The Majority “Uniter”

B.J. – Bless her, has an instinct for it, and no better leader could there be. As the best teams learn when their “Star” goes down with an injury, it’s the opportunity for other (every other) member of the Team to step up. Drawn to her initially by the decision to drive her R.V. to Denver, I have found the connection to her to be far more than Hillary or the ERA. As we heard her compelling story through the final days of her daughter our hearts went out to her, too shocked at the ordeal confronting her. I learned in those days what the anguished cry of a mother can do.

When brothers ride herd on them, little girls can get attention with their screams in a way no calm approach would work. The expressions of outrage, of demands for justice for the terrible things the world has done to her babies, is every mother’s strength. One of my strongest memories is of the voice of the outraged mother of Stacey Moskowitz, the last victim of “Son of Sam.” Her demand for justice for her daughter galvanized the detective force and witnesses – who might otherwise have dismissed their hunches or suspicions – came forward with descriptions, license plate numbers and reports of having seen the shooter loitering in the area, even getting a parking ticket minutes prior to the murder. In contrast, I saw attempts by the community to appeal to the killer of Atlanta’s young boys. When I moved to Georgia in the fall of 1980, the front pages of the Journal-Constitution carried articles recounting the discovery of the bodies of adolescent boys along the sides of roads in wooded areas. Interviews with the mothers of these boys revealed an embarassment with their poverty, a reluctance to accept the murders of their sons, attempting to appeal to the killer to turn himself in for “counseling.” Gentle and beaten down, the families of Atlanta’s murdered children never cried out for Justice, never unleashed anger, attempting instead to show a brave face and to convince themselves that it couldn’t happen to them.

Just as the outburst of Harriet Christianson – incredulous at the stark corruption of the DNC Rules & By-laws Committee – gave birth to the PUMAS, the response of Betty Jean to the political realities of Women, is the womb in which our gestation as Equals takes place. We are participants in the evolution of Women as Citizens. Betty Jean’s manic effort to fend off the anguish of her losses by channeling her emotions into helping others is the clarion to all of us to stand with her. The foundation with which she has provided us must be evolved through the input of our varied and diverse points of view and orientation. We have the Mission Statement and much to gain by findiing our opportunities in the challenge. Take a moment and jot down notes to yourself, finding your core as a sister, a mother, and an American. Let’s Do This.

4 Responses

  1. Thank you Anna, what a lovely compliment. Of all the things I would want to be called besides Mother , Uniter is the next greatest of them all.

    If I died tomorrow – I would have accomplished all that I have dreamed of – being a good mother and having done my best to contributing toward unite women to move them toward ERA and enjoying Justice for womankind.

    God willing I will live long enough to see women actually make it happen. No one can do it alone but united we can all benefit- we must.

  2. This was beautiful & “spot-on”!!!
    With BJ’s permission, maybe you, me and some of the
    others have a conference call or blog show to discuss how we can help to move forward. I’ve had a concept for a fundraising event.
    BJ has my contact info.
    You might remember me from the Hillary days as:

  3. Wonderful words. I resonate with them as a woman can. BJ is indeed incredibly strong. I have never been able to get my head around what she accomplishes despite her grief and tragedy.

    I am proud to know BJ.

    I am proud to be part of her Board with the rest of you impressive women.

    May we indeed remain Sisters.

    Warm regards to all and to BJ,
    sandy oestreich, ERA Inc

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