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Woolworth Lunch Counter Appreciation Day

August 3, 2012

I’m at a weird place in my life – I’m old enough to be able to remember the Time Before. I suppose everyone gets to this point if they live long enough. Our reward is that we can either amaze (or bore) the young with our vast knowledge of history that has happened in our own actual lifetime.

I remember the time Before Civil Rights. Just barely, but some things I remember distinctly, because I was learning about them at the age where a child, not knowing any better, asks hard questions.

I remember my mom telling me that the nice neighbor lady did not believe that black and white people should be allowed to get married.

“Why?” I asked. The toughest question of all.

“Well, honey, because of her religion.”

We weren’t religious, so I didn’t understand.

“If you’re religious and you’re black and white, you can’t get married?”

“No, just some religions.”

“Why?”

“They believe it isn’t natural for white and black people to get married.”

I remember that. I remember people believing that it wasn’t natural for two races to mix. I remember they had Bible verses to back it up – the mark of Cain, darkness upon them, that sort of thing. The same people who seemed very nice and friendly believed this earnestly.

Now I’m looking back on this history as I look on the present. Now the nice, friendly people are saying it isn’t right for gay people to get married. No one talks about interracial marriage anymore. Apparently now interracial marriage IS natural. It isn’t something religious people concern themselves with anymore, or admit they ever did.

No, now it is gay people that aren’t natural. Two women, two men, they can’t love each other the way we can. Even though millions of people do. Even though many gay couples stay together for decades, lifetimes. It isn’t what God wants, though hundreds of species have homosexual behavior, it isn’t what God created.

You know what? I don’t believe it. I don’t believe those people are talking about free speech. I don’t believe they hate the sin but love the sinner. I don’t believe, because I have seen history with my own eyes and those people were wrong back then and they’re sure as hell wrong now.

Gaviota, 1964 or 65
Back when it was ok to deny black people rights because that was the natural thing to do.

11 Comments
  1. August 3, 2012 22:00

    Apparently it’s STILL okay in some parts of this country to deny black people rights because that’s the “natural thing to do”…

    http://news.yahoo.com/mississppi-church-refuses-marry-black-couple-205218322–abc-news-topstories.html

    It’s a sick, sad world.

    • August 4, 2012 15:56

      At least now that kind of thing is a point of almost universal outrage…

  2. August 4, 2012 15:54

    I remember that time. I wonder what’s next, in a few decades, when the gays are finally accepted. Who else can they judge?

    • August 4, 2012 15:56

      I kind of hope it is people who have Truck Nuts.

    • August 5, 2012 23:41

      People who use drugs in ways YOU don’t approve of. You’re guilty too, so now you understand how it works.

  3. August 5, 2012 23:21

    Great post, Sue!

    • August 13, 2012 09:51

      Thanks, Jane. Coming from you, that means a lot.

  4. August 9, 2012 19:35

    I love every word of this piece. Thank you.

  5. August 13, 2012 12:30

    I loved this post, Sue. So well written and expressed. Perfect!

  6. August 16, 2012 06:40

    As always, you make an excellent case very beautifully.

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