The Selma open line; the struggle continues | Arkansas Blog

The Selma open line; the struggle continues

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Here's the Sunday open line. Saw "Selma" today from the comfort of the new recliner reserved seats at Breckenridge. Fine movie.

The resistance to equal rights — and the invocations of various characters about preserving their way of life — was eerily reminiscent of a modern-day civil rights struggle for gay rights. It was reminiscent, too, of legislative efforts in the South to roll back voting rights depicted in the film. In today's struggle for equality, the Deep South again must look to  the federal courts — if not some state courts — for equal treatment under the law in public accommodation, housing and employment. A tip of the hat to the Arkansas Supreme Court at least in the case of voting rights for invalidating the Republican Voter ID law designed to suppress the votes of the poor, minorities and elderly (richly portrayed in their struggle in Selma).

In those days, you also heard people invoke a religious basis for opposing race mixing. Frank Bruni wrote a worthy column in today's New York Times on the religious freedom argument that has been trumped up to defend people of routine commercial services who claim a religious basis to discriminate against gay people. So did diner operators back in the bad old days, which aren't so old after all.

Parallels with present-day struggles; the history (and dispute over that history, particularly about LBJ) and the always-inspiring archival film footage aside, the casting was excellent. Any  show with Wendell Pierce (who played Martin Luther King's lieutenant Hosea Williams) is usually good with me.


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