Contemptible heros

leaping subversion Defiant, different, and decent.

“Contemptible heroes” often suffer terrible isolation for standing up for what’s right.  A “contemptible hero”, says novelist Clancy Sigel, is  “someone who risks doing a good thing against the collective wisdom of the herd and usually gets punished for it.”

On the anniversary of the execution of anti-Nazi “White Rose” conspirators Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans and their school friend Christopher Probst”, we are also reminded of:

  • Hugh Thompson, a Vietnam helicopter pilot who stopped the My Lai Massacre.
  • Juliano Mer-Khamis, who created the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, Palestine.
  • Emily Davidson, the English suffragette who died attempting to place a “Votes for Women” scarf around the neck of the King’s race horse.
  • Sgt. Joe Darby, a prison guard who exposed torture at Iraq’s Abu Graib.
  • Rocky Braat,who cared for AIDS children in India.
  • Frank Serpico, a NYPD cop exiled in Europe after exposing police brutality and corruption.
  • Paul Robeson, a football player and socialist blacklisted during the McCarthy era.

So, asks the author, does Foxe’s Book of Martyrs need updating?

Foxe Book of Martyrs

Sylvia PankhurstLeft to right: Emily Davison, Sylvia Pankhurst, Christabel Pankhurst, Mrs. Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence.

Davison: “Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.”

[Via Rob Brezsny: “In Praise of the Brave People Who Do Good Acts That They Risk Being Demonized for” (yes, it ends in a preposition).]

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