AN INSPIRATION- ON ANY DAY
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
TO THOSE OF YOU WHO KNOW MY WORK, it’s common knowledge that I admire Martin Luther King, Jr. immensely. He was front-and-center in my documentary on race relations called THE WAR WITHIN and the driving force behind my comparative analysis of the Civil Rights movement and the Health Freedom movement in LET TRUTH BE THE BIAS. In 2005 he appeared in my documentary WE BECOME SILENT, a film about Codex Alimentarius that was narrated by the internationally revered actress, Dame Judi Dench.
As it happens so often with artists, the title for WE BECOME SILENTcame as an inspiration in the middle of the night. It was 3:00 a.m., I believe, and I was in the midst of 17-20 hour days worth of editing — and determined to produce an honest film about the dangers of Codex and the deleterious effects of “free trade.” As I began to doze deeper into my well-earned slumber, I heard Dr. King’s voice say, “Our lives begin to end the moment we become silent about things that matter.”
Spaced out and disoriented, I sat straight up in bed. The words I heard the strongest were "we become silent," and a few hours later, after at least one cup of coffee, I discerned that these three words would make a great title for the film. They had been whispered to me in the middle of the night because they directly correlated to the scheming of governments, big business, bureaucrats and other dirty dealers who incessantly try to assert their will over the rest of us. Their collective goal is to eliminate medical freedom of choice and to keep the status quo in tact. Then — as now — they wanted us to simply shut up. With the FDA ‘walking point,’ they tried mightily to achieve their monopolistic goals through regulations, by banning health books from health food stores, through ridiculous undercover sting operations and guns-draw raids at holistic clinics, and yes, even through legislative means.
So once again — in the middle of the night — Dr. King played a role in my professional and personal life by helping to align my values and to put the struggle for medical freedom of choice into perspective. People loved the title WE BECOME SILENT, so it is only fitting to give credit where credit is due.
On this day, we should also humbly acknowledge that there is much more work to do.
I am reminded of something that occurred during a screening of LET TRUTH BE THE BIAS in 1994. There’s a scene in the documentary where hordes of armed policemen—with batons at the ready and with the strength of a football team pushing a blocking ‘sled’ — thrust dozens of African Americans backwards. Elderly men, women and children are forced to the ground—and are trampled in the ensuing melee. While this scene was playing out, I heard someone comment rather loudly, “Hey, this guy must be a liberal” — as if showing the struggle for basic human rights was somehow a liberal issue.
The comment from my countryman made me chortle, albeit sadly.
As a humanistic writer, I have often been compelled to take the path less traveled — to follow my innate sense of right and wrong. As one who vividly recalls the assassination of Dr. King in 1968, I can say categorically that many of the ideals he put forth during his short time on this planet are indelibly branded into my heart and soul.
Those same ideals of dignity and personal sovereignty apply to the health freedom movement also, and we should all honor Dr. King for blazing a peaceful trail to positive change. We can learn from not only his courage in challenging injustices, but from his unyielding vision of equality.
“Life's most persistent and urgent question,” said Dr. King, “is, 'What are you doing for others?'”
Amen, Reverend Dr. King. Amen. Your words are an inspiration — on any day.