Dick Gregory: Transpartisan Spirit
BY A. LAWRENCE CHICKERING AND JAMES S. TURNER
Richard Claxton (Dick) Gregory, comedian, activist, natural health advocate passed August 19, 2017. Born October 12, 1932 the standup comic earned more money in 1961 that any other standup comic—white or black—and had the number one selling humor recording in 1963. Then the civil rights movement claimed his attention and he turned to activism to express his beliefs and to strict health practices to keep up his strength. Less than a week before his passing he sent the following statement on life to various friends:
As I approach my 85th revolution around the sun this year I wonder why has it been so difficult for humankind to be kind. So difficult to be loving and lovable. For my militant brothers and sisters, please don’t misconstrue loving and lovable to be weak or submissive. Love will always be triumphant over hate. I know I will not be here forever, nor do I desire to be. I have seen progress like most cannot appreciate because they were not there to bear witness. I dedicated my life to the movement. By doing so, I never thought l’d still be here. So many of my friends are not here. They were cut down by a system of hatred and evil. If they were here, they’d see the progress that l see. The reality is far from perfect , but profoundly better than what daily reality was for my generation. Young folks if you are wise you would talk less and spend more time listening to the elders who saw evil up front and personal everyday. #howlong I’ve been asking this question for over 40 years! How long before we realize our Universal God given potential? We have made immeasurable progress that cannot be debated. That said, we still have a long way to go. I have no desire to see this all the way through, the dreams I dreamed about 60 years ago have definitively been realized. To the young folks of all ethnicities I say #staywoke not as a catchphrase but as a lifestyle. Most of the things that are killing us are in our minds and our daily routines. The way we think, the “food” we eat and the water we drink or so often don’t drink. When so many go out and protest the small evils, the big evils are ever present and welcomed into our homes. From the top to bottom of my heart I say #staywoke
Love you to life, Dick Gregory
One of our regular readers, who advised Dick Gregory and befriended him forty years ago, suggested this message from Dick as a statement of a transpartisan point of view. We agree and hear a transpartisan spirit in this expression of life by Dick Gregory.
(Photo of Dick Gregory in front of the Ben’s Chili Bowl mural in Washington DC taken from the Dick Gregory Estate website.)