By Lucius Gantt
The passing of the late, great civil rights icon and non-violence advocate, Rep. John Lewis has resulted in the frequent use of one of his favorite phrases, “good trouble”.
I imagine, good trouble is in some way better than bad trouble. However, in my lifetime, good has never been able to stop or reduce bad trouble.
You see, trouble is, in a way, like power. Power never takes a step back and trouble will never take a step back!
When the powers that be began to beat history’s good troublers, the proponents of good trouble turned their other cheeks, they prayed to God for protection and safety and, sometimes they sang songs.
“The boy from Troy”, as Rep. John Lewis was called in his early adult years did some good things and deserves the hero status that many Americans have given him. He taught this country’s young and older citizens a way to peacefully protest, a way, in his mind, to seek justice and equality.
What I learned from the life of John Lewis is different from what most people learned.
I learned America’s Black advocates of non-violence are hated just as much as America’s Black rebels, radicals and revolutionaries.
The Black marchers on the Edmund Pettis bridge in Alabama were beaten by law enforcers with Alabama accents and the Black people beaten on the Brooklyn bridge in New York were beaten with a New York accent!
African Americans are not hated, mistreated and exploited because they are non-violent or violent, all Black people across this nation are beaten, choked and killed by law enforcers, and each other, because they are Black!
I also learned that good trouble civil rights workers are not the only good troublemakers.
You can be a good trouble teacher or a good trouble preacher. You can be a good trouble employee or a good trouble employer.
You can even be a good trouble opinion writer or editorial columnist.
As a group, too many African Americans are waiting to be inspired or led by the next John Lewis, the next Martin Luther King or the next Malcolm X.
Readers of The Gantt Report, you are the next good troublemaker. You are the next great elected official, you are the next unafraid freedom fighter, you are the new soldiers on your community battlefields and you are the next messengers chosen and directed by God to tell your people the truth and to tell the modern day wicked Pharaohs to stop oppressing Black people in the United States.
Stop wishing and hoping. New Black leaders will be different from our predecessors.
In a capitalist society like the United States claims to be, money will always be the most motivating factor.
Freedom fighters don’t always get rich. Most activists that risk their lives, risk their careers and those who inadvertently put their families and friends in danger do it because they have to, not because they want to or it is fashionable at the time. Freedom fighters fight because their fight is right!
Devilish beasts are not seeking to hire Black community troublemakers but the good and bad troublemakers both have bills to pay and mouths to feed.
The new, good troublemakers and their organizations should have an economic component. No good troublemaker should have to worry about being fired for doing good things, saying good things or for fighting for the right issues.
Don’t act like every Black organization has been poor and broke. Garvey’s UNIA had money, Yahweh’s Hebrew Israelites had money and Black crime lords and drug kingpins and queens have money right now.
Ten Black billionaires can put $10,000,000 each into a fund that could finance Black community progress for years to come. That $100,000,000 could generate that same amount every month and the athletes, rappers, investors and sports team owners that contribute money can contribute without a single penny leaving their precious bank accounts.
If you want people to stand up and speak out like John Lewis and other good troublemakers did, put your money where your mouth is.