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This is a rather sweet story in this morning's The Sunday Oregonian. I remember teachers we all knew were gay in the sixties and seventies. The decade of the sixties was the last of the era of the Johns Committee and its awful work (the second URL describes its work). I knew I had moved to the South.



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What a story. Not everyone can admit he's wrong and ask forgiveness, particularly for something so long ago. It says something good about both of them that one could try, and keep trying for years, to apologize, and that both needed it. It seems like the student grew up to be a man with strong principles.

Isn't it funny how who we are as kids is still who we are as adults? We change in some important ways. We outgrow things and change our minds, but in some ways, we are still the same as men and women that we were as boys and girls. There is, of course, also the argument that we are all just overgrown boys and girls, and those of us who don't recognize that are missing something. The line about how some adults are still bratty, spoiled kids and bullies is true, but perhaps those never matured even that far. Heh.

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In Mississippi, it was the State Sovereignty Committee. It was set up by the State legislature at the request of Hoover. It was used to gather dirty laundry on Civil Rights leaders (and others) and turned into a black-mail scheme. They had dozens of gay, black, hispanic and mixed race people looking for communists. It was a disaster. It was eventually shut down but not until the early seventies.

I designed the computer network and software that allows researchers to look at the redacted records of that committee. When I was working on it, I saw some things that would make you want to puke.

When a State legislature seals records to 100 years, they are trying desperately to bury some very ugly skeletons.

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