A program that’s hugely worth watching: Last night, WHUT re-aired it. We sat there and re-watched it.
You might want to watch it too. We refer to the 2011 American Experience program, Freedom Riders.
Even the second time around, this has to be one of the best documentaries we have ever seen. The program can be seen in full at this WGBH site.
We offer one word of warning:
There is a danger in watching this program. The danger is this:
Such programs may tend to make us think that we and our friends are The Very Good People, while everyone who isn’t exactly like us is one of The Very Bad People.
We’ll suggest a different framework for watching this program:
Some truly remarkable young people were involved in this project. Almost surely, we and our friends are not like those people.
Those young people were extremely advanced, as is clear if you watch this program. Ideally, we should strive to learn from these very unusual people, a few of whom are known today, most of whom are not.
We didn’t want to watch this program last night. It started at midnight, and it runs two hours. But this is a program which is hard to stop watching once you start.
Remarkable young people are seen in this program, an advanced race which once walked the earth.
Diane Nash, highly advanced and evolved: In 1961, John Siegenthaler was a ranking assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
At one point in the program, he describes his attempts to get the Freedom Riders to stop because of the violence now known to be waiting for them:
SIEGENTHALER: My phone in the hotel room rings and it's the Attorney General. And he opens the conversation, “Who the hell is Diane Nash? Call her and let her know what is waiting for the Freedom Riders.”As he continues, Siegenthaler characterizes this conversation in a way we found a bit disappointing. Diane Nash, then a Fisk student, was part of a highly advanced group of people. She and they were far more highly evolved than those seen around us today.
So I called her. I said, “I understand that there are more Freedom Riders coming down from Nashville. You must stop them if you can.” Her response was, “They're not gonna turn back. They're on their way to Birmingham and they'll be there shortly.”
You know that spiritual, “Like a tree standing by the water, I will not be moved?” She would not be moved. And, and I felt my voice go up another decibel and another and soon I was shouting, “Young woman, do you understand what you're doing? You're gonna get somebody—Do you understand you're gonna get somebody killed?”
And there's a pause, and she said, “Sir, you should know, we all signed our last wills and testaments last night before they left.”
For the full transcript, click here.