imagesA public space is an arena. Sometimes they are quiet, sometimes not. That town hall meetings erupted as they have is surely a sign of the times and a reaction to #45.

Many cool, calm, and collected men and women have lost that cool and calm for good reason.

We also all know that Tea Partiers earlier, and #45sters 2016 bad behaviors have not only created recent precedent, but pushed the bar lower for public discourse.

I was at a meeting Friday night that, in part, prepared for a local Town Hall meeting to do the right thing, the right way, for the right reasons. I know those people were there to behave reasonably.

Perhaps we all need to carefully watch Spike Lee’s 30 year old classic film,DO THE RIGHT THING to better understand the choices people have to fight injustices. I used that film in classes for years to create such a discussion among high school seniors. These quotes rolled down the screen as the movie ended. Was Malcolm or Martin right?

“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn’t mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don’t even call it violence when it’s self-defense, I call it intelligence.”
-Malcolm X

 

It seems that history tells us that the successful fights for justice involve two arms, one provocative, and one reasonable. Look at our civil Rights and Vietnam War efforts as well as the ANC’s fight vs Apartheid in South Africa as proof.
Finally, no fight against injustice can take place without a provocative, investigative, and reasonable press. The Fourth Estate must do its part….

Advertisements