Remember the Ladies.

So said Abigail Adams in her famous letter to her husband, the President: "Remember all men would be tyrants if they could."

As husbands are wont to do, he laughed her off, saying, "We know better than to repeal our masculine systems."

My American Lit class read this the other day, and rather than take it as an opportunity to talk about women's rights (the obvious answer, and one I am frankly sick of hearing about) I wanted to discuss the honorable tradition of speaking out about a cause, even if it's nearly hopeless that anything would happen.  I assigned them a brief reflection: write a letter to the President asking him to remember the __________, inserting the name of a group they thought needed an advocate.

Their answers were fascinating.  They wrote about abused children and animals, teenagers ("We get a bad rap -- give us a break!") and the middle class ("Some of us are just trying to make a decent living.")  They shared their outrage and despair quite willingly.  It was a good discussion.

I didn't answer the question in front of them; I prefer not to let my opinions influence the direction of their thought, even though we frequently disagree.  But I'm sure you know what I would have said.  Remember the Armenians.  Because you promised to. Because genocide will not go away.  Because I'd really like to prove Hitler wrong.