The Good Ship "Liberty"
Copyright (2002) Jordan White
Please allow me to share with you my latest fable. I love fables, so please bear with me.
There once was a magnificent brigantine, a full-rigged, square-masted sailing ship, called the "Liberty".
She sailed all over the world, free as could be, sailing the seven seas bringing her message of hope wherever she went.
People all over marveled at her beauty, her freedom, her unusual optimism in a world where those people were used to a life of toil and slavery.
For close to two hundred years the beautiful ship sailed on, dealing with random attacks and insurrections, hunger and famine, disputes and strife. In spite of her woes, she sailed on. She knew, and the world knew, that her voyage was a voyage of freedom. The "Liberty" was a ship whose whole message was about sailing free. She asserted, over and over again, that despots would not tell her where she could sail. She asserted her right to freedom.
But, one day, some pirates fired upon the lovely "Liberty". They attacked her and ultimately, they hijacked her. They insisted that the "Liberty" must be about their agenda, not the agenda of freedom, or a right to assert oneself as an individual, or as a nation, or as a people.
The pirates insisted that the "Liberty" must advertise, and even pay for, their version of "truth" and "freedom". The "Liberty" could not sail on, uninhibited. It must be representative of the pirates' version of the truth.
The "Liberty" refused. The pirates did not like this.
So they attacked her.
They shot to death some of her crew in the attack. All in all, some thirty-four men died.
They wounded one hundred and seventy-one others, including her skipper.
Even the "Liberty's" own "home port" refused to defend her, since the pirates convinced others that the pirates' version of the truth was the real one.
Eventually, the "Liberty" was scrapped, because her hulk was a sad, depressing reminder that, indeed, the truth had been hijacked by the pirates, and her voyage for the free and individual rights of man was over.
Excuse me. Wait a minute!
Did I say this was a fable? Well, yes and no. You figure it out.
Remember June 8, 1967. Remember the U.S.S. Liberty!