Fred Shuttlesworth next to his statue in Birmingham, Alabama via waynetaylor at flickr.com

As many of you know, Steve Jobs died as did civil rights pioneer Fred Shuttlesworth. Most all of us know the former but if you don’t know who the latter is, well let’s just say Fred Shuttlesworth was arguably the bravest American of the 1960s.

There will be a lot of obituaries about Mr. Jobs today.  Mr. Shuttlesworth will have some, but less prominently.  Perhaps the most important remembrance we can give Mr. Shuttlesworth is by noting how easily his life’s work is being threatened by the racist notions of the past creeping back into our discourse (emphasis on “creep”).

From laws being passed to restrict voting rights aimed at minority groups and the poor, to modern re-incarnations of Theodore Bilbo (most racist hobbit ever), like Steve King wishing we could go back to the ’50s…the 1850s.

As I roll this thing back and I think of American history, there was a time in American history when you had to be a male property owner in order to vote. The reason for that was, because they wanted the people who voted — that set the public policy, that decided on the taxes and the spending — to have some skin in the game.

Steve King looks back fondly to the days when women, the poor and especially people of only one color of “skin” had a say in their government.

It would be a fitting tribute to Fred Shuttlesworth if Steve King was no longer part of government in January 2013.