It was a question that I kept asking over and over again when I saw the video of what took place during “Bloody Sunday”. It would take a long time for a boy to come of age and understand the true courage and sacrifice that libertarians displayed on that fateful day in Selma. Our country holds great promise to those who are here and to those who look from afar but such a promise comes at times, with great sacrifice and struggle.
Before the very idea of me became a possibility there were so many people who paved the way so that I could have a chance at a better life, a more humane one in which I could pursue and achieve the dreams that the forefathers of this country reserved for a select majority. My mom would eventually answer the question of why peaceful protests helped turn the tide in this country by reminding me of past battles in which those who sought to oppress always fell to the idea of freedom even when the costs were high.
Our country is resilient. Her people strong and diverse. We right our wrongs and we push forward because we are still about the business of forming a more perfect union. I am forever appreciative of the protesters in Selma and the countless others around the country that came together to help move us forward as a nation. I now know that the protesters did fight back armed with some of the same ideals and principles that formed this country tempered with the belief that non-violent resistance can topple a billy club and water cannons every time.