When I say I love Eastland, it sounds preposterous--a man who brutalizes people. But *you* love him or you wouldn't be here. You're going to Mississippi to create social change--and you love Eastland in your desire to create conditions which will redeem his children. Loving your enemy is manifest in putting your arms not around the man but around the social situation, to take power from those who misuse it--at which point they can become human too.
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.
Yes, I have cherished my "demagogue" role. I know that societies often have killed the people who have helped to change those societies. And if I can die having bought any light, having exposed any meaningful truth that will help to destroy the racist cancer that is maligant in the body of America - then, all of the credit is due to Allah. Only the mistakes have been mine.
Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change.
I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a 'transformer' in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.
I have not ceased being fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control me. I have accepted fear as a part of life--specifically the fear of change, the fear of the unknown and I have gone ahead despite the pounding in my heart that says turn back, turn back, you'll die if you venture too far.