In a time like now the value of training is underscored. This is why we learned to breathe. This is how we learned to walk. This is when we will learn to stand. Marques assures us that “we are the people we have been waiting for” and we all know it is true. Not so much “waiting for” as “training for”, I like to think when I see the light in your eyes and feel our strength. Training is on my mind because it was the theme of this Summer. Working our legs, lungs, and hearts to get us through 60 miles of hiking in 5 days as we have promised to complete. Working our legs, hearts, and minds to get us through 4 more years of the mad men pretending to reign. Working our streets, city, and government to sustain, endeavor, and grow. Cross trained at the cross road to stand at the intersection and demonstrate the power of people moving together with intent and desire. This is why we practice. This is why we breathe. This is when we stand.
To take a stand is to have found a line too far to cross. To stop marching and switch to defense. That is where the battle lines drawn in Berkeley, Charlottesville, Boston, Phoenix, and Minneapolis find my mind, my feet, and my camera. I concede the reality that physical violence between disagreeable human beings has been a very large part of our collective histories, dreams, and identities. My opting for the peaceful power of non-violence will not be the final straw to break the back violence, hatred, or war, of that I am certain. I think of it as training; learning how to react to violence without joining the fray. I’m not preaching beyond myself. You do what you do and we’ll see where it all leads. I intend to stand here and try to wage a little more peace.
John Thompson has taught me a lot about putting anger into positive action. He has transformed the suffering he felt when his good friend Philando Castile was shot 7 times by Officer Jeromino Yanez and killed into a message of authentic love, while talking truth to power with authority and optimism. Brother Thompson will not be stayed from the path toward justice for those to whom it has systematically and personally been denied for half a millennium or more. Fight For Justice Enterprises will fill you in. If you follow the hypertext links in the first sentence of this paragraph and take the time to listen to John, you’ll see what I mean. I created this series of videos to magnify John’s message by bringing together moments in which he spontaneously expressed his mind. I encourage everyone reading this article to follow King Demetrius and “Listen!” Because I understand that few people will take the time to watch all those videos even though there are enough to support binge watching, I edited them down to less than 4 minutes.