I got sent this picture the other day from Andora along with a message:
thank you fighting the good fight<3
Well Andora, I appreciate the gratitude, but the picture says it perfectly. For all the pains in the ass of defending the obvious over and over and over again and fighting for reason, equality for gays/women/anybody, etc., the roller coaster of activism is a blast! I have gotten to meet Jesse, Lyz, Ashley, Michaelyn, Christina, Greta, PZ, Richard, Jen, Ellise, Brandon, and FSM-knows how many other awesome people with whom I can share this experience. I even got to meet you in Pennsylvania last week and hope we get to hang out again! Thanking me for this is like thanking someone for going bowling – it’s fun! And we’re all in it together.
Greta once wrote about a piece by Molly Ivans (who I believe is the namesake for the Mollies awards over at Pharyngula) called Go Forth Unafraid. In it, Molly talks about a civil rights activist she once knew, and pretty much sums up what it is to be an activist in one of the paragraphs.
So, Mr. Rauh would have been a great guy to have freedom fighting with us today. Fought during the McCarthy era, during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement when it was unclear that we were going to have any kind of success there, it was always hot, and we were always scared, Rowell used to come get people out of jail and deal with authorities. And he fought on the side of the right and the good most of his life, and toward the end, one of these big national organizations was fixing to lay one of these lifetime freedom fighter awards on him, and Joe was sick in the hospital, and asked a friend of his to go down to Philadelphia to collect the award for him. Friend went to see him in hospital, said “Joe, what do you want me to tell these folks when I pick up the award?” He’s looking at Joe lying there sick as a dog, and thinking about his life, all the struggles, all the hard times, you know, trying to fight for social justice, and racial justice, and trying to deliver on the promise of “liberty and justice for all” and all the hard battles, and all the hard work, and Joe looked up at him and said, “Oh, tell them how much fun it was. Tell them how much fun it was.” Now think about it. Y’all get down toward the end of your road, I want you all to be able to turn around and tell the young women who come behind you, and believe me, as women you are going to go through some special tests, that you just had a hell of a lotta fun raising hell.
I have a lot of fun raising hell. I have even more fun for the people like you who do it with me. Thank you.