Dear John Lewis,
This section of MARCH was infuriating and depressing to read. Reading about the trials of African Americans as they fought for their right to vote and to end segregation broke my heart. It’s appalling to look back and see just what the police and other whites were willing to do to keep African Americans as essentially second class citizens. And even after Kennedy’s assassination and Johnson’s push for equality, things like literacy test still stood in the way of equality. The worst thing was remembering than most of the things the police did had been completely legal; I have to wonder if it was your intention to re enforce the idea that just because something is legal does not mean it is moral.
One thing that was completely gut wrenching was when the 3 kids when to Mississippi to volunteer for Freedom Summer and disappeared. The vile actions of the police made me infuriated that someone would kill 3 people in cold blood to try and deter others from fighting for their rights. It hit me particularly hard when the members of the SNCC explained that things like that would continue to happen but the ends would justify the means. Even with all the protests, inequality still stood.
MARCH has really been pushing the idea of fighting for your rights and standing your ground. Even when it seemed futile, they pushed on because nothing was going to change if they didn’t take it for themselves. I definitely think that is a lesson that will continue to be relevant for decades to come, especially since a lot of new laws have felt like a backslide of human rights in the past few years. What is legal is not always what is right and we have to remember that we cannot give in to discrimination no matter what.