Sunday December 17th 2017Tim
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.
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.