Dick Gregory has been making noise as of lately following a stream of interviews he’s conducted this year. The always raw and expressive comedy legend is reaching a new audience of people, thanks to the internet. Well it seems that those who might not be too familiar with Gregory’s passion are misreading his overall message. So to help clarify things; Dick’s son, Christain Gregory recently took to Facebook with an open letter further explaining his dad’s message. See what he had to say, below.
Rarely do I chime in on my father’s social media platforms. However, I’d like to take a moment for proper calibration. Dick Gregory is chronologically 83, but his true age is closer to 103. Born in 1932, in utter poverty, he was exposed to the ugliest expressions of racism and hatred for half his lifetime. He achieved critical acclaim and success then says no, I’m going back to the frontline, not for a photo op but to reside on the frontline. A life of selfless activism is what follows: Two cross-country (west coast to east coast) runs, the equivalent of two marathons a day, all to point a spotlight on hunger. He became a early pioneer in understanding the concept of holistic health and was a beacon for many to improve their diet and lifestyles. He fasted ad nauseam, not for his health, but as a catalyst for change. As his son, physician, dear friend and someone who loves him to life I can tell you, the physical and mental detriment of his selflessness is real. His anger is rooted in many things. First, the obvious state of affairs in the country and the world. Second, in the real emotional and physical damages from a lifetime of extreme activism. My message is this: be less focused on the exasperated tone and more focused on the message. If your house was on fire (which theoretically, it is) the tone of the first responders is inconsequential. It is a gift and a blessing to have a sharp, gifted, witty and humorous man that has endured so much, still here with us. Dick Gregory is not just living, but he is full of life and love. Many of the online clips are snippets from 10 plus hour interviews with egocentric or self-motivated interviewers. Sit anyone down for a 10 hour interview with asinine questions and many times you’ll get a powder keg. May I suggest we enjoy this living legend while he is still with us, not just vital signs, but still a vital information giver. Dick Gregory is not a scientist, he is a self-proclaimed intellectual agitator– agitating folks to be independent thinkers. So one does not need to apply rigorous scientific analysis to his statistics and information. In aggregate, it is designed to make you think and do your own homework. Education is not power, information is power. If you don’t need any intellectual agitation, great, move on. However, for those of us who continue to enjoy and become inspired by his wit and wisdom, those of us who are not hypersensitive about tone or language but are more so sensitive about the current state of affairs, allow us to relish in the unapologetically black realness that is Dick Gregory.
With times like these, a voice like Dick Gregory is needed to stir up dialogue as well as provide a fresh perspective.