I’m working on a story about efforts by the Democratic Party to include gays and lesbians and I stumbled on this speech by Howard Dean to the party’s Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council. Here’s the meat:
What I say to young people—something every young person needs to learn: it was 13 years between the Montgomery Bus Boycott and signing the civil rights bill under Lyndon Johnson. Thirteen years. Not every one of those days was a good day. There was a lot of tough stuff along the way and the lesson that has been learned is that sometimes you are disappointed, sometimes you are temporarily set back, sometimes you are disappointed with your friends as well as angry at your enemies. But the trick is to understand that this is a long term process–this business of human rights—this is a long term process and when you get knocked down, you have to get up right away and put one foot in front of the other and keep going. It is a long term commitment and you do overcome if you make the long term commitment and work everyday and do not get sidetracked by the inevitable disappointments.
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