Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Renaissance Men vs. Medieval Haters

Wow. Cool wild lightning flashes and big Thor thunder outside.

The once admirable civil rights fighter Marion Barry has folded, refusing to support equal rights and standing on the side of ignorance, along with a gang of "ministers" just about holding pitchforks outside the DC council meeting.

And just a few days ago, there I was calling out to DH over breakfast, reading aloud chunks of Colbert King's column and banging the table in astounded approval. He reports on Morehouse College president Robert M. Franklin's recent address, in which he calls Morehouse students "Renaissance men with social conscience and global perspective."

The column goes on to quote the speech:

"As an all-male institution with the explicit mission of educating men with disciplined minds," said Franklin, "the great challenge of this moment in history is our diversity of sexual orientation."

"Why don't we," he asked the students, "use this opportunity to model something our community needs?"

"Straight men," Franklin said, "should learn more about the outlooks and contributions of gay men. Read a book by a gay author. Have an intelligent conversation with a gay neighbor." Franklin reminded the Morehouse students: "At a time when it was truly scandalous to have homosexual friends or associates, Dr. King looked to Bayard Rustin, a black gay man, as a trusted adviser. And, Malcolm X regarded James Baldwin, a black gay man, as a brilliant chronicler of the black experience."

"To my straight brothers," he said, "diversity at Morehouse is an opportunity that can enrich your education if you are courageous enough to seize the opportunity. We cannot force you, but we invite you to learn from your environment."

Um, amen?

Photo: More info on the film.

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