I recently saw a video in which a white, business suited defender stood to protect the statue of St. Louis, King of France, from a malevolent mob of Black Lives Matter demonstrators. St. Louis elevated the status of the aristocracy, which is definitely needed so that the common people can have a civilization to prosper in. I don’t know what turned the BLM mob from their goal, which should be to protect black lives from predators, but an aristocracy of leaders is needed to help a country survive. That’s the truth the Haitians missed in their revolution – making Haiti the poorest nation in the Caribbean or the world.
Sir Galahad in the video stood in the way of Madame Defarge, a dread-locked version of Dickens’ villainess, and he bore the abuse of the crowd with stoic gallantry. Oh, I’m not saying he was Jesus Christ, but the parallel is there. As a citizen of a democracy, I claim no nobility, but the democracy will not survive without an upper class of employers and cognoscenti. And St. Louis, a king, dissuaded his fellow aristocrats from worldly goals to the heavenly.
He was a New York Giants fan back in the days when they still were in New York. He showed me where to get a composition book to keep their baseball statistics, such as wins and losses, players and their batting averages. He also patiently showed me how to play stick ball, curb ball, jacks and other games we played on the street, 76th Drive in Forest Hills. On a cold January day, we would burn a discarded Christmas tree in an empty lot. We watched and helped as the school kids accumulated a pile of scrap metal in the school lot for the “boys overseas,” and topped it off with what must surely have been a WWI German helmet, because all the soldiers were overseas.
He was my first American friend, because we had just gotten off the boat in 1942, and he was one of the best human beings I ever met. He came to visit me after our family had moved to Long Island, making a difficult journey by train, and I never saw him again after that. It was just that I was still too young to make a return trip to Forest Hills, and way leads onto way.
He is firmly lodged in my memory, evidenced by this writing. There are few people that make so lasting an impression, and I hope to meet him again in that great beyond.
Rumor has it that George Floyd had been drinking before his arrest, and what has been called the worst cop in the U.S. had no intention of killing him. If these allegations are true, I can see why Christians feel Jesus must have had to suffer so badly for what is the flawed life of humankind. We really know how to make a mess of things, black or white.
I really think there is a role for forgiveness in this whole mix up, including for slavery in the USA. Hirsi Ali, a black African, writes in the Wall Street Journal, that African-Americans have a better life than any other blacks on this globe. He cites the tribal wars in Africa, the genocides, the corrupt governments who can’t provide an education nor any form of health care for their citizens. Despite the work of missionaries, whole areas have not risen much above their Bantu origins.
We must encourage those activists who take a positive, Christian view of things which fits in with the not-always-positive established order here in the U.S. We all claim to be human, and while that includes failings, it should include forgiveness. Yes, that is an almost unheard word – forgiveness.
We have all witnessed how a newborn foal will stand up and walk, ready for the next day’s gallop. I have seen how a fourteen-year-old boy, here from El Salvador for three years, speaks basic English with almost no trace of an accent. These are the workings of different mammal brains, developed over the eons by a munificent Creator. Who is going to take advantage of such gifts?
Well the horse will, under the tutelage of a human, bring home thousands of dollars from the Kentucky Derby, and the Salvadoran boy will bring home a PhD, with the guidance of a human parent, who knows how to make the most of available opportunities. If these mentors fail, there’s still the safe life’s work as a saddle horse for hire or an apprenticeship, in the case of the boy, to a good plumber. If all fails, there’s the pet food container or MS-13 and the inside of a jail.
The not so happy outcomes are the result of failed mentors, people, who I’m happy to tell you, are definitely not in the majority. I love to see God-fearing people in action, because no matter what they do, it turns out all right. They can make the biggest mistakes, gaffes, or slip-ups, and the results turn out just fine. I love that fail-safe context of their lives.
Deep in Manhasset’s valley is the white clapboard Lakeville AME Church (African Methodist Episcopal Zion) which has been there since 1820, a way station during the Civil War for the Underground Railway. Recently Nassau County celebrated Juneteenth there, but there has been no rioting and vandalism. They mourned the apparently unintentional death of George Floyd with no cries of revenge. There was a sucking in of the breath at news of the tragedy. But the AME church has remained intact.
We cannot expect Christians to get involved other than in peaceful protests, so their impact is not yet felt. But the day is coming when people will take a more sane view of that monumental tragedy and its egregious aftermath (Seattle, toppling of statues, etc.), and as the AME people will exemplify, peace will return to this plagued and besieged land.