Sunday, August 16, 2015

Julian Bond (January 14, 1940 – August 15, 2015)

I've been a fan of Julian Bond for a great many years. I remember applauding when it was suggested at the 1968 Democratic Convention that he run for President.  Neither of us was old enough.

There are and have been many practitioners of Civil Rights leadership but he was different in so many ways from the rest. I admired his unassailable dignity, his rhetorical ability and it never hurt that he could have been the twin brother of  my best friend.

I joined and started contributing to the NAACP when George W. went to war with him even though I have no African heritage other than what comes through American culture to all of us in music, art, letters and popular culture.

I will miss him and that leadership has passed to many lesser men is doubly sad.  Listening to what passes for moral direction these days: hearing that my life doesn't matter, the equal justice for all isn't the goal, that justice comes from the mob and evidence doesn't count -- that no one can be trusted as an ally, and worst of all that nothing has been accomplished and everyone is a racist at heart, I despair.

Julian Bond and I are of an age, of a generation that is passing, our advice ignored or ridiculed or even called ugly names.  I fear it's giving way to a generation of jihadists, opportunists and professional zealots and as it is with so many such, it's all about power. the dream we shared is gone.

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