The Noble Civil Rights Movement (Part 1)



Despite my conservative views, I was raised in a house with two liberal parents who were actively involved in their local public employees’ union.  The Noble Civil Rights Movement (as it was always described in my house) was a frequent subject of conversation at our dinner table.  I watched my father yell in anger at the world with the news of the murder of Malcolm X (whose autobiography I read when I was 9 or 10) and we all cried with word of the assasination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  There were certain core beliefs that were drilled into my head as a child and which I continue to stand behind even after much reflection as an adult:

1)   All people are equal regardless of gender, race, skin color or religion;

2)  There should be equality of opportunity for everyone regardless of gender, race, skin color, religion or the prestige (or lack thereof) of mommy and daddy;

3)  Gender, race, skin color and religion should not be the basis of hiring/firing, promotion, determining pay, college entrance or receipt of any public benefit;

4)  Everyone is subject to the law equally regardless of gender, race, skin color, religion or the prestige (or lack thereof) of mommy and daddy;

5)  No club or organization should promote one gender, race or skin color at the expense of another, especially in a school or work setting;

6)  Everyone has a right to believe, or not, in the religion and belief system of their choice;

7)  The First Amendment applies to speech we detest as much as to speech we like.

While I have always taken these beliefs as basic concepts of respect, and in my case Christianity, I have been shocked by how thoughts such as the above still engender such words of hate and violence right here in Orange County.  I view these as the basic rights that should be afforded to a civilized society and I am always surprised by the push back that I get.

About Geoff Willis