Thursday, April 12, 2012

Speaker Series: Maria Varela

On April 4th, civil rights activist Maria Varela spoke at USC about her experiences with the Civil Rights movement and the struggles she faced. Her comments on what occurred reveal both challenges to and support for the American Dream.

One of the most memorable comments Ms. Varela made concerned the organizing of so many people for a common cause. Obviously, getting together such a wide range of people would be difficult due to differing ideas, personalities, etc. What she emphasized, and what seems to have been a strong point for the Civil Rights movement, was that things always had to be decided on collectively. If the group wanted to present itself in a certain way, the majority had to be supportive of that decision. Furthermore, once the decision was made, everyone had to follow despite what they may believe is a better course of action.

Of course, this did not always go smoothly. Ms. Varela even commented that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. strayed from these policies at times. However, her experience and overall success as a civil rights activist offers much to be learned to our generation in dealing with the issues of today.

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