey laws he con-
sidered unjust.
The self-appointed censors
of our nation's textbooks and
self-styled protectors of our
young people's virtue would
shield students from reading
about the ideas that
distinguished Rustin and his
life's work; yet I, for one,
believe that young people
would be. inspired to learn
that this man and the
movements he advised have
had so great an impact upon
our history.
Not only have history tex-
tbooks underplayed the con-
troversal chapters of history
in which activists like Rustin
played so inspiring a role, but
civics textbooks have down-
played the very idea of con-
troversy itself. Civics texts all
too often are lifeless descrip-
tions of the institutions and
processes of government and
neglect to mention the role
which individual citizens and
Continued-on Page 86

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