We joke about listening to Frederick Douglass, MLK, & Malcolm X at the vigil memorializing the Bowling Green massacre but seriously we do rue that they are not still here to lead us. In fact, they are still alive & do continue to teach us through their ideals, writings, & lives well spent.
Our historic era is producing its own great leaders–if not in a singular figure with a resounding voice, then in the unbroken collective defiance of Palestinian & Kashmiri resistance, of Syrian revolutionists & of the monumental Arab uprisings that showed the human race the best we’re made of. Maybe the Arab uprisings have been set back; they never said they were defeated.
Then there are the tens of thousands of anti-Trump youth, the over three million in the Women’s Marches on every continent, the thousands around the world still actively opposing the anti-Muslim ban.
Reactionary cynics & misanthropes sneer at all that; they always have because hating is the breadth & depth of their vision. As they stumble over each other moving backwards from the front lines, they dismiss civil rights, women’s rights, immigrant rights protests as trivial “flare ups,” identity politics gone amuck, just a liberal thing unsuited to the avant-garde smart-ass & sophisticado. There’s no Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, MLK alive to silence their discordant harping so we must tell them in a collective voice & in the nicest possible way to STFU. We’ll make history without you.
Just one more thing; the resounding voices of our era may very well be soprano or more likely a chorus expressing the entire range of human aspiration.