Thursday, May 28, 2009

One of Dem Bums

This I Believe was a radio program conceived by Edward R. Murrow in which prominent people and normal folks could share 600 words about their system of thought. It was launched in 1949. Decades later, the show was relaunched as a series on National Public Radio. In the time since then many of the articles have been collected in a series of books, also called This I Believe.

In the 1952 edition of This I Believe Jackie Robinson, the famous first African-American baseball player wrote a passage that puts me in mind of the current events of today:

... I can tell [my children] too, that they will never face some of these prejudices because other people have gone before them. And to myself I can say that, because progress is unalterable, many of today's dogmas will have vanished by the time they grow into adults. I can say to my children: There is a chance for you. No guarantee, but a chance. And this chance has come to be, because there is nothing static with free people. There is no middle ages logic so strong that it can stop the human tide from flowing forward. I do not believe that every person, in every walk of life, can succeed in spite of any handicap. That would be perfection. But I do believe - and with every fiber in me - that what I was able to attain came to be because we put behind us (no matter how slowly) the dogmas of the past to discover the truth of today; and perhaps find the truth of tomorrow.
I believe in the human race.
I believe in the warm heart.
I believe in man's integrity.
I believe in the goodness of a free society.

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