Plans change on Monday when Wanda Henson is on a desperate search for housing and can’t meet with us. We head back north to Laruel and then east toward Montgomery. Somehow I had envisioned the Southern Poverty Law Center as a little bungalow on a hill with a warren of small offices staffed by earnest and dedicated volunteers. I almost had it right except that they do get paid, and they work in an office building that would easily house the contents of my home town. Big, with tight security and an entrance designed to foil truck bombs. It doesn’t take long to realize that they’re under siege. But you’d never know it by the attitudes encountered. These are the original bring it on people. They know the dangers. But they’re doing the work. We cannot bring up a subject or an incident that they have no knowledge of. They offer us crucial information and even more sources, and make connections between players that we had heretofore been unaware of. More on that later when my blood pressure settles down.
Morris Dees, a modern American hero.
Wish I could say we had some quality time with him. We got a few words of advice, good wishes and a pat on the shoulder as he went by us in the restaurant. I’m totally happy with that.
Almost took the opportunity to watch Morris during a trial in 2000 in Spokane WA against the Aryan Nations when he won a 6.3 MILLION dollar judgement against the white supremacists, sorry I didn’t take a few vacation days to watch one of my heros in action. Wikipedia has an excellent synopsis of events.
Talk about an understated guy, and he’s never not at work. Some of his best words of advice came as he was passing by on the way to his table.