Monthly Archives: March 2022

“Hatred is Not the Norm”: For a 1964 Multi-Faith Civil Rights Rally, Serling Pens “A Most Non-Political Speech”

One of the most gratifying aspects of being a Rod Serling fan is that you never have to separate the man from his work. He was a gifted writer, yes, but he was also an amazing human being — a man of high ideals who used his talents to try and make the world a better place.

I was reminded of that yet again when one of his daughters — Anne Serling, author of “As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling” — tweeted this meme:

You may be wondering the same thing I did: What was the event? Was this quote part of a longer address? And why did Dick Van Dyke read it?

I can answer two of the three, thanks in part to Anne herself. It was part of a multi-faith civil rights event called “Religious Witness for Human Dignity,” and it featured a keynote address by Martin Luther King Jr. And the quote above was from a 1,000-word address that Serling penned especially for the event.

Unfortunately, I don’t know why he didn’t deliver it himself, and neither does Anne. But when you read the address itself in full — which is the point of this post — you’ll see that he obviously poured his heart into it. It’s full of his unique mix of clear-eyed realism and unflagging optimism.

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