The aging of the persons leading the civil rights movement is only a metaphor for a more serious aging process that afflicts the movement. It is a sclerotic condition that has kept an old agenda and once-prodding - but now increasingly intolerant - ideas in place, a fixed way of thinking that has become more strident and resistant to change as it has become more complacent with itself. Once the opponent of conformity, some parts of the civil rights community now preach conformity within their communities. I see these not as indices of the venality of the civil rights movement, but as human responses that can be reformed by the contributions of a new generation. This change has already begun to occur, and my goal is to have a new generation build an immunity to sclerosis into the movement ...
2 Temp. Pol. & Civ. Rts. L. Rev. 177-208 (1993)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Abernathy, Charles F., "When Civil Rights Go Wrong: Agenda and Process in Civil Rights Reform" (1993). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. Paper 1396.