Victoria Brittain “Howard Zinn's lesson to us all” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/28/howard-zinn-america
The great Howard Zinn's death has the ominous feeling of bringing too close the end of an era when some western intellectuals had the magnetism of rock stars, and when their ethical and principled stand against the dominant powers of the moment moved millions to see things differently, and to act.
In today's vapid celebrity culture these heroes of yesteryear have shone ever more brightly in contrast. And as politics has become more debased, corrupt and filled with empty rhetoric, the towering survivors of that era became reference points for a generation sickened by a mainstream media which had little or no space for them.
In 2005, Zinn gave an address to the students of Spelman*3, the college which had fired him, which became a cult reading – thanks to the internet. As a war veteran he attacked the corrosion of war and urged the students to demand nothing less than an end to war. And, he repeated his perennial call, urging the students not to be discouraged in these discouraging times – "things will change". The ending was pure Zinn: "My hope is that you will not be content just to be successful in the way our society measures success; that you will not obey the rules, when the rules are unjust; that you will act out the courage that I know is in you." He urged the students to take as role models not the African-Americans such as Condoleezza Rice, or Colin Powell, "who have become servants of the rich and powerful", but WEB Dubois, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
*2:See http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20060208/1139400636 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20080204/1202133189 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20080805/1217905285 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090413/1239596889 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20091213/1260686440 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20091217/1261022591