By Theresa Camoriano
Last week, 51 people in Louisville were fortunate to have the opportunity to see a private screening of the movie Runaway Slave, in which C.L. Bryant, a black minister from Louisiana, told his personal story and interviewed many other blacks to learn their life stories.
Bryant lives on land in Louisiana that was purchased by his slave ancestor. He was an active member and local leader of the NAACP until he began to question and to think independently. Then he was forced out of his leadership position and resigned from the organization. He also lost his church due to his expression of independent thought, which created division among the congregation.
The movie includes interviews of people I have admired for years, including Thomas Sowell and Star Parker. It begins with comparisons between Al Sharpton’s rally in Washington D.C. that was full of anger and hate and Glenn Beck’s rally that was full of hope and love. Why were the people at Al Sharpton’s rally so angry, and what does that anger do to them?
One of the people interviewed in the movie explained that blacks have been a social experiment by the left. The policies have driven fathers out of the home and left women and children weak and dependent upon the government, which itself is a form of slavery. The result has been very high rates of abortion and very high rates of incarceration in the black community – a social disaster.
Bryant interviewed members of a school board who were trying to get school choice implemented in their community in order to provide greater opportunity for all children, and he showed the opposition they were facing from the NAACP.
He interviewed a black minister who is working with young people to encourage them to be responsible and to build their own businesses. The minister described his own experience of growing up without a father and of his anger at his mother for preventing him from having a relationship with his father. In his late teens, he moved to California and eventually went to church to try to deal with his anger. The black pastors he talked with blamed his anger on white racism and encouraged him to get on welfare, which he did.
He did not find that path helpful. Eventually, he visited his mother and apologized for hating her. That lifted a great load from him, and, when he returned to California, he began to build a life for himself in which he took personal responsibility and did not blame others for his problems. He said there are no laws that prevent him, as a black man, from doing anything he wants to do. If there were such laws, he would be angry and would fight to change them, but the real problem he sees is a spiritual problem.
Bryant talked about the price that was paid to obtain freedom for blacks in this country – how runaway slaves risked everything for freedom. And he talked about the tragedy that is occurring as blacks allow themselves to be re-enslaved by the government and to live on the government plantation.
So where do we go from here?
As people of all colors and ethnic groups are becoming more and more enslaved by the government, maybe we will find more common ground, to appreciate the value of what we have lost and to join together to restore the freedoms that were obtained at such a high price by our forefathers.
The Runaway Slave movie probably will not be coming to theaters in Louisville. However, it is now showing in Newport KY (across the Ohio River from Cincinnati) and in Indianapolis. I encourage everyone who has the opportunity to go and see it. Eventually, it will come out in DVDs and Netflix, which will provide the opportunity for more people to see it. It really is time to free the slaves in our generation, and maybe this movie will be a catalyst for that change, just as the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a catalyst for the abolitionist movement in the 1800′s.
Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state, whether in Western Europe or on this side of the Atlantic. — Thomas Sowell
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