Through demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience activists like Martin Luther King Jr., Joseph E. Lowery, Ralph David Abernathy, and the Foot Soldiers of Justice along with many others paved the way for African-Americans to be treated fairly and equally to that of the majority during the Civil Rights Movement. Within the past few months we have seen circulating headlines, witnessed and grieved over our young black men who’ve been gunned down do to reckless violence. Just as recently as last week we heard about the tragic Charleston Church Massacre, where nine innocent lives were taken at the hand of a white gunman. These devastating series of events begs the question: were the efforts of those brave Civil Rights leaders in vain?
How do we combat the evil in this world peacefully, when we are plagued with the frustration of a broken justice system? Martin Luther King advised us to “drive out hate with love.” However, we are not just fighting against flesh and blood anymore; we are warring in the spirit.The only way to fight this is to combat it with the Word of God. Scripture is our weapon. Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything.” and Isaiah 54:7 declares that “no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that rises up against you in judgement you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the Lord’s servants, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.”
We are called to do what is right, even if it requires us to stand alone. Today, Bree Newsome, a film-maker, an artist and a self proclaimed “Freedom Fighter” (twitter.com/BreeNewsome) did just that. Newsome, scaled her way to the top of the South Carolina Statehouse’s flagpole to remove the confederate flag that has been hanging there since last week. With the flag in her hand she loudly voices,“You come against me with hatred, oppression and violence. I come against you in the Name of God. This flag comes down today.” On her way back down, she told the officers who waited for her to reach the bottom “I am prepared to be arrested.” In the video footage that was captured, you can hear Newsome reciting Psalm 27 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?“ as she gets escorted off the premises by two policemen.
This fearless act was truly a demonstration of determination, bravery and Modern-Day Civil Disobedience. Perhaps all hope is not lost.
If you have not yet seen it, I encourage you to watch the full Bree Newsome video on the Simply Ari Facebook Page.