Favorite

This, too, will pass 

I was caught unawares and saddened by U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder's announcement last Friday afternoon that he wouldn't seek re-election this year.

It's always been safe to take Snyder at face value. If he said his four children, including three one-year-old triplets, were the deciding factor, then they were the deciding factor. Certainly, though, the prospect of a venomous re-election battle meant he'd have been torn away from the children even more than as a commuting congressman.

From my political perspective, Snyder was too good to be true for a Southern congressman. He is not reflexively liberal. He is far too thoughtful for that. But he is reliably courageous. A lonely vote against a popular war? He cast one. Support of full rights for the country's oppressed sexual minorities when the noisy mob said it was political poison? Vic Snyder was a man for all seasons.

All is not lost for Democrats with Snyder's leave-taking. Indeed, Democrats' chances might be improved by a fresh face from outside Washington in this race, such is the unhappiness with incumbents. John Brummett wrote this week that a mushy centrist, preferably from a growing red suburban county (Faulkner, Saline) might be the ticket to complement Pulaski County's usual strong preference for Democrats.

A mushy centrist would be pretty disappointing after unalloyed courage, but better than a teabagger. Just as total failure of a health bill will be disappointing, even if the bill's a mushy compromise. Just as the implosion of Barack Obama's esteem among voters is disappointing.

But I was reminded on Monday's King holiday that things can change for the better. Taking the longer view, you could easily see Monday that Martin Luther King Jr. was right. The arc of the moral universe DOES bend toward justice.

I ran a photo Monday on the Arkansas Blog of a 1958 state Capitol rally of segregationists bearing signs saying race mixing was communism. Their shrill cries that year weren't a dying gasp of hate. Faubusism held sway in Arkansas for too many more years. But change did come.

Those same Capitol steps were employed Monday for a rally at the end of the NAACP's Martin Luther King Day “marade.” Ambitious politicians of every hue took part. Nor was this the only event of note.

Nolan Richardson, the black man who led Arkansas to the promised land of men's basketball, spoke at a King day event at Philander Smith College. John Walker, who's been suing the Little Rock School District for racial justice since not too many years after that seg rally at the Capitol in 1958, challenged consciences again with a speech at the Clinton School of Public Service. Walker and the school's namesake, Bill Clinton, both come from a place called Hope.

At the Central High School National Historic site, park rangers read to children from a book about King in the shadow of the school where federal troops were necessary to deliver on the Constitution's promise of equality in 1957.

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a shiny new monument to the black experience in Arkansas, called citizens, black and white, to a day of service.

If this kind of race mixing be communism, let it roll down like a mighty stream. Meanwhile, I'll try not to unduly sweat the smaller stuff, big as it might seem on any given day. Like one of my favorite hymns says, a thousand ages in thy sight are like an evening gone.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Group says sales tax holiday bad policy

    The Tax Foundation has issued its annual reminder that sales tax "holidays," such as Arkansas's coming "holiday" Aug. 5-6 for school clothing and supplies, are nothing more than unproductive gimmicks.
    • Jul 25, 2017
  • The secret health bill and one man's personal view of it

    Russian intrigue dominated news coverage today when something with more lasting importance could be decided in the Senate today — health coverage for millions of American. One man with a personal stake, Matt DeCample, writes about what it means to him.
    • Jul 25, 2017
  • Trump turns Boy Scout appearance into political youth rally

    Donald Trump spoke, as many other presidents have, to the National Boy Scout Jamboree and it's an event, overlooked in the morning paper, that's worth examining.
    • Jul 25, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016
  • Double-talk

    A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.
    • Jun 29, 2017

Most Shared

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • We're No. 1! in vote suppression

    It's not often that Arkansas can claim national leadership, so give Secretary of State Mark Martin credit for something.

    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Bangin' in LR

    About 2:30 a.m. Saturday, with the Power Ultra Lounge downtown jammed for a rap show by Finese2Tymes (Ricky Hampton of Memphis), gunfire broke out. Before it was over, 25 people had been wounded by gunfire and three others injured in the rush for safety.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • IBS, were you there in Benghazi to personally witness all of Hillary's blunders like you…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • If God felt it necessary to replace the ten commandments, he could do it like…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Football for UA Little Rock

    • He's BSC. Students and tuition-paying parents should be VERY vocal that a football program won't…

    • on July 23, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation