Down the Ballot

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Taking What a Fool Believes to the Streets

No wise man has the power to reason away
What seems to be
Is always better than nothing
There's nothing at all
But what a fool believes he sees

-What a Fool Believes, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins 1978

When dealing with the events that have been taking place for the last few months in places like Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere in the country it has hard to not and try and use our rational reasoning to explain such tragic events. Our reasons fails us. As your every day white person I can never fully appreciate what any minority experiences in every day struggles. We all will struggle differently in life and for different things.

What little compassion people have now for each other seems to be better than nothing. We could be doing so much more and doing much better.  Lyndon Johnson once famously said in the Daisy campaign ad 'we must either love each other or we must die'. We seem to be doing little loving of each other but still doing a fair amount of dying. Tragic.

Perhaps we are all fools believing that we will see a better world. I guess if you're going to be a fool, you might as well be a fool for a good reason. I have seen friends and strangers on facebook and other outlets try to rationalize and reason or search for greater meaning in these events. Some point to historical institutional discrimination in our power structures. Others point to the lack civic engagement in communities, and probably worse of the lot; those that don't see the problems at all. When we get too comfortable, too prideful we can become blinded to the problems of our brothers and sisters.

Most of us are not blind to the problems, we don't like what we are seeing and many are taking it to the streets to express our concern, outrage, despair, and hope. We are foolishly optimistic about the future, even if the present leaves us tired and distraught. We must be sure to take it to the streets not simply out of anger but for hope. We must be those agents of change we are demanding. It is more than simply voting, more than simply dishing up the same old rhetoric of change. Each of us must act with hope and love in our corner of humanity.

Take this message to my brother
You will find him everywhere
Wherever people live together
Tied in poverty's despair
You, telling me the things you're gonna do for me
I ain't blind and I don't like what I think I see
Takin' it to the streets
Takin' it to the streets
Takin' it to the streets

-Takin' it to the Streets, Micheal McDonald 1976
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