This segment comes from the 1960 movie “Inherit the Wind.” The dialogue is virtually a direct quote from Clarence Darrow’s real speech to the judge and jury in the “Monkey Trial” held in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925. In fact, most of the script for “Inherit the Wind” (starring Spencer Tracy, Frederic March, and Gene Kelly and directed by Stanley Kramer) is based on the Scopes trial. If it sounds painfully relevant, you might wonder if we have improved at all over the past 96 years.
Fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy and needs feeding.
– Clarence Darrow
Nearly 100 later, this speech is as relevant as today’s headlines and tomorrow’s too. You would think that we’d have come a long way since then. but apparently not.
It wasn’t for lack of trying. We tried. We passed legislation. We marched. We protested. Then, we rested and moved on, for the most part believing we’d done well. Yet here we are again and worse now than ever.
Can we improve? Is there hope? What do you think?
We’re heading down a bleak, dark road. We lack a national memory of having been here before. When a country heads backward, it always ends badly. Always.