02 July, 2010

"Love is the final fight"

Dr. John Perkins. 

Does that name mean anything to you? It should. He is a Civil Rights leader.

Is - as in still leading the fight, the cause that we can create a country that puts the truths we laid out before us - that every man in created equal and blessed with life, liberty and the pursuit (not the attainment) of happiness - before every man, woman and child on our soil.

He is a man who suffered greatly in the 60's. Who moved back to Mississippi to fight for civil rights. He was jailed, beaten, threatened, lost his brother to racism, and yet stayed and tried to change things for the better.

He turned 80 this year. He is an incredible man, a true saint. A man who is humble, funny, on fire for the Lord and still speaks a message of equality that we would all take note to listen to.

I met Dr. Perkins at Duke when I was there last month. He spoke one morning and the room listened with rapt attention as he compared the U.S. today to the Israel of the Old Testament. We have set these amazing tenants out before us and and then failed to fulfill them. We are all in the bondage of that sin. We all have a part to play in that injustice.

He compared the current immigration "discussion" to the Civil Rights era. It's time to make the invisible - visible. It's time to look at the suffrage of those among us, give it a name, and call it into the light. Not be used for political power and leverage. But to say, "I am human too."

Switchfoot wrote a song about/for Dr. Perkins. Watch the images. We have too easily forgotten what the 60's (and before and since) cost us. During one lunch time at Duke Dr. Perkins gave us a history lesson of the South in the 60's - learned more from him in twenty minutes than I did in 16 years of school.

Here is the link in case the video doesn't translate through to facebook.

"I think this is the generation that could actually make our national creed a reality. we hold these truths to be self-evident that all people are created equal..."