Talking Politics: Leadership needs followers
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 14:02
Politics plays a part in our daily lives; whether it is by will or by force, wholly or in part, it involves every individual.
Some do not seem to see the point of participation, some are misled by the appearance and others are ignorant. There is nothing wrong with being ignorant, but there is a great education that comes out of ignorance.
The latter becomes more involved after experiences and hindsight, they become “king makers,” making one electable for a position. Those who run for an elected office, chosen by the people will make a platform for those with like interests or issues they relate to.
This can be seen once the platform has been chosen; then the magic of the campaign and the candidate takes place.
Leadership has to have followers.
One of the best ways to evaluate if one is truly a leader is the kind of organization they build; how many people they influence to do something. I evaluate leaders by asking, “How many people voted for you?” Another way to vote for a person is to join that person in protest.
Change does not come unless there is an aggressive approach. The way to get followers is to run for a particular office and win; or to put your purposes before the public and to have the public come and support you.
That is the way to make a leader; people will not come if they don’t believe in that individual. Often time’s leaders have humor, substance and wisdom.
Remarkably through research it has been found that Dr. King was wise and funny. I call it, “King’s Magic,” only because he did not forget people.
If one knows enough, they take everybody into the room with them. When they walk out on that stage; they bring the people who have loved them, people who have taught them, people who have supported them, they bring them.
Now Dr. King’s magic depended upon his bringing everybody on the stage with him; so when he came out people would say, “he has charisma,” but what they REALLY meant was that there were four-thousand people all around him who were invisible to the audience.
When he came, there was so much stuff that the people could not take their eyes off of him. It was simply because he honored those who went before.
People live in direct relation with the heroes they have.
Indeed some people are born great, others achieve it, and others have it thrust upon them.
Martin Luther King was all three.
Because it was thrust upon him, he was ready for it. He was a man of his time; a man with energy, intellect and humor.
It is important for young people to know that. I want to share this; I had an uncle (Donald C. Wade) who was a great man I adored, he always tried to show me how “livable is the responsibility of being a black man in the United States.”
How painful, and yet how livable it is—it is important that we know that, so we may see our heroes; Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and Barack Obama.
One should think, “These are human beings, these are not people too large, so much larger than life that I could never dream to be that.”
Otherwise other young men and women, both black and white forget they have already been, “paid for,” then they become cynical. There is nothing more tragic than to see a cynical young person, because they have gone from knowing nothing, to believing nothing.
The passage of Civil Rights legislation in the sixties and so many other movements all over the world came from our movement.
Of course, many wonder what Martin Luther King would think of our world today.
I think he would probably be on the picket lines right now, dreaming up ways he could influence all young men and women, black and white, Asian, native American, Spanish speaking, Jewish, Arabic—all of the young men and women.
His great dream was to turn the march on Washington, the last one, the peace march, the one for the poor and hungry people into a forum where all of the people, all of the “Adams and Eves” as Margaret Walker has said—so that all of the faces could come under his umbrella.
Many do not see that it is our president now saying, “Let’s make it a world for all the people—all the time.” He wanted to remove all barriers, and in my honest opinion, he was killed because he did not only protest for black people, he protested for all people.
If you only concern yourself with one group, another group can say, “I can leave them alone,” but if one says, “human beings are more alike than we are unalike,” whether you are gay or straight, fat or thin and the statement is, “come under my umbrella, I’m with you here.” Then suddenly all of the barriers have been dismissed so people will join together in an attempt to undo the cruelties, murders and brutalities of the past.
That was what Martin Luther King was about.
That along with his protest of the Vietnamese War had him killed.
The message is still the same.
One voice cannot make a movement alone.
In short, the people are the movement. An individual voice together with another is the most powerful instrument to start a movement!
For instance, many have reservations regarding to go boxes in the evening here on campus, but there has been no mass movement to stop it.
Look at it as paying one dollar to live on campus and get an education. Any time there is a discount or shortage for what has been paid for, it subtracts from the value of that dollar. One dollar given is service for one dollar, NOTHING LESS.
Food shortages and long waits should not be tolerated, but there has been no resistance to it. All areas should be properly staffed, hot food should be hot, cold foods should be cold and all beverage fountains should be stocked accordingly.