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McCabe speaking at DC rally - 4-27-72 - NBC

by Matt Delmont

McCabe’s speech at the rally connected the physical pain of the march and the pain childbirth to the building of an anti-busing coalition. As a band played Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” McCabe limped visibly as she approached a podium, outfitted with several microphones. “I can’t believe we walked the whole way,” she told the crowd. I personally have suffered a great deal of pain on this walk. It was far more physically grueling than I ever could have imagined. The only time I have ever been in such pain has been in labor. Whenever you’re in labor, you finally give birth to something beautiful. We’ve labored long and we’ve been through a great deal of pain, but it’s worth it, because we have given birth to the rekindling of the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Look, you’re here! Like the Mothers of Conservatism featured in Michelle Nickerson’s book, McCabe claimed the authority to speak based on her status as a mother and her related ability to present a common sense view on a complex political issue. While McCabe’s rhetoric drew on familiar themes of motherhood and populism, television gave her rallying cries a crucial visual component and broadcast her message on a scale inaccessible to the vast majority of grassroots female activists.

McCabe speaking at DC rally - 4-27-72 - NBC

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McCabe speaking at DC rally - 4-27-72 - NBC

from NBC Nightly News (1972)
Creator: NBC Nightly News
Distributor: NBC
Posted by Matt Delmont
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