Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mourning A Real American Visionary (Not Steve Jobs)

I've had about all the Steve Jobs hagiographies I can take.

Yes, his death by cancer was tragic. And, yes, he was a great businessman.

But he really did not change my life, or the way I look at the world, no matter what the current president of my country says.

Fred Shuttlesworth, who also died yesterday (5 October 2011), did change the way I look at the world, did change my life and the lives of others.

Mr. Shuttlesworth even changed the course of American history.

And he wasn't selling anything beyond an idea(l).

When I read histories of the Civil Rights movement, I still get chills. I get chills because, regrettably, my country had some serious racial problems within my lifetime and within the lifetime of my parents.

Yet, there were men who literally risked their lives to vote. To use the same lunch counter my grandparents would have used.

They risked their lives for those simple dignities.

And if those racial wounds are a little bit healed, you can thank Fred Shuttlesworth (and Martin Luther King, Jr., and the other pioneers of that era).

A phone's a phone. A computer is a computer. It's not art. It's not action.

Use that Apple device in your hands to look up Fred Shuttlesworth.

Then you can thank Steve Jobs for giving you a tool that made acquiring that knowledge so effortless.