In the face of injustice, I turned my head the other way
You are an incredible person Michael. Writing this was so hard but you did it. I hope Timmy reads it and knows that while you may have failed him in the moment, the experience and your conscience led you to go forward and lead a life that has benefitted individuals, groups and our country as a whole. We all have things like this we would like to forget. An impulsive, cruel word spoken, an act we wish we could do over, an omission that could have made a difference etc. However, not everyone learns from the experience and changes. Be proud of the man you have become. We have benefitted from your words here, from your films, from your advocacy. God bless you!
True courage comes in many forms. Thank you for trying to "right the wrongs" all these years.
This was an inspiring story for me. I am so glad we are alive at the same tile and I got to know about you. Courage seems to follow some terrible surprising event for most people. Not having it at that moment should not keep you from having a second chance. My experiences as a privileged white male led me for a time to be a Public Defender. I’ll leave it to you to imagine what those were but they echoed some of yours. May this simple message to you be some comfort: “Everyone we meet is in a battle we know nothing about. Be kind always.” (Robin Williams.)
Wow, Michael. You graduated at the end of my first year at Davison, but I can certainly imagine the events you describe. Let me proffer another challenge to you. Our nation is in crisis. The November midterms could put folks like Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Green, et al in positions of power. Republicans are slowly seeking to dismantle our voting rights protections. We need a bully pulpit to get folks to sit up and listen. The former president is a crook and his conspiracy is still afoot. Is there some way for you to use your resources--maybe even a new movie-to wake up at least the folks willing to be awakened. The parallel to Adolf Hitler is frightening. He rode in with folks in love with him, and then he seized power and then the world faced the Holocaust. There has to be some way to get people to wake up in advance of the midterm. There are hundreds of candidates who are telling the Big Lie and they won their nominations. Frankly, I am deeply concerned about what the future may hold, but am unsure how as every day citizens we can do much about it.
Brilliant and right to the heart of it, as always, Michael. Or, as you point out, because --human--almost every dang time. Please stay alive and loud for a long time.
Michael, I graduated high school in 1968, but got in a bit of trouble because of a Board of Education member's speech at my sister's graduation two years later. This was 1970, in the wake of the murders at Kent State and Jackson State a few weeks earlier...events that affected me deeply on my own college campus in Connecticut. The Board of Ed. member was a well-known Republican hawk who basically hated the freedom of expression and antiwar sentiment that was rising in the schools and across the country. I don't remember the speech verbatim, but there was a portion highly critical of the Kent State students killed and wounded...implying that "they got what they deserved." Meanwhile, he praised the brave soldiers "fighting for freedom" in Vietnam. Instantly, a wave of shock and remembrance came through me. The man speaking from the podium was the same guy who had caused a scene several months earlier during the Vietnam Moratorium as my college cohorts and I gave out pamphlets and held public teach-ins about the war in Vietnam on Main Street and at various shopping plazas. He called us "commies and pinkos", scum, and other pejoratives. He walked away, but then did a "180" and shook his finger at us and said, "I hope you guys get drafted into the army, sent to Vietnam, and get killed there." Upon hearing that, and remembering it while listening to the graduation speech he delivered, everything came into focus. I realized the hypocrisy, the lies of the war mongers. Here was this guy commending those who served in the military, but wishing death upon those of us trying to get U.S. troops home. The next day, I wrote a letter to the local paper detailing the Board of Ed. member's two-faced approach towards young people. The editor wouldn't print it without corroboration from someone else, so I supplied him the name of another student who heard him wish us dead in November 1969. I'm not sure how much longer the man who threatened us remained on the school board, but he had offended his fellow members and many others in the community. His influence from then on was not as great. I received some nasty phone calls and letters, but it was worth it.
Thanks for your brave actions. You are an inspiration. You create hope and the willingness for the rest of us to take action.
Thank you. And you continue to speak up ❣️
Well, Mike, I am so sorry that you were silent on that graduation day 50 years ago but I think you've made up for it since then. I expect that most, if not all, of us have been afraid to speak out when we've seen injustice and then regretted it. But as you have clearly shown, while we can't change our past choices, we can certainly make better ones going forward. Thank you for setting a sterling example of doing just that.
best post yet. i don’t remember where i learned never to keep silent, but i did. probably in catholic grade school where sin and shame seemed to be the touchstone of the faculty. but learn i did, and i haven’t been silent since. bravo, michael. touching and an excellent example for others.
Michael, thank you for your courageous honesty - both over the years of your activism and for owning up to your shame about Timmy. I have a few things like that on my heart, too. You are a hero to us!
I hope you are working on a film about the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and that it will come out before 2024's election.
Thank you for continuing so long in the struggle for justice. I grew up amid the Civil Rights struggle, the anti-war movement, and so many campaigns for justice. Yet I never would have believed that this country would surrender so much to a campaign for ignorance and hatred and that at long last "fascism" would not be simply an epithet but a realistic characterization of a former political party. I remember the John Birch Society and was deeply relieved at what I thought was its defeat, yet now something even darker resurfaces and threatens to take dictatorial power. I'm advised to remember that if we can no longer believe in politicians we can believe in the American people. But what does that mean? Why can we believe in a populace so deeply immersed in ignorance and hatred?
What you did was and is the right thing.
I am no a big fan of Pence but he did the right thing. Thank you and happy Father’s Day.
beautiful and inspiring. Thank You 🙏
Thank you, Mr Moore, and as I attempt too express that simple human reaction, I find I have to 'authenticate' myself to do so. The bullies are still very much here.