Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Civil Rights Movement: The Modern Pied Piper

In the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin the piper comes to the town of Hamelin and offers to rid the town of plague of rats. He does so by playing a magical pipe or flute that makes all the rats follow him. When the towns people fail to pay him for his services he then plays his pipe and leads the children of the town away into a cave where they are never heard of again.

In our modern society we also have a Pied Piper that has played his pipe and is playing it again. In the 60's and 70's the Civil Rights movement promised to rid our country of a plague of injustice that had been infecting our society. They played their pipe, beat their drum, rang their bell, and lead the country to reject the injustice and racism that demeaned human dignity. At the time the citizens cheered and welcomed the change. They celebrated, declared national holidays and taught the children in the schools that a great victory had been won, because of the music of the Pied Piper.

Now the Pied Piper has returned and while the melody is familiar the tune and beat are different. This time the tune is not about race or brazen discrimination, it is about marriage and family. But the proponents of this music say, "Is not this tune sweet and good? Was not the last tune a boon to our society? Why would you reject this new song to sing?" So they rejoice and celebrate this new tune to which they wish the citizens to dance, but like the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin this new tune is different enough to lead those that follow it to destruction. Those that follow the new tune want to see it as the same as before and in an effort to show this they use the same language that was used before. They make the same accusations but this time there are not the "rats" and the "plague" that there were before. This time the accusations are against what should be most dear to us. And if we let it go it will end with the same devastating result.

No comments: