Messages resonate 50 years on
As I watched and listened to the inspirational programs about the Aug. 28, 1963, "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom," I was struck by three things.
First, I had not remembered that it was a march for jobs as well as freedom. President Kennedy's assassination and the subsequent focus on civil rights, coupled with Martin Luther King's emergence as a champion of equality and justice, apparently trumped the agenda of "jobs" in our history.
Second, that agenda is unfulfilled. It is our most pressing agenda if we want to renew our commitment to democracy, and we must provide more than subsistence-level opportunities in the richest country on earth. Recent government statistics show that nearly a third of our population lives below or near the poverty line - which has not been re-examined since the 1960s. President Johnson's phrase "war on poverty" was ill-conceived; instead we need a national discussion that involves all sectors of the economy (labor, corporations, small businesses, finance, the federal reserve, etc.) in a meaningful process of conflict resolution that addresses what it means now to have a "living wage."
Third, King's famous speech that day described the freedom to function as an American citizen with equal rights - the freedom to vote, to attend a decent public school, to use public facilities without restriction or discrimination or harassment based on the color of one's skin. While the legislation and amendments to the Constitution passed in the 1960s made these freedoms legally defensible, we know that they are not yet equally and reliably available to all people of color.
The more serious problem, however, is that the meaning of freedom now seems to be only the individual's freedom to do as s/he pleases, short of breaking a specific law. What is lost in this formula is the idea that in a democracy we are all citizens with responsibilities to pay attention to the larger idea of freedom for all people. It was good to be reminded of this on Aug. 28, 2013.
Society thanks donors, attendees
Christ Child Society recently held its fundraiser luncheon and style show. Because of the donors and Door County Medical Center who sponsored the event, and a good attendance, the Society will be able to help 42 students who are in need of help with back to school supplies and some clothing.
Christ Child Society thanks the following donors: Birch Creek, American Folklore, Peninsula Music, Door County Auditorium, A C Tap, Mistletoe Shop, Peninsula Players, the Mill Supper Club, Plum Loco, Schartner's Farm Market, Casey's BBQ, Carlsville Roadhouse, Door County Coffee, Door County Interiors, Welsing's Foodland, Schopf's Dairy View, Sturgeon Bay Florist, Marchant's Meats, Third Avenue Play House, Red Oak Winery, Second Gear, Sherry's Hallmark, Glidden Lodge, Pipka's, Gage, Spin Yarn Shop, Verlo, Miller Art Museum, Mike's Port Pub, Touch Of Class, Christine's, Hide Side, Higbees, Patricia's Creative Touch, Log Den, and private individual donors.
A special thank you to Christ Child Society members who worked hard to make the luncheon a success and also to all who were in attendance. We thank you all.