A nice short piece from NPR yesterday, about a courageous mother who stood up to a hostile neighbourhood and antigonistic police to let her black son swim in the newly-desegregated swimming pool in their town:
Even at the age of 13, Holmes felt the animosity. The neighborhood had a private swim club that opened up to anyone who participated in the Memorial Day parade. Holmes was in the band.
“I arrived at the pool on Memorial Day having marched in the parade with my uniform still on, and they called the police,” he says.
The pool managers and the police department told Holmes’ mother that her son was not allowed in the pool. She started to ask why, but then she stopped herself. Instead, she told Holmes to crawl under the turnstile and go into the pool.
“I looked at my mother; I looked at the police,” Holmes says. “And I will tell you that as a 13-year-old, I was more inclined to do what my mother said than to be afraid of the police. So I did it.”
A policeman told Holmes’ mother to get him. Holmes distinctly remembers her response: “If you want him out of the pool, you go take him out of the pool. And by the way, as you take him out, you tell him why he can’t go in the pool today.”
“No one came. No one got me out, and I stayed in the pool,” Holmes says.
I think I needed to post something positive – albeit from 1956 – as an antidote to all of the Donald Trump / Birtherism nonsense that has been dominating the US news recently.