In the decades prior to the Civil War, hundreds of men and women risked their own lives and freedom to help blacks escape slavery in the South.
I used to consider the people who organized and ran the Underground Railroad heroic, but apparently I was wrong. They were merely lawbreakers who deserved nothing more than a chokehold or a well-placed bullet to the head.
You see, assisting a runaway slave was a violation of federal law. Even giving an escaped slave a scrap of bread was a federal offense. As I have been informed over the last few weeks, we should never resist authority and we have no right to just go around breaking laws. If we disagree with a law, we should work to get it changed, but we should under no circumstances defy authorities.
So, while we might applaud their motives, within the modern moral framework here in America, we cannot call those who aided and abetted runaway slaves, “heroes.” They broke the law. They defied authority. They disobeyed police.
Therefore, we should collectively condemn their actions as un-American and relegate them to the status of lawless extremists.
I honestly wonder if those I’ve heard call for absolute submission to authority and “the law” over the last few weeks really mean what they say. Do they really believe in unquestioning submission? Or have the merely failed to think through the ramifications of their worldview?
Personally, I find unquestioning submission to authority creepy.
Historically, it leads to things like railroad cars packed with undesirables, internment camps and mass graves.