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Sunday December 17th 2017Tim Candler9

 

      Bayard Rustin participated in writing the Quaker pamphlet "Speak truth to Power." His name doesn't appear at the end of the document. If you want to know why, in 1955 engaging in homosexual acts was a criminal offence. Rustin had served 60 days in a California jail for a crime called sex perversion, or sodomy. There's argument of course, but when Rustin and Martin Luther King met, King was organizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott. King had "permitted himself and his house and his children to be protected by guns."  Rustin was one of the voices that persuaded King to abandon armed protection.

 

Past

     Rustin was influenced by Quaker passivism, Phillip Randolph who was the organizer of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Workers, and Mahatma Gandhi. The pamphlet "Speak Truth to Power" contains the following sentence,  "Our truth is an ancient one: that love endures and overcomes; that hatred destroys; that what is obtained by love is retained, but what is obtained by hatred proves a burden."  Rustin died in 1987. On August 8th 2013, President Obama posthumously awarded Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Of Rustin's many quotes "We need in every bay and in every community a group of angelic troublemakers" is the one I like best.

 

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