Curiosity killed the cat – as the saying goes to caution our human minds on curiosity and carefully asset our beliefs at some point, or risk the damage of loosing our senses. After reading the short story by Alice Walker titled; Advancing Luna- and Ida B. Wells I couldn’t help but be curious and ask “What is the point”. Is the story about the black civil rights leader, an advocate for equality and justice who rapes Luna, a white female social worker or is the story about Luna’s friend, the black curious female friend who voices her thorughts through her writing?
For me, the title said it all, it is about the injustice Luna suffered by the hands of another, in a act that was a violation of the basic human rights of an individual. However, Walker’s story is not about the criminal act of rape, rather the events leading up to it and the odd ending without an answer just proves to show that perhaps its it just too complicated for us to fully grasp in one story telling incident or even a mass of a movement.
Does that mean that the human civilization has no fix to it and we should just do our best in living our own lives at the best of our ability? Is there truly no justice as Walker states in the beginning of her story for this civilization that so many brilliant minds gathered to shape? Absolutely not! In attending to our civilization, we as people of the society are responsible for presenting and sharing the truth as we know it so that others are aware of it and have the option to make better judgements.
Though Ida B. Wells had advised Walker not to write about the incident. fearing that it could harm the civil rights movement, it still does not justify the fact that it was a wrongful act on another human being. The concern over the black race took over the concern over the human race, and thus contradicted the central belief assured by the civil rights movement; all men are equal.
Intensified emotions took over me to the fullest in advocating for Luna who had to not only stay “hush hush” about the rape incident but also had to re-live it. When the rapist broke down crying in her bed, she had to empathize with his sadness, reinforcing the inferiority she felt when he raped her. Is logic that simple? If we take out the equation of black and white in this story, then it becomes the story of rape and injustice, by which everyone would support condemning the criminal- which in this case was Freddie Pye, the uneducated, filthy, sad, poor, black man speaking in front of some “elites” about being a victim of a nation. Addressing his concerns on being “politically correct” in defining words instead of understanding feelings sustained by those condensed in the definition of those politically corrected words. What is the use?
Yet, in the end, when I stepped back from the story and took a moment to gain perspective. I calmed down relentlessly in the need to breath – then i I understood why. Yes, i concur, the civil rights movement had not only brought equality in the eye of the law to black people but to all races and indigenous groups. However, not by fighting for truth and full justice, but by compromising a few injustices for the particular people in the movement in the promise of a better tomorrow. In the hopes that the future generations might be able to come up with something better; a just world in which human beings come first before any race, organization, country or nation. That is my belief and that is my understanding, not to be mistaken for my acceptance of this story. The platform at which i make my opinion today, was set for me by the people like Ida. B Wells, Alice Walker, Luna, and even Freddie Pye. Most settled with the current and accepted what they could not change in their time. Again I understand, but I still will not accept.
One thought on “Settle with the current for the future of the “movement””
You touched a very sensitive nerve there when you made a point about whether the civil rights movement was to empower the black community or was it a movement to empower all human beings. Its difficult for people to accept a certain change in the status quo, and it goes both ways, as in, the black uneducated person conforming to the new idea of being a part of the change or the white elite who has to acknowledge the rights of the underprivileged. In a way the predicament is always and has always been,”to quote Einstein”, relative.
The rape of women during wartime was seen a norm back in the days and still is in some parts of the world. In contrast, the killing of even the smallest insect is seen as an unnecessary evil by Tibetans in the present day. I personally believe that aside from the question of free will, societies and individuals have set values that are passed down to them through their surroundings and most of the times people ignore the circumstances, instead relegate and pass judgement on the grounds of universal morality or basic human rights. Just a thought I had, I’m not in favor or against anything you said.