The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

1 August 2005

Lest we forget

San Francisco journalist Rose Aguilar interviews Clara Luper.

You really should read the whole thing — Luper is one of the three or four most important people in the American civil-rights movement, ever — but I wanted to pass on a couple of bits.

Here, Aguilar asks, "What's the climate like today? I notice that when I go to churches, they're either all-white or all-black."

The climate today in Oklahoma has changed. The churches are still the most segregated part of Oklahoma. Our school system has changed, the employment picture has changed on the lower level, but we are still the last ones hired and the first ones fired. I think it's a climate of understanding and credit must not only be given to the NAACP. It must be given to the men that fought in World War II and the Korean War and Vietnam because these guys came back with a different attitude.

It's damned hard to hate someone who helped keep you alive.

And one more:

When I ran for the United States Senate and I was down in what is known as Little Dixie, one of the leaders of the community asked me how I felt about interracial marriage. I really hated that he asked me that because I know so many marriages have failed whether they're white and white or black and black. I told him, I have never seen an elephant having intercourse with an ant and therefore, I believe that anything that God did not want to mate, he made biologically impossible. He didn't like that, but nobody asked me about interracial marriage again. I think people are hung up on the wrong thing.

Wouldn't be the first time.

We've come a long way from the days when we set the miserable standard for Jim Crow, but there's still a way to go.

Thank you, Ms Aguilar, and thank you, Ms Luper.

And thanks to J. M. Branum, who passed on the link; he and Dr Kurt Hochenauer of Okie Funk were also interviewed.

Posted at 6:18 AM to Soonerland