Steve and Fred

Many people died on October 5, 2011. Two of them did amazing things. We’ve heard so much about one of them – Steve Jobs. The other was Fred Shuttlesworth.

This piece is not to praise Fred and minimize Steve. It is to have us reflect on the things that we value, celebrate, and remember when push comes to shove, when death visits us.

By 8.45 p.m. on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 evening a number of my Facebook Friends had posted touching and evocative messages about Steve Jobs (this was about an hour after he passed away). One of my friends posted the following message on Facebook on Thursday, October 6, at about 11 p.m. – “Jesus, FRED SHUTTLESWORTH passed on Wednesday? I love my Macbook, but I REALLY love my civil rights! RIP. Get it together, news media.”  This was the only message about Rev. Shuttlesworth that any of my FB friends posted. Below is a copy of the comments that followed – I’ve only taken people’s responses without their names for obvious reasons.

I mean, have coverage for both of them. ♥ Steve Jobs. Very, very thankful for Rev. Shuttlesworth.

  • I posted about both to my FB page and no one commented on Rev. Shuttlesworth passing. It bummed me out.
  • He was ill for so long but gotta say, he lived an amazing life.
  • I KNOW. I was home listening to NPR all day on Wednesday, and they were talking about Rev. Shuttlesworth until the minute Steve Jobs died. Then nothing. In today’s paper, Jobs was huge front page, and the Rev. got a tiny little paragraph.
  • Man, welcome to my world. I work in a Human Rights Division that sits in a Human Services Dept…lets just say I get real frustrated with some of the ppls views on life.
  • For those who are wondering what the Rev. Shuttlesworth did, simply Google his name on your iPad and read about him. Then ask yourself: 1. Which is more important – what you are reading with, or what you are reading about?
    2. Who should we have been celebrating when they passed away – the person responsible for what you are reading with, or the person you are reading about?

    I’ll give you my answer to Question 2. Both.

    The tragedy is on this sad day when we lost many people, at least two of whom did amazing things, and one of whom did really life changing stuff, we seem to have, kind of, forgotten the person who did the really life changing stuff. We seem to have, kind of, forgotten Fred.

    Thank you Fred for all you did. It matters even if we don’t remember and celebrate you with all the glory you deserve.