And the eyes of the world are watching now…

WARNING: This post is not suitable for young children.  This video creates anger in me.  Sadness in me.  A rage that died years ago, but apparently never fully died.  Because I’m feeling it again right now as I type this.  Tears well up in my eyes that don’t feel like tears of sadness.  They feel like tears of anger.  I’ve matured over the years since I first heard of Stephen Biko.  Fewer things make me feel rage.  This still does.

At fourteen, Apartheid was my first exposure to genuine evil.  I would listen to amazing African music at the Ashkenaz bar in Berkeley, California (yes, at 14) and wonder how anyone could torture this amazing people the way the South African government was doing with near impunity.  My journey into the world of right and wrong began with Stephen Biko.  It lead to Nelson Mandela.  And I felt like I needed to honor both men now that they have both gone home.

The violent death of Stephen Biko was one of the earlier events that brought light to the injustice of Apartheid, which up to that point had been mostly described as a simple method to keep the peace between two races that had a hard time getting along. Little more than a race-based curfew.  It was so much more than that.  The death of Stephen Biko made Ford start to think twice about manufacturing cars in South Africa. It made a lot of people wonder why they were turning such a blind eye.  The death of Stephen Biko was one of the things that energized Nelson Mandela’s lifelong campaign against Apartheid.

Today let’s just remember the amazing long life of Nelson Mandela and his incredible strength. And the tragically short life of Stephen Biko and the heroism he showed standing up to what must have looked like an insurmountable force. But a force that fell at the hands of Biko, Mandela and millions of others.  Their candles have been blown out.  The fire they started changed the word.  It literally changed the world.

We feel like we can’t change the world. We’re wrong.  Stephen Biko changed the world. Nelson Mandela changed the world. We are each candles.  Together, we are a fire that no one can blow out.  No one.  Let’s go change the world.

We were built to be heroes.  Today we honor two amazing heroes.

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11 thoughts on “And the eyes of the world are watching now…

  1. mammapropria says:

    I’ve been thinking about our time in Berkeley a lot over the last few days. I remember feeling so touched and so proud as I watched your heart for justice and respect among all people bud, and then open and then grow to be a full blossom of moral and social and spirituql responsibility.

    I thought then, and I’ve thought about recently, how my mind and my heart for racial justice and respect were opened by Dr. Martin Luther King when I was in my teens, and it has been over the years of your life high treasure for me to see you follow that same path. I’ve told many people that I raised you and your brother to understand that Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of Almighty God, but there is a really good possibility that Dr. King sits on his left.

    I confess that I was bragging when I said that to those people, but I was bragging more about you two than I was about me. I’m really glad that I taught you the principles I learned from Dr. King, of course, but you are the one who chose to incorporate what I and others taught you into the fabric of the person you are.

    That’s the kind of choice that determines whether a given individual becomes just another person here on Planet Earth or a person who steps into the fullness of the person they were created to be and becomes a world changer. Thank you, for myself and on behalf of the world at large, for the choices you have made.

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  2. Oh… the injustice of the world we live in. It is not for the faint of heart. God is LOVE and yet, where is the heart of man. A world of so many colors and peoples. I ask anyone and all, search your heart. It is not about political correctness, power or tolerance.

    Agape “Love”

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  3. My friend James, you very right. God has given us the right, the power, the wisdom and the crown to change and affect this world positively. No matter how small it might be, we have to contribute and effect a change anytime, anyday, anywhere there is injustice. We need to feel the pains of others and speak.

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