Jeanae’ Question Part 2: Where Do You Stand When the Standing is not Easy?

       Jeanae,

         I have been thinking about this “Drone warfare Issue” in the context of  the  speeches made at the recently televised NAACP Image Awards. You know, there is a difference between living through a historical period, and reading about that historical period (just ask your mom). My personal take away from the Belafonte comments at the NAACP Awards Program was this: When Dr. Martin Luther King came out against the war in Viet-Nam; and in particular, the indiscriminate bombing of North Viet-Nam; Harry Belafonte was one of the few prominent Black persons who did not run as far and fast, in the other direction away from Dr. King. They (the Johnson Administration) found; and when I say “found”; I don’t mean they had to look hard for them. (Meaning having to look in a basement, under a rock, or in a cave somewhere). Prominent Negro leaders  (the name that was used at the time) enthusiastically came forward to denounce Dr.  King. Mr. Belafonte was extremely gracious and kind at that NAACP ceremony; but the truth is that many people who not only denounced the “anti-war” King, also denounced the “civil-rights” King; and these same people now praise the monumental and historical (their version) of King.  Some prominent leaders who actively supported Dr. King on the “Civil-Rights” question; got “off” the train on his opposition to the war in Viet-Nam. Mr. Belafonte (at great harm to his professional career) stayed the course. I am wondering if  those professional entertainers in the audience were actually listening to Mr. Belafonte. Do they understand the level of sacrifice he represented? I think he was speaking beyond the easy task of: “giving back” (Oh, how I so dislike that phrase).  It is easy to fight for the powerful and popular; the challenge is: Can you fight for the powerless, and the unpopular? And so the final question is: “What would Martin Luther King think about Drone Warfare?

 

MAJ/2/7/13