Martin Luther King Jr.: We need your involvement here, Mr. President. We deserve your help as citizens of this country. Citizens under attack.
President Lyndon B. Johnson: Now, you listen to me. You listen to me. You're an activist. I'm a politician. You got one big issue. I got a hundred and one.
And those of us who’ve seen the movie, we know how that goes down. It goes south in Selma. Wallace gave the sheriff permission to unleash the hounds. And now, Lyndon B. Johnson is forced to act. Can you see what’s at play here? More behavior modification. Listen to the dialogue as he espouses his opinion:
And since what people think about me is more important than what I actually believe in my heart, I’m going to modify my behavior to give the people what they are asking for. Fear of man is when the appearance of something is more important than the something.
Now watch the spin:
So for 20 years or so, we’ve basked in the glory of the victory of the Civil Rights Movement. But the truth is, this battle was never effectively won in the hearts of the race of men (at least not some of them) and so here we are, 50 years later seeing the truth of men’s hearts on display.
Inconsistencies happen when the way of our being (the way we behave) is not in alignment with the truth of our being (what we believe in our heart). We can only “just accept certain things” for so long before that tension of discord rises to the surface.
We are living in the tension of discord from the Civil Rights Era. So many people went along with things because the times were changing and they had to. It wasn’t that they agreed with the change or believed it in, it was demanded of them and so they modified their behavior to go with the flow. Many of the inequalities in today’s judicial system are a direct response to this.
Dialogue without heart change is pointless. There is no effective solution outside of a transformed heart. We want to make a big splash, change the world and yet the fear, mistrust, suspicion, disdain, disgust that resides like tar on the surface of our hearts will always seep through the crevice of our beliefs into our actions.
Yet, I firmly believe there were those that did fully believe in equality for all people. There were those who had won this war in their heart and passed on the value of humanity to their offspring.
Love is more powerful than the forces of evil. Love changes the blackness of our heart and allows healing to begin. Love lays aside suspicion and believes the best about people.
Love has been on display in the last 50 years.
People are living love out loud everyday. Like our brothers and sisters in Charleston! Their love has been on display like a beacon of hope. And now it’s our time to join them. We can do this. Resist the temptation to insist on more behavior modification without real heart change. Let’s bring our transformed hearts to the table. Better yet, let’s live from our transformed hearts and be the change we want to see in the world.