It's the same in any lingo

בַּת-בָּבֶל, הַשְּׁדוּדָה: אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם-לָךְ-- אֶת-גְּמוּלֵךְ, שֶׁגָּמַלְתּ לָנוּ
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיֹּאחֵז וְנִפֵּץ אֶת-עֹלָלַיִךְ-- אֶל-הַסָּלַע

How can one be compelled to accept slavery? I simply refuse to do the master's bidding. He may torture me, break my bones to atoms and even kill me. He will then have my dead body, not my obedience. Ultimately, therefore, it is I who am the victor and not he, for he has failed in getting me to do what he wanted done. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? If not now, when? ~ Rav Hillel, Pirke Avot

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes
Wear It With Pride

05 April 2008

In the Name of Love

Yesterday we stopped to remember a man who is arguably the greatest American.  Martin Luther King, Jr.; civil rights leader, champion of the poor, voice of American Conscience.  He brought us together in a movement of non-violence to raise us up from the pit of racism and hate, and bring us all to mountaintop to give us a glimpse of the Promised Land where we would ALL be, "Free at last."

Martin has been a hero of mine since childhood.  Clips of his speeches were played as public service announcements.  They raised my awareness, and drew out my questions.  I asked my mom about Dr. King.  She told me he was a great man who believed that everyone had the right to be free, and have equal rights under the law.  I was raised in a Jewish home where justice, and freedom for all people was a cherished right.  I knew who Martin was before I knew of JFK.  I knew the dark name James Earl Ray before Lee Harvey Oswald.  And I knew that we were all equal, even as the local Catholic kids would throw me to the ground and call me a kike.

Since his death, many have attempted to claim the King legacy, for good or for ill, and I am wary of those who claim his mantle, wary of those people who allow that to be ascribed to them.  Many have spoken this way of Barack Obama.  Even as the Obama candidacy embodies so much of what Dr. King fought for, the man represents much of what he fought against.

King was no shadow man.  King took a real stand.  He put his body and his life on the line.  He embraced all faiths and races.  He supported all who suffered needlessly, and risked all he had to do it.  Barack Obama has not ever, and will not ever take those risks or make those sacrifices.  When he rallied with Illinois Maytag workers, he let cameras roll, but did nothing to stop the closing, even though his friend, and campaign contributer, Lester Crown was a major Maytag shareholder.  Obama said nothing.  He did nothing.  The plant closed.  Those men lost their jobs.  Lester Crown made a fortune.

When two Black sanitation workers were crushed to death because they couldn't ride in the front of the truck with the whites, and were sheltering themselves from the rain, a strike began.  These men needed a voice; a voice that Martin knew he possessed.  He went to Memphis to stand up and support their efforts as part of his new war on poverty.  It cost him his life.

My parents took me to see the film Gandhi back in the early 80s.  It made an incredible impression on me.  I knew who he was, but to see the reenactment of his non-violent struggle made me understand what a powerful weapon it is.  We talked about how Gandhi inspired King, and that it was non-violence that made the Civil Rights movement he led so powerful.  As a Jew I was proud that my people stood up in such great numbers, and even gave their lives for the seminal struggle of our nation.

I look at the people Barack Obama surrounds himself with, the church he belongs to, and his pandering statements.  The Obama campaign, and Obama the man are insults to the partnership between Jews and Blacks that made the Civil Rights movement a success.  He is an insult to the memories of Chaney, Goodman, and Shwerner; a black man and two Jews, Freedom Riders, who died together for the cause of Civil Rights.  And I am asked by Tripp Jones to embrace him.  I will not embrace that liar.  I will not embrace a man who surrounds himself with those who stand against the very principles for which Martin Luther King Jr, my hero, stood.  I will not.  

I choose to honor Dr. King in the way that I conduct my life; defending the rights of all people, by speaking out against liars and frauds who would use King's legacy as a tool of duplicity and division.  One day Martin, we will get to the Promised Land.  And I'll do what I can to help get us there.


Anonymous said...

Hey, well said re MLK, but wasn't there a post here about Hillary and how smart she is? I was going to link someone to it and now it's gone; thought I'd ask.

Shtuey said...

I took that post off to edit it. It's back. Link away!

Anonymous said...

One day Martin, we will get to the Promised Land. And I'll do what I can to help get us there.

And on that day, your valve will be open at last!


Shtuey said...

FT, I think my valve might open if Hillary gets the nomination; at least a partial opening. I won't dare speculate the status of my valve should BO get it. I may need to contact that the Chunnel folks.