Last night I attended the NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. It was their 25th year, but the first year I’ve been.
One of the ladies at the Democratic Women’s Club mentioned it and I bought a ticket. Teresa did, too. So, we went together.
When we arrived, we ran into a number of people we know from the democratic party, as well as others. I was a little surprised that the only state representative there was Mark Treaster, but it’s hard to get everywhere you want to be when you’re a rep. I’ve learned that from Mark and Jan.
Judge Greg Waller was the keynote speaker. I had seen him in January at the MLK celebrations here. You may recognize his name as the judge who presided over the BTK case with Dennis Rader.
He spoke about that last night, and invited questions. He said he thought it was obvious that Rader was “a man possessed.” I found that a powerful statement.
He’s an eloquent, accomplished man. He spoke about the recent situations in the south east and said that he thought it was economics even more than race related.
One of the things he talked about last night, that I had let slip from my mind, was how the civil rights movement of the late 50s and early 60s called an end to the “gradualism” of civil rights. This concept has been holding people back for generations, and it still continues.
I’m so very glad I was there last night to hear this, because I had forgotten this very important change in our approach. The idea that things will change gradually – wether in the case of civil rights or our country improving – is very flawed. The only change that can really occur must happen more quickly.
He is originally from Hutchinson, so many people here know him. In fact, when Jocelyn was over tonight she was mentioning that she remembered him when they were kids.
The NAACP was founded in February of 1909 by a group of black and white citizens who thought everyone should be treated fairly. Finally, last night, 96 years later, I got around to joining. I was overdue.