On The 50th Anniversary Of Selma, Remembering Father Hesburgh's Thoughts On Civil Rights

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As we reflect on the 50th anniversary of Selma  it is fitting to also remember to words of Fr. Ted Hesburgh, former President of the University of Notre Dame and  the 1st Chairman of the Civil Rights commission who passed away last month.

“The second phase of this civil rights revolution is still largely before us, and is more difficult, because it requires the passage from national to inpidual conscience in recognizing all these rights, and also involves the assumption by all Americans, whatever their color, of the long-range responsibility of living what we profess: to make full, responsible, and intelligent use of these rights, to do in the privacy of each of our lives what we profess in public as Americans. The second phase is largely educational, while the first phase was largely protest. The first phase gave quick results. The second phase will call on all our religious, educational, and social resources to come to full fruition. And it will call for much more courage, patience, perseverance, and understanding. The second phase must move family by family, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city, state by state to accomplish on the local scene what has been proclaimed on the national scene. This is where each of you comes in, as responsible, educated, inpidual human beings. This is why each of you is so terribly important. You may or may not have been among the chosen few who moved the first phase of this revolution. The second phase cannot move without each of you. You must become involved or the second phase will fail.”

—Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C.