Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How did a city go so wrong in less than 40 years?

I was walking today across Bicentennial Mall this afternoon and read the historical notation that Nashville was the first major Southern city to desegregate its lunch counters in 1960.

Now, less than 40 years later, the city is prepared to erase that kind of humnan progress and rewrite its laws in fear and according to the difference in one's language.

How did Nashville devolve? And how did the races who hated one another now join together to hate immigrants?

That is worthy of a sociological study, or citywide religious crusade, or public rite of repentance.

Tomorrow, Nashville could become the largest U.S. city to ban languages other than English in city operations. Nashville, the supposed Athens of the South, is now more like Rome at its fall. And the barbarians are us, not the immigrants new to our city.

Tomorrow's vote is supposedly too close to call. But the turn in the weather to warmer temperatures holds the hope of building a larger turnout and the potential fall for the referendum.

If Nashville is to devolve, let it do so chronoglogically and return to the spirit of 1960 that desegregated the lunch counters. Let Nashville hope again, and regain some of the progress lost in those 40 years.

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