I know it’s important to think of Dr. King Jr. Day as a day of reflection on him. So let’s do that but not in the conventional way.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not a pacifist. Not a peacenik. Not a guy your buddies could sit with and discuss social justice with and not see his eyes flash or know his pulse raced. He was a radical and a rabble rouser. He was a over and a shaker and he never settled for the status quo. It was not in his interest to see his people abused nor to allow the abuse to continue. His life was directed towards seeing the promise that the constitution was written about, made real in black America just as it was real for land owning whites.
Dr. King Jr. was like Jesus in the market. He turned over tables, shouted and caused a ruckus. He saw the marketplace of his community being ravaged by racism, unequal access, Jim Crow laws and legalized violence. He decided to overturn a few tables.
But it wasn’t until he went after the war and the economy that his life was taken. Oh yes, it was threatened and even almost lost at the end of a thruster knife. But it was not until that day he spoke out agar the war in Vietnam making it clear that he, like Muhammad Ali, didn’t believe it was right to send poor Americans to kill poor Vietnamese that his days became numbered. In fact it’s because he stood up for the poor in the way that really mattered, from an economic standpoint, that the power in America then and today started to sweat and shift uncomfortably in their plush leather seats.
So today, while you are making your dried out Christmas tree down, and contemplating the life you can lead today because of his sacrifice and so many others like him, pause and know that the world doesn’t change because of pacifists. It changes because of rabble rousers. Ruckus raisers. Trouble makers. Dissatisfied citizens. True disciples.
Few are aware that there was a Lone Ranger before the recent movies portrayal of the historical figure. I say historical because the “character” and character of the Lone Ranger was not a fictional person of the thrilling days of yesteryear. The real Lone Ranger was actually inspired by the actions of an Oklahoma lawman responsible for well over 2000 and perhaps as many as 3000 arrests; a black man named Bass Reeves. As for the fictionalized “character”, played by Clayton Moore and John Hart among others the ethos of the Lone Rangerr became legend.
Interestingly, my thoughts return to him as I look at this presidential election year. I am reminded of the strict code of ethics so integrated with the character, that even the actors attempted to live out the ethos and conduct themselves as nothing less than his characters character. Including among others that life is sacred, hence the use of very costly silver bullets rather than cheap lead. That all men are truly created equal and that all have within himself the ability to live up to Gods intended designs. Sometimes it’s up to us as the children of God to help bring out the goodness within our fellow man. We should fight the good fight, not because it can be won, but because it is the right thing to do.
But I see these many politicians running for office doing all manner of thing and saying anything bombastic to make headlines and remain in the public eye, but very little if anything to serve the better nature of man. I am not expecting these would be presidents to adopt the ethics and modus operandi of the Lone Ranger, but perhaps I am saddened to realize that I can’t expect it even if I should. The system of politics I live in is burdened by policy all action groups, lobbyists and campaign monies that would sway even the most stalwart of Americans. There may well be good if not great politicians out there, but the mud slinging and hatred and sheer vitriol carelessly thrown at one another is indicative of the way they view their fellow American too. If you are willing to demonizes and denigrate the caharacter of your opponent to win a seat of power, what will you do to is not competing with you? In other words, if you are willing to strike blows on the mighty what more will you do to the weak? The mighty can strike back and you risk injure and you strike anyway. But the weak, what can they do?
God looks at us and I have to believe he shakes his great head in disgust at how we treat one another. Did he not say love ye one another as I have loved you? Treat one another as you would be treated? Brothers, dwell together in unity?
Where is the Lone Ranger in that?