Reflections...Bloody But Unbowed
By Tom Dwyer
Looking back over sixty years and to the recent events in Minneapolis and elsewhere, what is transpiring in the nation has been warranted for some time with systemic race tensions entrenched at society’s core.
Going back to the 1960’s with protests over the Vietnam War, assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr, John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and the ensuing turmoil, we achieved passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. That legislation has helped in our politics but has not put out the flames of racism nor attacks on our citizens by the very groups sworn to protect us. God bless George Floyd and many others.
For the first time I have seen black and white come together to protest racial inequality in our daily lives. Poet William Ernest Henley penned the following which Nelson Mandela read while in captivity during South Africa’s apartheid.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning’s of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters now how strait the gate
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.