Friday, July 1, 2011

"Pete - you outlasted the bastards, man"

Earlier this week I wrote about some wisdom Pete Seger passed on to us about the Civil Right's Movement. That got me thinking about what Bruce Springsteen said about Pete at his 90th birthday celebration. Take a look:

What an inspiration this is for all of us.

Despite Pete's somewhat benign grandfatherly appearance, he's a creature of stubborn, defiant and nasty optimism. Inside him he carries a steely toughness that belies that grandfatherly facade and it won't let him take a step back from the things he believes in. At 90, he remains a stealth dagger to the heart of our country's illusions about itself...He reminds us of our immense failures as well as shinning a light towards our better angels on the horizon where the country we've imagined and hold dear we hope awaits us.

Of course, Pete also gave us the song that has come to define the struggle. Watch it sung by this chorus of people at that same celebration. It includes those who have been leading the way for decades and those who will carry it forward in the future. Notice how in song they hold up their heads, stick out their chests, and are perhaps even moved to put an arm around someone beside them. That's how the movement carries on and lives today.

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