Isaiah 56: 12 ~ “Come,” they say, “let me get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure.”
I came across this verse during my daily reading today, and it struck me. At first glance, it looks like the author is advocating drunken partying. However, it’s actually about hope for the future. The verse is basically saying, relax and enjoy the day, tomorrow will be just as great as today.
This is an attitude I’ve been lacking lately. Fifty years ago, our country was in the middle of racial upheaval. African Americans were sending society the message they would no longer tolerate being; banished to the back of the bus, shipped to separate schools, or denied the right to vote.
Their message was punctuated by the March 7th march on Selma. 600 angry citizens found themselves attacked by police for calling attention to America’s unequal distribution of civil rights. The public’s reaction to the treatment of the marchers pressured law makers to address the civil rights issue and make reforms.
In less than 2 months, history buffs and liberal activists are planning to converge on Selma to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic protest.
As airline tickets are being purchased and hotel reservations are being made, our nation again finds itself divided. The Supreme Court has overturned key elements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Many cities have seen protests over court rulings regarding police officers' treatment of African American suspects. A rift has even formed between New York’s mayor and police over the perception the mayor has sided with minorities over the NYPD.
With racial tensions as high as they are, what was scheduled to be a remembrance of a heroic stance, will undoubtedly become a tumultuous reflection of the currently churning storm. While I’m all for the gathering taking place (I even have a good friend who’s making the trip), I find myself overcome with a sense of foreboding. Once gathered, will a horde of well intentioned activists allow current events to fuel their emotions until riots ensue?
On one hand, I hope; cool heads prevail, no one gets hurt, no property is damaged, and intelligent people can peacefully make their voices heard. Of course, the darker part of my soul recognizes that things may have to come to a head before they get better.