Saturday, April 1, 2017

Greg Thomas ― Reading Albert Murray in the Age of Trump

(New Republic) In Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison’s protagonist asks: “Could politics ever be an expression of love?” Our current climate of division, fear, anger, recrimination, and even resignation clearly points to an answer in the negative. However, the writings and ideas of Ellison, and his close friend of fifty years, Albert Murray, should caution citizens of the United States to keep in view how and why we’ve come so far, and to hold on to the vision of possibility within our democratic principles.

As members of the Greatest Generation, Murray and Ellison lived through the Great Depression under Jim Crow, the global threat of fascism during World War II, and the revolutionary 1960s, when Martin Luther King Jr.’s ethic of Christian love and tactic of non-violent resistance moved the nation closer to a democratic ideal. The Civil Rights Movement itself is proof that politics can be an expression of love as well as struggle. Where do we go from here: chaos or community?

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