Friday, December 09, 2005

Tennessee: The Volunteer State

My home state of Texas has lots in common with Tennessee. Both major universities, the University of Texas and Tennessee University, have orange and white as their school colors. Both have good college football teams. Both have very strong women's basketball programs (historically, Tennessee's is probably strongest, followed perhaps by Connecticut, followed perhaps by the Texas Lady Longhorns. Yes. They're really called the Lady Longhorns.)

As a state, Texas was even founded with the help of settlers from Tennessee, although I must point out that many of the immigrants were outlaws. (Not so much Davy Crockett, although he was a member of Congress before he moved to Texas and died at the be the judge.)

Anyway, lest one wonders what this has to do with the death penalty: NCADP's Tennessee affiliate, Tennessee Coalition to Abolish State Killings, a month or so ago launched its own blog. And an interesting blog it is: unlike every single one of the anti-death penalty blogs that are out there (about six to a dozen, depending on if you count the ones that don't update), TCASK's blog focuses primarily on organizing. How do you organize against the death penalty in a largely rural, southern state? What are the challenges and how do you overcome them? This is not just story-telling at its finest; it's also a useful roadmap to use as we travel down the highway toward abolition.

You see, some people who oppose the death penalty look at the political situation, throw their arms up in the air and say, "We can't possibly do this."

The truth, of course, is that we can and we will. But we need roadmaps. We need to figure out how to successfully lobby. We need to alter the very psychology of our movement and to realize that winning is not only possible, it is inevitable -- if we do the heavy lifting and intensive organizing that needs to be done.

When all is said and done and the history of the abolition movement is written, I hope people will recall that seeds of our success were planted in Tennessee.

1 comment:

egalia said...

Thanks. I hadn't heard about the TN blog, and only just discovered yours. I'll put you both in my blogroll. Keep up the good work!