Monday, August 25, 2008

Lyndon Johnson's week

I put this under the auspices of history and not politics. As most of you know, I have a passion for history. I already knew that Barack Obama's speech on Thursday will be the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963. What I failed to remember is that Wednesday, 27 August, would have been Lyndon Johnson 100th birthday. A great Texan despite all his foibles, he, as a southerner, was able to have the courage to risk his legacy on something he knew to be right: equal rights. His reward? Ostracization.

There's a good article at the New Yorker's website by George Packer about Johnson and his legacy and how three events--Obama's speech, MLK's speech, and LBJ's birthday--are all coinciding this week. Whether or not you intend to vote for Obama or even like the man, the symbolism of this week is inescapable. And it makes this American very proud to be an American.

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