I learned this morning that my friend Bonnie Bucqueroux passed away yesterday. Bonnie, who changed her last name to a French-looking version of the word “buckaroo” (which was totally a Bonnie thing to do), had been sick recently but her death came as a shock to almost everyone who knew her. And just about everyone in Michigan progressive political circles knew her. I am profoundly saddened to know she’s gone.
Bonnie was a professor of journalism at Michigan State University until her recent retirement and was the publisher of Lansing Online News which has long been on the Eclectablog blogroll, Occupy Journalism, Sustainable Farmer, and Foods of Michigan. She also had a radio show which I had the privilege of being on and was well-known for her excellent interviews. But most importantly, Bonnie was an activist who fought passionately for the causes and issues she cared about. She was, for example, a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the passage of Michigan’s Right to Work law. Everything she did was done with passion, determination, and a unique sense of humor.
Here is a two-part interview she did with me. While the focus is on me in the clips, you can see how good she was at what she did when you listen to her questions and see her probe concepts and ideas.
Bonnie’s passing is a huge loss to the progressive community in Michigan and we’re all mourning along with her husband Drew Howard (who I went to high school with), a well-known Michigan musician.
Progress Michigan put out a statement about Bonnie’s death that says things as well as anything I could ever hope to write:
The passing of Bonnie Bucqueroux, an activist, journalist and Michigan State University educator, is a heavy loss for progressive activists and her former students around the state.
“This is a terrible loss for the progressive community, the Spartan family and Michigan as a whole. Bonnie was a champion for progress and peace and will be greatly missed,” said Sam Inglot, deputy communications director of Progress Michigan. “Our thoughts are with Bonnie’s family and loved ones during this trying time and I hope they can find peace in knowing that so many people are better off for knowing her and learning from her.
“Bonnie was a champion for people who could be found in the bitter cold filming a protest or asking tough questions of elected officials in the halls of the legislature. Knowing Bonnie, she would not want us to be crippled with grief. There are still those in power who need to be held accountable, oppressed people who need their voices and stories lifted and battles for justice to be fought — that’s how she taught her students and lived her life and that’s how we can best preserve her legacy.”
“Rest in power, Bonnie.”
Rest in power, indeed. Bonnie, you will be missed but never forgotten. Thanks for being there for us. The world is a better place because of you.