The Strength to Not Fight Back - Aaron Nathans & Michael G. Ronstadt
The Strength to Not Fight Back
Written by Aaron Nathans

Do you know why we brought you here
He bellowed with a gleam
You’re here to play in Brooklyn
If you can make the team
I know that you can hit the ball
But there’s more to discuss
What I need to know from you
Is if you have the guts

When they bring the scorn upon you
You’ll have to turn the other cheek
You’ll need to stand your ground in silence
Up against the highest heat

If you lose your head, they’ve got you
So this will be our pact
I need to know that you have got
The strength to not fight back

So he stood into the batters box
And took what they could throw
A fastball to the head
Or reminders of Jim Crow

They spiked him on the basepaths
They cursed him from the stands
Even his own manager
Said he was half a man

But his hitting was electric
He ran in no time flat
He heard all of the taunting
And he answered with his bat

It’s a hard road to travel
But he didn’t draw the map
He stood in a long line of those with
The strength to not fight back

From a man who held a bullhorn
On the streets of the Castro
To Mahatma’s march in India
And Kent State, Ohio

To a jail cell in South Africa
Where a man learned to forgive
To a lunch counter in Greensboro
And the Edmund Pettis bridge

To a mighty march on Washington
Astride a sea of men
To lessons of humility
From a man from Bethlehem
He said to love your neighbors
Forgive those who attack
And as he died, he showed had
The strength to not fight back

The strength to not fight back
Against a vicious fist
The strength to not fight back
And the power to resist
When they laughed at them or froze them out
Or when they brushed them back
Somehow inside, they could find
The strength to not fight back.