Fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy and needs feeding. – Clarence Darrow
“Inherit the Wind” is one of the best movies of its kind ever made. If you have not yet seen it, I recommend it. Not only is it brilliantly acted and directed based on a script taken largely from the actual trial, but it is shockingly relevant. Shocking because the trial was in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925. It ought to feel old but it’s horribly current. The script for “Inherit the Wind” starring Spencer Tracy, Frederic March, and Gene Kelly uses language that’s directly from the transcript of the Scopes Monkey Trial.
You would think we’d have come a long way since then. On the surface, we did. But we never imagined merely passing laws didn’t mean Americans would abide by them. So, we didn’t pass strong measures to maintain these laws. Despite all of the wars in which we’ve participated, this is not a militaristic nation. Our laws prohibit the military from interfering domestically. We wrote laws but all it took was one president who cared nothing for laws or tradition to break us down and make the our laws and traditions meaningless.
We passed legislation. Civil rights and more. We eliminated as much of the remaining Jim Crow laws as we could — and almost immediately began doubling back. We are still doubling back and doing it at warp speed. It’s hard to imagine we will ever find our road again.
We’re marching down a bleak, dark road. We apparently lack a memory of having been here before. If we remembered, we’d know just how badly it will end.
A nation led by hatred, ignorance is a bad place to live.