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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 173
                Because this social revolution will continue until justice is righted, I
             want my parents’ friends to understand what is happening. I want every-
             one to know that every time a Negro minister is dragged down courthouse
             steps, Christ is dragged again; that every time a Negro girl is killed in a
             senseless Sunday School bombing, Christ is killed again; that subhuman
             housing, substandard education, all the devices and implements of racial
             hatred and prejudice have as their victim not a race or a mere cultural
             minority. They have as their victim Christ.
                I want them all to know that my generation of Chaneys and Good-
             mans and Schwerners is in a state of revolution, and certain values once
             held can no longer be supported by antiquated law or outdated custom,
             by private agreement or public indifference. Already the barber in the
             shopping center near my home can no longer insist to me after a casual
             question that he will never cut a Negro’s hair. Discrimination has always
             been immoral. Now it is illegal as well.
                I want my good Catholic friends, even the ones who attend study
             clubs and Holy Name and Altar-Rosary, to know something that I found
             out about them, about the ones who say they have nothing against Negroes
             but don’t want any next door. They say they know they are prejudiced,
             but they can’t help it. But when they talk about it, it’s clear they’re not
             anti-Negro because Negroes have dark skins. Their prejudice is against
             filth and poverty and laziness and vice. These are what they hate. Not
             Negroes. And when these otherwise good people finally make this dis-
             tinction, they see that discrimination in jobs and education has bred the
             poverty all must war against. They see that poverty breeds defeat and
             dirt and hopelessness and sin in whatever group it enters. It is then they
             see that it is not the victim, the Negro, that they hate. But rather it is the
             cause and the cancer itself, the denial of human dignity and rights implicit
             in discrimination, that they despise. And this practicing Catholics need
             to know for a right conscience; for prejudice, no matter how it is sliced, is
             sinful.
                Christ was the world’s greatest rebel. Christianity is the religion of
             revolution. And the Church in these days of ecumenical renewal is out
             to establish beachheads. Revolutions are not new to the Church and she
             knows how to handle them. The Church, founded in upheaval, has seen
             too much growth come from upheaval to cast any movement off lightly.
                Every nation that ever rose and fell, collapsed because people who
             forgot how to suffer and sacrifice themselves for justice weakened its
             moral fiber. Today the American Negro character stands purified by cen-
             turies of patient suffering. Full integration has legally come. The racially
             incestuous barriers of cultures and ideas and blood will be melted away.
             And as the Negro is accepted into the society of American business and

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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