Jerry & Laurie Ann Levin On The Sinews Of Slavery: Guest Column

By Gerald Levin, Laurie Ann Levin

Former Time Warner Chairman/CEO Jerry Levin has contributed several thoughtful pieces to Deadline this year, and he’s earned a place here for when he has something on his formidable mind. Here, in a column written with his wife, Dr. Laurie Ann Levin (the former CAA agent who is founder and CEO of Moonview Sanctuary where Jerry is presiding director), they discuss a timely topical issue. I thought it a little far afield for Deadline when I first read it; given the focus on the sensitive issue of race relations that even touched the hacked Sony e-mails, consider it food for thought on a Friday afternoon. — Mike Fleming Jr.

What we are witnessing in the chain of events in Ferguson and Staten Island is a stark replay of the tangled psychological and spiritual web of inbred patterns of behavior. In a perverse stranglehold of slavish disregard of needed compassion and understanding, we are in a never-ending cycle of chaos and death.

As a society of interwoven communities and as a nation of strong human values, this is the time to shed the mutual prejudice of generations and ancestral hate. Even if we must scratch and claw ourselves to get into the light, we must begin fully to comprehend the intransigence of old patterns. Many of these behavioral attitudes are constructed on a foundation of Grand Jury Decision Reached In Ferguson Shooting Casefear and defensive embattlements. If we are to elevate our consciousness, and make meaningful change, we must rid ourselves of fear-based brutality.

We know that many well-meaning and service-oriented policemen often have an unfortunate past family history of abuse or neglect. They have assumed the mantle of authority as protector of injustices previously perpetrated on them. At times, they fall from grace and succumb to their own fears by becoming the very perpetrator they so did not want to see repeated.

We also know that many God-loving people of African-American descent come with tragic circumstantial DNA, with a history somewhere of having been ripped from their homes, their families, physically shackled and unimaginably denied their freedom by being bought and sold. In their fierce desire for freedom and freedom of expression, they often hold a rage of that which they have prayed and declared they never would become in retaliation for the institutional contempt visited upon them.

It is time, now more than ever, for all of us, regardless of race, religion or belief system, to break the savage hold of all of our ancient patterns of fear and come together with a deep spiritual intervention. It is a time for elevated prayer, not just protest, to underscore that while we are many, in truth we are one. In crushing times of darkness, we must put down our guns, hold hands, cry together and for each of us ask forgiveness from the other. It is not simply the way, but the only way. Love, love is the only way to transmute the power of law enforcement into the laws of loving regard of self and other at the same time.


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