"If your success is defined as being well-adjusted to injustice and well-adapted to indifference, then we don't want successful leaders. We want great leaders, who love the people enough and respect the people enough to be unbought, unbound, unafraid, and unintimidated to tell the truth."
- Dr. Cornell West
Recently, Dr. Cornell West endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. He is not the first, and he will not be the last, but I have no doubt that he will be one of the loudest. Dr. West and Senator Sanders are both the type of men that are not afraid to tell the American people, right up front that they are being scammed, bamboozled, done over, robbed, cheated, and lied to in some of the worst ways imaginable every single day of their lives. I have spent spent my entire life working to be such a man.
What I am worried about, though, is that such a leader will not be appreciated. I am worried that they will be the ones that end up with the short end of the stick. Men such as this have a tendency of disappearing, and they disappear when they are needed the most, right at the most critical moments. I am not the only one that believes this. Just listen to the song Cult of Personality by Living Colour. The line, "When a leader speaks that leader dies...." How many people could we identify that suffered this fate?
It would be next to impossible to name them all; however, in the last 60+ years several high profile assassinations have made it very clear what the rulers of this country do to people that 'lose their minds," and start telling the truth. John F. Kennedy was assassinated after making it clear that he had no intentions of engaging in a full scale military campaign in Vietnam. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X were both shot after they announced talks that were rumored to be preparing for a merger of their movements. Robert F. Kennedy was shot when he started speaking up and entered the presidential race in 1968. These are just a couple of the examples, but it sets a dangerous precedent. I have to admit that I was terrified of an accident befalling Barack Obama. I am very glad that nothing has happened, as I am sure the social repercussions would have been drastic.
Despite the dangerous conditions of the life of someone that does not lie to the people, I believe that such men need to continue to not only keep telling the truth, but they need to do so from the top of the highest mountain they can find, so that everyone can hear them. They need to show the world the meaning of moral courage. They must have the strength to say the hard stuff, even though many people will find it next to impossible to do what they ask. They have to be able to show these people that moral courage has not disappeared from the world. I chose the picture of Dr. West during the Ferguson protests because that is a shining example of the type of man that should be running this country. He is willing to get down in the streets with his people and risk the same beating that they are getting, and I believe that Bernie Sanders is also willing to do whatever it takes to get to the truth, no matter what he is doing. He is beholden to no one but the American people. He has refused to take corporate money, and he runs clean campaigns, and I have yet to hear him tell a lie.
Our country is losing all of its credibility in the international community, not to mention the lack of trust that its own citizens have for the government that rules their lives every single day with nothing but deflections and lies. Men like Dr. West and Senator Sanders need to keep talking, and they need help. The future for them in the 'Land of Liberty,' is not certain. There people in government and business that would profit from their deaths. Who, then, is going to help them? It has to be us, the American people. We are not perfect, in fact, we are far less than perfect, but our children's education is a risk, our physical security gets more worrisome each day, the world is getting very tired of the United States' abuses, and if we were to look at what the government uses against us to keep our minds off that; while many would not be able to believe it, there are those of us that know full well what is happening. Do we have the moral courage for stand up for these new prophets? Are we willing to take the beatings and the jail time that is doled out to us, and then still get up and give the lying government the middle finger salute. These are men that will risk life and limb to ensure we receive justice so, when they need us most, are we going to be locked away playing a video game, or are we going to be in the streets with them?