Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Douglass-Debs Dinner

I've just come home from the Douglass-Debs Dinner in Dearborn, Michigan. The Democratic Socialists of America honored David and Judy Bonior and Judge Claudia Morcum.

It's a shame that there's no wealth of information out there about either Judy Bonior or Judge Morcum. Both are powerful, strong, amazing women who have been invaluable in the progressive movement, both with roots in the civil rights movement in Mississippi (that's right, Mississippi).

Mrs. Bonior spoke for a total of, perhaps, 2 minutes. She thanked her husband, David, and she told the following short story:

She went to an underserved Detroit junior high school to speak on a career day. Feeling like an odd duck in a group of professionals in "concrete" industries (of a tangible nature, that is, e.g. police officers), she spoke about the book that she and David authored about their walk from Macomb County to Mackinac. Not knowing whether she had connected or not, Mrs. Bonior went out into the hallway. A student physically grabbed her jacket, hard, and she tensed up.

"Hey lady," he bellowed, but then dropped his voice to barely above a whisper. "Was it beautiful out there?"

That touched her because this was his state, too.

And this being a meeting mixed of young and old, white, hispanic, black, men and women, civilians and elected officials, she turned it over to us, told us that our task is and will always be to make it beautiful out there for him.

Simple, articulate, and touching, Mrs. Bonior energized and inspired me tonight. I feel ready to take my career and my politics to the next level, in order to make it beautiful out there.

Thank you, Judy, David and Claudia. See you in Washington.

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