Civil Disobedience, Morality, Equality, Law, & Democracy
The film The Great Debaters debates universal topics and themes which all human beings can relate to and understand. Regarding what is morally right or wrong, which is to be preeminent? The law or one’s conscience?
This is but one of the numerous outstanding topics debated and argued throughout the movie, which deals with racial inequality, injustice, and human rights abuses. For centuries the legislature had composed unjust laws to enslave, disenfranchise, and oppress blacks in America.
Thankfully due to some noble and intellectually astute guys who wisely framed and articulated their disagreements peacefully, justice did come, and Anglo-Saxon hearts were won over to liberty. This progressively and eventually brought about emancipation for blacks across the nation. Those in power didn’t turn оvеr thеіr соntrоl аnd rеmоvе thеіr dоmіnаtіоn еаsіlу. Тhеу hаd tо bе соnfrоntеd, ехроsеd, аnd bаttlеd endlessly.
Hence the attractiveness and burden of democracy are a wayward people may rule by majority and thereby legally enact immorality. As Gandhi stated civil disobedience at times is just when the laws of men are unfair.
Though those in power among the ruling class would state civil disobedience is merely the true face of anarchy, nothing can be farther from the truth when you look closer at America’s historical atrocities inflicted upon the African race.
Honestly, no people are more positioned or poised to show true love and forgiveness to America and its people than the Africans who were oppressed by this nation.
A march of civil disobedience done peacefully as instructed by Gandhi maintained human dignity and respect for one’s opponent, even to the extent of humbly accepting the legal consequences of your actions. Such acceptance of the consequences for defying the law (even if the be unjust) can by no means be anarchy.
Another topic of debate in the movie is welfare, which some state discourages hard work. Survival that is drinking and eating, having a roof over one’s mind, undoubtedly is the greatest motivation for one to go to work daily. It’s arguably therefore that welfare interrupts the poor further making them lazy and unwilling to work and be self-sufficient.
The innocent children of parents without jobs who are both willing and able to work shouldn’t be made to endure and go without, while a nation so prosperous as ours thrives. The government should provide jobs before condemning the bad.
As blacks redeemed their dignity, got their births understood, and got meaningful employment, it was immediately evident that the color of someone’s skin does not need to be the determining factor of one’s character.
Black poets such as Hughes, Bennet, and Hurst revealed themselves intellectually robust and capable in their writings. Hatred is merely a game played with cool hands. Wise and timeless words!
Today we no longer demonize Indians, blacks, and communists. Instead, we prefer to demonize Muslims and label them terrorists (often people who we know nothing about). Hence America’s oppression marches on – it was only be taken off our soil and proceeded to another “theater of war” afar where less public scrutiny will be provided.
It’s therefore faulty logic and presumptuous to predict America godly and good as it badly represents the heart of the Creator both historically and today.
Who are we to do nothing? Such was an unforgettable question asked in this marvelous movie that requires us to account.
A law that violates my conscience is void of justice. So too are executive orders that send sons to war to kill innocent people of another color or creed just as they cannot comprehend the English language when a gun is placed to their face.
Conscience simplifies legislation and enables us to understand right from wrong.
Blacks were hung, lynched, and killed without justice. Now history is repeating itself.