The King will answer and say to them: ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40 (NASB)
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
As we continue to struggle with stopping the eradication of a part of our history, the Mizell Center and all that it encompasses- the land, the blood, sweat and tears- from those who want to allow some not too pleasant history to replace ours, I’m reminded of a movie I saw once at an early age called’ ’The Boy with The Green Hair’.
To my recollection, the movie’s central point was how sometimes we find the differences in people are used not in a positive, productive way to help them, but rather to destroy them because of their differences, completely erasing them from any parts that can be taken away.
Somewhere in our lives we have been in positions to help someone but have chosen not to whether we want to admit it or not. To say that it was a bad thing or good thing doesn’t matter. The simple fact is that we chose to do it. And I’m willing to bet you $10 to a doughnut that we did it because they were different. Different in appearance, different in the way they talk, different in their sexuality, different in their political mind sets, different in their age, different in their geo-graphical location, different in their economic status, different to what we want. They were just different.
The boy with the green hair had no choice in his situation, he woke up one morning and it was just that way. He was changed – just different- and it was a visual difference that he could not hide. Now those who condemned him and wanted to replace him because of his difference they were the ones at fault.
We can’t change who we are, we can’t run from it, and we sure can’t allow others to try to make it appear that we never existed in an area that is too close to the epic of what they consider to be their downtown, their beaches and their land.
A young war orphan boy(Peter) was found in the woods with his head completely shaved. He moves in with an old man and begins to live a normal life. One of his class assignments was to help war orphans from other countries after seeing orphans on a poster.
One day after Peter had taken a bath and was drying his hair, he noticed that his hair had turned green. The children’s faces on the poster really bothered Peter, causing him to realize that he was an orphan himself.
Peter, while in the woods, was assured by the surreal visitation of the orphans who told him that because of his green hair, all the sufferings that came with it was his armor and fortitude to fight against those who believed in the wars that had caused the conditions of orphanage and other ma-ladies that came with war.
Once Peter understood his plight he began to fight for the issues that concerned his previous condition. Because of his convictions and his differences, he was ridiculed and victimized to the point of having his head shaved and those who perpetrated the crime hoped that he would become nor-mal and stop his mission.
In the end, he agreed to get his head shaved by the town’s barber. It took all of this for some of the town’s people to realize and agree with him and wanted him to keep on fighting for his cause because it was the right thing to do.
Peter never changed even though the powers/leaders of the town tried to force him to, running him out of town and even altering his appearance. However, they couldn’t do it. Others began to realize that if they could do that to Peter they could eventually do it to them.
This story to me is another allegorical depiction of what is transpiring with the Mizell Center and the LA Lee YMCA and NO! I’m not reaching for stars. I’m trying to make it as simple as I can to show how people who can make a difference hide behind those who have to be on the opposing side of what the community and studies have shown and said what they “the community” needs and wants and not those who are using tactics from “The Boy With The Green Hair” movie i.e. beat them up, tear them down, give them a new appearance and make them look like they belong; however, the same conditions exists-NO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR THE COMMUNITY – only social services that lead to a “missionary mindset” for life.
“Dear God, in the name of Jesus, teach me how not to overlook the needs of others for my own prosperity and selfishness. In Jesus name, Amen.