Inspiration for Resisters

A young child holds a sign aloft to support the Black Lives Matter movement on July 17, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

This weekend, we celebrate both Easter and Passover, events that celebrate the advent of spring with rituals of renewal and hope. For those of us who now call ourselves the resistance, it’s a time to reflect on the kindness, strength and comradery of those we’ve met on this journey. These are the people who, despite setbacks, failures and disappointments, continue to show up, continue to call out, continue to fight, until our country itself undergoes a renewal.

PROTEST

To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.

Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1914 (Poems of Problems)

Thanks to brainpickings.org, listen to this poem here…

 

 

 

 

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