Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Freedom Rider - James Zwerg

How many people do you know that would volunteer to be the first to step off of a bus where an angry mob of 3,000 people stood with bats in hand?  This is courage, not stupidity: The brave man was James Zwerg, a Freedom Fighter, who took a bus from Nashville, TN down to Montgomery, AL (the deep south) along with 18 other Black and White young men in order to make a strong statement for Desegregation (not separating) on buses. During this time Black people had to give up the front seats to White people? Sounds ridiculous today.

"I looked at it, and what it brings back to me more than anything else is that I got so much notoriety because I was white," he says. "I looked at that picture and I thought of all the people that never get their names in a book, never get interviewed but literally had given their lives. Who the hell am I to have my picture up there?"
He was suddenly flooded with guilt. He started bawling during the ceremony as startled people looked on. Then another Freedom Rider veteran, a strapping black man named Jim Davis, walked over to Zwerg.
Zwerg's voice trembles with emotion as he recalls what Davis said. "He said, 'Jim, you don't realize that it was your words from that hospital bed that were the call to arms for the rest of us.' "
And then, as Davis wrapped his big arms around Zwerg in front of the startled crowd, the two men cried together.
 Read his story at:

As a Muslim in America at this time when there is all the controversy about building Masjids and the unfounded fears of Sharia Law we feel the pressure of those that don't like us because of the religion we follow, because of the clothes that we wear, and because of the way we pray. As bad as we feel about how wrong this is, we still are not in a hardship as the Blacks and their supporters were before, during, and after the Civil Rights Movement. Muslims here in America are not being called upon to face down this type of unfounded hatred and probably because of these kinds of Brave Men and Women in our past we will probably not have to in this country. Americans are truly blessed.

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