Robin Hood | Is He A Hero?
- May 29, 2020 - Community,
Robin Hood is a legendary outlaw lionized in English folklore, literature and movies. While a fictional character, folklore identifies Robin as a former soldier of the crusades. When he returns to England from battle, he finds his family dead, his lands confiscated, and England’s royalty rife with corruption.
Robin changes his life and his attitudes. He steals from the rich and gives to the poor. He is a criminal.
The people see this in a different light. Robin treats women, the poor, and common people with courtesy and respect. The people view his actions as a revolt against the existing authority. An authority drunk on power and privilege.
Historians identify the literary origins of Robin Hood as poetic expressions of popular aspirations during a time of great discontent against an English oligarchy. We can see signs of similar discontent in America today.
The Minneapolis police chief acknowledges that his department contributed to the “deficit of hope” plaguing the people of his city even before the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while in police custody. The U.S. Department of Justice has made the investigation into the death of George Floyd a top priority.
Forbes reports that America’s top billionaires have increased their wealth by $434 billion during the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. All while more than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment.
America’s wealthiest 3 billionaires have as much wealth as the bottom half of the U.S. population combined. I wonder what Robin Hood would think if he were alive today. If he’d returned to the country during the pandemic lockdown. At a time when even United States Attorney General William Barr says that the Department of Justice is on the lookout for state level Coronavirus restrictions that are “too generalized” to be compatible with the Constitution’s civil liberties protections.
Would Robin Hood see the irony in seeing a huge jump in the oligarchy’s wealth while 40 million people go on unemployment? Would he agree with some political leaders that the people protesting this are all on the fringe and are endangering people’s lives?
It’s as though people who have had their businesses shut down, their workers furloughed, and ordered house-bound have nothing to complain about. Are there any Constitutional parameters for dealing with the pandemic? Are the powers of politicians unrestricted? The rights of the people, the governed, completely negated?
Is this still a government of the people and by the people? Or, have we become, as some say, a government of the oligarchs? A group now so powerful and sacrosanct that they are beyond challenge?
I will say that America is not what I thought it was. There are times in our life when our foundations are shaken. This is one of those times.