Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

November 26, 2013

House of Burgess: 'You gotta give them hope'

Moscone, Milk murdered 35 years ago today.

(Continued)

“It would be boyish-looking men in their late teens and early twenties that Milk would be attracted to for the rest of his life,” wrote Milk biographer Randy Shilts in his book, “The Mayor of Castro Street.” However, like Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Ghandi and every other nonviolent revolutionary in history, Milk is celebrated because of the social movement he represented, not his personal life.

“I stood for more than just a candidate,” Milk said on that fateful audio tape. “I have never considered myself a candidate. I have always considered myself part of a movement. … I’ve considered the movement the candidate.”

MLK was alleged to have been an adulterer. “Many movement activists were aware of [King’s] various sexual involvements with a number of different women,” wrote David J. Garrow in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Bearing the Cross.” Ghandi was no saint. Among other things, his writings reveal him to be more than a little racist against blacks. Despite their private shortcomings, King led the fight to overturn Jim Crow, and Ghandi is rightfully known as the Father of India.

Similarly, Milk was a flawed human being occupying a significant role. He didn’t elect himself. His name will ring throughout history because of those who put him in office. It was up to them all along. Milk knew every LGBT American living honestly was the lone path to equality.

“If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door,” said Milk into his recorder that November day. “I would like to see every gay lawyer, every gay architect come out, stand up and let the world know. That would do more to end prejudice overnight than anyone could imagine. I urge them to do that, urge them to come out. Only that way will we start to achieve our rights.”

The legacy of Milk’s short political career far outlasted the 323 days he was actually in office because of those he inspired. Milk ended his last recorded testament with what might as well have been his statement of purpose: “You gotta give them hope.”

Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577, via email at rob.burgess@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/robaburg.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Moped law long overdue We’ve all seen them on the streets, and their popularity is only growing. Mopeds have coasted in a legal grey area for years in Indiana. A lack of registration, testing and licensure allowed those without other means of transport to join other vehicl

    August 19, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Craft brewers and vintners returned sprits to Indiana State Fair Brad Hawkins felt right at home hawking his beer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week.When Hawkins opened his Salt Creek Brewery in a converted filling station in tiny Needmore three years ago, some tee-totaling neighbors protested he was putti

    August 19, 2014

  • LETTERS: Support Connie Brown; wind agreement termination Connie Brown for county clerkConnie Brown is an excellent person to serve as county clerk. She is kind, generous, and dedicated to what she does. Having served with her on the Stonybrook Board for six years, I have come to know her and respect her ta

    August 19, 2014

  • Indiana budget woes put new focus on 'reversions' When is a budget cut not a cut? In Indiana, it’s when it’s a reversion.Budget cuts, via reversions, were at the center of a pair of big decisions last week, putting the tactic used by both Democratic and Republican governors in the spotlight.State Bu

    August 19, 2014

  • How to care for our children and their children INDIANAPOLIS – Let’s ponder “our children” and “their children.”First, Gov. Mike Pence made a wise call this past week when he ordered the Department of Child Services to begin reimbursing families who had adopted special needs children.A class actio

    August 18, 2014

  • Aug. 18: Letters to the Editor Sick of allthe wind talkI am going to rant a bit. I am sick and tired of opening up the paper and there is another letter about windmills. We have so much going on in the world. We have children getting beheaded, presidents always on vacation, an eco

    August 18, 2014

  • Havinga civil reunion My wife and I enjoy doing many things together. But when our entertainment preferences are not in sync, we can communicate openly with each other. That makes for a perfect union. But it may make for a lousy reunion. Let me explain.The Wolfsie family

    August 18, 2014

  • Police turning to military? The images this week of Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the civil unrest caused by the death of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown have been shocking to say the least. Were the dateline removed from the pictures, one could easily imagi

    August 17, 2014

  • Aug. 17: Letters to the Editor Money for all,but fire departmentIn the past couple of weeks a decision was implemented to discontinue Rescue Unit # 2 service from the Kokomo Fire Department. I have talked to the Kokomo Fire Chief, Nick Glover, and to the Kokomo Board of Works Pres

    August 17, 2014

  • Some lighter newsto brighten your day Do you get depressed or emotionally depleted from all the bad news around us? Terrorists taking over Iraq and slaughtering innocent people, toxic drinking water in Ohio, and a host of domestic problems that polarize our nation and makes us wonder if

    August 17, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes Lunch Bus Delivers Meals to Kids Out of School Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners Rockets Fired From Gaza, in Breach of Ceasefire Raw: Japanese Military Live Fire Exercise Police, Protesters Clash in Ferguson Independent Autopsy Reveals Michael Brown Wounds Nashville Embraces Motley Crue Obama: 'Time to Listen, Not Just Shout' Lawyer: Gov. Perry Indictment a 'Nasty Attack' Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Crosses Into Ukraine Iowa Man Builds Statue of a Golfer Out of Balls Assange Gets Cryptic About Leaving Embassy in UK Raw: Building Collapse in South Africa, 9 Dead Raw: Pope Francis Meets 'Comfort Women'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll