Shirley Chisholm died today. She was our first black congresswoman. She wanted to be known for her pragmatism, and complained that her constituents misunderstood her. Yet it was against her character to say the expedient thing. Jesse Jackson said of her, “she refused to accept the ordinary.” She said of herself, “my greatest political asset, which professional politicians fear, is my mouth, out of which come all kinds of things one shouldn’t always discuss for reasons of political expediency.” My father used to say that you have to keep quiet to some extent to have power, to be a member of the establishment. Most interesting and admirable are those people, like Shirley Chisholm, that disregard this particular piece of advice.