You know, people like Harry Belafonte puzzle me. There are many like him. According to MSNBC.com he said:

“We’ve come to this dark time in which the new Gestapo of Homeland Security lurks here, where citizens are having their rights suspended,” Belafonte said in a speech to the annual meeting of the Arts Presenters Members Conference.

What puzzles me is that if what he said is true, then how is it that I know what he said? If this was the fascist, repressive state that he wants us to imagine, I don’t understand how it could be that his words were reported in newspapers, TV, radio and the internet. If this is a fascist state, then how odd that he is sleeping peacefully in his bed with no fear that there will be a knock on his door at two in the morning. He probably ate in a fancy restaurant today, where he was treated with respect. I suspect he has no fear at all that he might wind up in a concentration camp, nor does he have to fear gas chambers. Doubtless, he will continue to be well-paid for what he does. And yet, despite the fact that he is free, can say and do and go wherever he likes, he will continue making these insane comments. And there will be many people who will agree with him, and will repeat his words, and like him, they will sleep peacefully, too, with no fear of harm.

Meanwhile, he and those like him, and those who applaud him, will continue to remain silent about the actual dictatorships in the world, they will ignore the nations that actually torture, who actually toss people in jail for speaking their minds, or worse, they will embrace fondly the brutal oppressors of the world and spout praise in their capitals while their artists, writers, and intellectuals are locked away, and where critics of the regime are actually killed or jailed.

But if someone dares disgree publically with Belafonte, or someone in the current US government says an unkind word about him, he’ll shout that he’s being silenced, even as thunderous applause floods over him from his next speaking engagement.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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