The Airing of Grievances
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Shirley Chisolm R.I.P.
Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and an outspoken advocate for women and minorities during seven terms in the House, died Saturday near Daytona Beach. She was 80. Here are a few quotes and an anecdote that illustrate what a wonderful woman she was:
"I ran for the Presidency [in 1972], despite hopeless odds, to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo," Chisholm said in her book "The Good Fight." "The next time a woman runs, or a black, a Jew or anyone from a group that the country is ’not ready’ to elect to its highest office, I believe that he or she will be taken seriously from the start."Well, we here at AofG will remember you as having tremendous guts Ms. Chisolm. Simply tremendous. R.I.P.
During her failed presidential bid, Chisholm went to the hospital to visit George Wallace, her rival candidate and ideological opposite, after he had been shot – an act that appalled her followers. "He said, `What are your people going to say?’ I said: `I know what they’re going to say. But I wouldn’t want what happened to you to happen to anyone.'
"She was our Moses that opened the Red Sea for us," said Robert E. Williams, president of Flagler County’s branch of the NAACP.
Once discussing what her legacy might be, Shirley Chisholm commented, "I’d like them to say that Shirley Chisholm had guts. That’s how I’d like to be remembered."