It was revealed to us this morning that the confirmation class at the synagogue is taking a different route this year on their class trip.
They are headed into Alabama and Georgia to visit many places where the battles of civil rights were fought, where blood was shed over something that should have been an inalienable right from the beginnings of our country's birth, but was only legislated into existence forty-five years ago...and, even then, the concept is still slow to catch on in the minds of many - too many.
Before this year, past confirmation groups had trekked to Washington D.C. and paid visits to our representatives and senators in Congress - where they found that both senators Landrieu and Vitter sported glazed looks on their faces when social justice issues were raised by the students. It was disheartening to the leaders of the confirmation trip to see our elected officials, supposed representatives of the people in their state, treat these issues as nuisances, as pests that will disappear if they raise their hands over their eyes and keep them there long enough. Great examples for the teenagers. Truly inspiring.
Instead, the students will be going to Selma, Alabama; to Birmingham; to the King Center in Atlanta...and to a few other places along the way that show that the fight for equality among the races was not so long ago. And that it isn't over by a long shot.
The one thing I hope the kids take away from this trip?
Our politicians seem to be devoid of the need to take advantage of opportunities to act in ways that favor the greater good over the relatively few who have the most influence and/or money...
...but that doesn't always have to be the way.