A few years ago a direction challenged friend asked me to go looking at houses with her. She had a knack for getting lost in neighborhoods. My job was to provide a second opinion and help her get unlost. Only a couple times did I need to suggest to her how to get out of the place. Somehow, I don’t recall how, I started talking about how the money in political campaigns are bad for us. That it makes our politicians dependent on financiers not their constituents.
Fast forward to the past Friday. I had seen something about a local manufacturer in the weeks prior and stopped to say hi to the owners. Something that surprised me was that they have multiple sites around the state and how that hurts them. Of course, then it drifted into politics, how he likes the automatic spending cuts because Congress is incompetent. I made the mistake of trying to explain how it is in the best interest of Congress not to solve any of these issues. He was particularly offended that people like him who give so heavily to our house member could be thought of as “Kingmakers”. Even worse, I never really got to explain the Baha’i Faith’s elections, the style system I would replace US elections.
Apparently Rush Limbaugh made a statement that armed marchers of the Civil Rights Movement would have not been physically assaulted during “Bloody Sunday” on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. He said African Americans, but if I recall my history correctly there were a Caucasian Americans there who were also assaulted. Perhaps armed marchers might not have been struck with weapons by police. Though there were definitely guns present on the police side as you can see in this FBI photograph of the event. If the people intended to attack are armed with guns, then the attackers use their guns not batons. Bull Conner knew shooting unarmed marchers would go too far. Armed CRM marchers would have invited a massacre. Unarmed peaceful protesters getting attacked by armed police attain the sympathy of the general public who shift more strongly to the side of the protesters. If the CRM marchers had been armed, then like all the failed rebellions of the past, almost no children or adults today would know anything about them. Certainly there would be no Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Because we as Americans do not celebrate those we deem as fomenting insurrections. There is no Nat Turner Day. (Okay Southerners do celebrate Robert E Lee and Jefferson Davis, but they view Lincoln as the leader of the rebellion.)
Our goal in the Civil Rights Movement was not to injure or destroy but to build a sense of community, to reconcile people to the true oneness of all humanity,” said Rep. John Lewis. “African Americans in the 60s could have chosen to arm themselves, but we made a conscious decision not to. We were convinced that peace could not be achieved through violence. Violence begets violence, and we believed the only way to achieve peaceful ends was through peaceful means. We took a stand against an unjust system, and we decided to use this faith as our shield and the power of compassion as our defense.
And that is why this nation celebrates the genius and the elegance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s work and philosophy. Through the power of non-violent action, Dr. King accomplished something that no movement, no action of government, no war, no legislation, or strategy of politics had ever achieved in this nation’s history. It was non-violence that not only brought an end to legalized segregation and racial discrimination, but Dr. King’s peaceful work changed the hearts of millions of Americans who stood up for justice and rejected the injury of violence forever.
The philosophy of “violence begets violence” goes back to the Gospel of Matthew, “Then said Jesus unto him [Peter], Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Attaining the moral high ground is difficult as an armed mob.
It was curious to see Limbaugh make the case that African Americans should be armed. Usually the arguments I see regarding the need to for guns as protection are to protect themselves from those nasty criminal African Americans who all have illegal guns.
Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. — James Garfield, “A Century of Congress” published in Atlantic, July 1877.
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers. — Thomas Jefferson
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. — Abraham Lincoln
The one I sought:
Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. — Thomas Jefferson