I’ve long had immense admiration for Frederick Douglas (he’s in all my Almanac publications) because of his eloquence and courage – so the reenactment of that eloquence and courage was thrilling. “I love this man!” I said to myself over and over through the video.
I reconcile my political passivity today with his and others’ dissent with this observation:
In the end, it was clear that “moral ‘suasion,” political activism, even the deaths of many thousands in war, couldn’t change the rulers’ minds. When Abraham Lincoln finally signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the real rulers simply changed the game and created a different sort of slave by way of economic and other social manipulations.
For the next era, our nation experienced wanton lynchings, and today wanton murders by “peace officers” and mass incarceration of slave descendants by the millions into corporate-run work prisons. And people in “undeveloped” countries are our “invisible” slaves today – out of sight, out of mind. And the planet too is treated as slave.
The noble, courageous abolitionists’ error was in believing the rulers of this world had human hearts and could be persuaded to do the right thing. We have more information today.
Everyone in modern civilization living month to month (most Americans) are wage slaves, required to labor (far more than natural humans), often abandoning their children to “educational” institutions, just to eat, have shelter, and stay out of jail.
And new groups of us are mind-control slaves of a sort equally brutal to that which drove the Abolitionists: we are raped, terrorized throughout our lives, and murdered just as surely.
Since politicians are bought, blackmailed, and mind controlled too, politics is a no-win game. Fascinating to watch, but that’s about all.
Still, it is right to speak out, if one can. We might die for our troubles or spend our lives in prison or exile, but speaking out is still right to do.
It defines the world we want to live in. It’s our creative act, our human right. It defines who we are, individually – and the world we’ll enter when we’re freed from this amnesia-inducing dimension.
So I speak out. To readers here, and other audiences, but not to politicians.
I know from personal experience that people who speak out on dangerous subjects sometimes get murdered, like Karla Turner (above) and Judi Bari (a non-violence activist colleague of mine), or threatened with death, like all the abolitionists, or imprisoned for life like so many descendants of slaves today.
I spoke out for decades when I was younger, went to jail twice, was Tasered and made amnesic in jail once, paid the government thousands of dollars to settle my fines, and spent far too many hours away from my children fighting the criminal system. When Judi – whom I’d set as my role model in 1990 – was car bombed that year, I had to rethink it all. Judi and I both still had children at home.
Now I’m 62, and this is what I can do: write, speak, and sing (occasionally about war and throwing over money-changers’ tables).
Keep healing myself.
Imagine a better world.
Treat all life with respect.
And pray for extra-dimensional help with the collapse of this slave-making system – soon.