Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tolerance Awareness Tuesday - Hubert H. Humphrey

"On one occasion, a traffic policeman in handing out a ticket called the violator a 'dirty Jew.' I suspended him for fifteen days without pay. I tried with far less success to stop the verbal abuse of Negroes." -- The Education of a Public Man: My Life and Politics, 1976, p. 99

Brother Hubert Humphrey started his political career as Mayor of Minneapolis. I presume that was his position when he took the action he talks about above.

Humphrey had a well-deserved reputation for long speeches. I attended a dinner where Humphrey was the featured speaker and heard him say that Muriel (his wife) once told him, “Hubert, you know that in order for a speech to be immortal it does not need to be eternal.”

But Brother Humphrey also had a well-deserved reputation for taking action and speaking out on important issues, no matter what the personal consequences may be. It was Humphrey’s speech at the 1948 Democratic National Convention that caused the Dixiecrat delegates to walk out, when he advocated for stronger civil rights. (The photo is of HHH giving that speech.)

Actions speak louder than words. Brother Humphrey had plenty of both. Will we, as Masons, have the moral courage to stand up for the rights of less-privileged when we have the opportunity?