Letter From a Birmingham Museum

30+ As regular readers of Epsilon Theory know, I may make my home in the wilds of Connecticut
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Jim Handshaw
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Jim Handshaw

Ben,

After reading Letter from a Birmingham Museum when you published it, I re-read it every Jan 20th.
Thank you,

Jim

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Rich McDaniel
Member
Rich McDaniel

Ben,

I knew a black lady who grew up in Birmingham during that time and she was one of the children participating in the demonstrations. She said there was always a prayer session before they went out in public to prepare them for what they might encounter. As a little girl she volunteered to do this. She believed there was always the possibility she would be killed, but was still willing to give her life for the cause of freedom.

Rich

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Hugh Fowler
Member
Hugh Fowler

This is a tremendous essay Ben. I was a Brexit voting individual living in a cosmopolitan part of North London. The media narrative, the local government narrative and the mayoral narrative have all been powerfully in favour of remaining. The vast majority of my social group and neighbours were also ardent remainers. Leavers have been othered and made to feel they were beyond the pale. It is only now with the benefit of hindsight I can see just how hard ‘The Man’ worked to get me to change my mind.

The French are using power hoses on their opposition at the moment. There is a strong echo of ‘The Man’ in Europe fighting against the natural wishes of countries to determine their own future. A sort of mirror image of segregation.

3+
Kevin Coldiron
Member
Kevin Coldiron

Thanks for writing that Ben. There is an excellent podcast on the history behind the picture of the boy being (apparently) bitten by the German shepherd. It’s on Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History (Season 2, Episode 4). I just happened to listen to it a week before your note. It gives an alternative and much more nuanced narrative – 30 minutes well spent. I totally get your feelings about going to the museum. It strikes me that Germans have been much more open about their history – one can (and should) visit Dachau for instance. It’s not hidden. Why don’t we have the equivalent of Dachau here? We need to confront the history properly.

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Tobin Hartnell
Member

As someone who grew up in Australia and lives in Iraq, I appreciate these types of ET reflective moments that put it all in perspective. Next time I am in the States, I will take my daughter to see this. I only wish there was an Australian version of this museum that puts our history in perspective with such grace and effectiveness.

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