September 3, 2015

60 years ago on Friday, August 28, Emmett Till was murdered. Brutally murdered. Beaten and shot. Because he was Black. 14 years old. Living while Black. August 28, 1955.

Tell me how very different that is than what’s happening today. How appalling that we have to have a new movement, Black Lives Matter. What kind of society needs to remind itself of that?

95 years ago (August 26, 1920), the 19th Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution. Women now had the right to vote in the U.S. That happened after imprisonment of protesting women, hunger strikes, forced feeding. By the way, that battle began in the early 1870s. Do you know any of their names, those suffragettes? Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Alice Paul…?

Tell me… Is there equity yet? What kind of society doesn’t know the difference between equality and equity?

65 years ago, on June 7, 1965, Griswold v. Connecticut, the U.S. Supreme Court protected the right to privacy. Women and their families finally had the right to use “any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception.

And yet, this country still fights battles about basic human rights of women.

And, as long as I’m thinking of anniversaries… Here’s another that is particularly meaningful to me…

40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, April 30, 1975. It was about time. Vietnam was my war. Why did we ever go there? How could we have been so stupid for so long? Why is the U.S. so afraid of communism – which, of course, the U.S. thinks is socialism, too. Such an ignoble debt we owe to Joe McCarthy and HUAC.


P.S. I think all us U.S.-ers should know about these anniversaries and these stories and the named people… (I mostly don’t use the term “Americans.” As my French cousin Fabienne observed once: “Why do you people  call yourself Americans… As if the Canadians aren’t Americans and the South Americans aren’t Americans…”)



Filed under: Social Commentary

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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