As I watched broadcasts of people protesting all over the world after the murder of Mr. George Floyd, I thought of the story “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum (American author; 1856 -1919). Now why would I have thought of that story, you ask (or not). Hopefully, you have read the story, but just in case you have not, I will not divulge the whole tale.
The main human character in the story is a young girl named Dorothy. Because of a tornado, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, venture into a strange land.
During their journey, they are joined by several characters: a scarecrow, a tin woodsman, and a lion. All of them have a wish that they want fulfilled. Dorothy wants to be returned home. The scarecrow wants to have a brain. The tin woodsman wants a heart. The lion wants courage.
They have many encounters with a variety of beings as they try to reach a wizard they were told would grant their wishes. Thinking about what Dorothy’s three companions sought is what made me think of this story when observing protesters.
The protesters had the intelligence (brains) to know that the murder of Mr. Floyd was an example of the continuation of racism and injustice that is not to be tolerated. Protestors had compassion (heart) to care that others are treated justly and with respect. And the protestors showed courage to publicly march/demonstrate/take a stand against racism and injustice. In protesting, they became everyday wizards, showing the world that they can and will make changes in the U.S.A. and the world.
They are people who dared to make fantastic demonstrations/journeys for freedom and justice for all. Thank goodness they exist.
“Action is the antidote to despair.” (Joan Baez, 1941-)
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” (“Strength to Love, 1963,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1929-1968.)
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., St. Louis, 1964)