The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, on the 4th April 1968, was an extremely sad and tragic crime, which lead to many very violent criminal reactions on April 5th and the following few days. In the King assassination riots, there were 43 deaths, over 3,000 injuries and over 20,000 people arrested.
President Lindon Johnson said of that extreme reaction: “What did you expect? I don’t know why we’re so surprised. When you put your foot on a man’s neck and hold him down for three hundred years, and then you let him up, what’s he going to do? He’s going to knock your block off.”
King can be said to have predicted the riots with these words: “……. in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones. Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all.”
Lord Please Bless Our Freedoms With The Good Sense To Keep The Peace And Not Kill Out Of Hate
As my life is trashed by police state crap in Melbourne, Australia, I look to certain people to seek a recovery.
The innate systemic goodness of most human beings can defeat the evil which sometimes corrupts this world.
But it takes work.
Together, we shall return.
I revere the leadership towards such ends of General Douglas MacArthur in World War Two.
He took the essential human yearnings for discipline and peace and channeled them for victories from this date in 1942 (when he was recorded making his iconic “I shall return.” promise in outback Terowie) till Japanese imperialism was decisively destroyed.
He had to get past lazy stupidities like the Brisbane Line to achieve his success.
He once said, “There is no security on this earth. Only opportunity.”
I was sitting on the pavement this evening, in Melbourne, with my hat upturned in front of me and a few cultural messages to spread, when a young guy named Benny sat next to me informing me that I was wearing an amazing Wu-Tang jacket.
I had no idea what Wu-Tang meant, so I looked them up online to find out why that was important to Benny.
While he is quite a flawed individual in some respects, I regard POTUS 45, Donald Trump, as easily one of the best American presidents in my lifetime. (along with Ike, JFK, RMN, and The Gipper.)
One of his strengths is that the fact that he is a family man has given him some really good and truly beautiful people working at his side.
Father Donald and daughter Ivanka at work in the Oval Office with wise words from their First Lady.
On the basis of the quality of the words and insightful thought in his Inaugural Address, on this date 6 years ago, I now name President Trump as number five in my series of Indigenous Men Of The Anglosphere.
Here is a selection of ideas from that speech:
“Today’s ceremony ……. has very special meaning, because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people …….
The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country …….
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people …….
The forgotten men and women of our country, will be forgotten no longer ……..
(Our) movement (has) a crucial conviction, that a nation exists to serve its citizens …….
We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny …….
We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example …….
……. through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements, but always pursue solidarity ……..
There should be no fear. We are protected, and we will always be protected ……. most importantly, we will be protected by God.
……. we must think big and dream even bigger. In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving.
It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black, or brown, or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots. We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms …….
……. whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator …….”
This sort of speaking is what I call Living In The Word.
If you wish to understand why such words and ideals are very important to me personally, please read “Augurs Of Freedom”, which I wrote three years ago about thoughts on Inaugural Day from three other presidents.
Recovering from trauma and restoring true greatness can only be done with love.
Human participation in the creation of new human life is perhaps what brings brings us closer than anything else we do to Our God. I believe the courageous Iranian freedom fighter in these images fully understands that.
I also believe that no group of human beings more fully understands the deep spiritual and personal significance of birthdays than the group of human beings who so often go through labour to give us birth.
These people are our mothers.
Today is the 128th birthday of one of the most profoundly influential thinkers and leaders in Australian history – Robert Gordon Menzies.
Menzies described Freedom like this:
Freedom still rings true to me.
Geoff Fox, 20th December, 2022, Down Under
NB for political balance I plan to publish quotes from Menzies’ peacetime rival and wartime colleague John Curtin in 6 days time.
Even people who genuinely want to respect the Anzacs and the lessons of history and save us from repeating horrible mistakes of past totalitarianisms, sometimes tell stories which might not be 100% true.
In the following film clip, I believe that there are one or two historical mistakes which would not be there in a perfect world.
However I am sure that Aidan Mclindon’s intentions are truly honourable and the conclusions he draws are still worthwhile.
I hope the purists are not offended if the battle description by Aidan is indeed not entirely historically accurate.
Lest We Forget.
Fighting totalitarian tyrants like DMA is very, very difficult.
Freedom is not an impossible to achieve perfect utopia. But it is where human beings can grow to function at their best.
Free people make mistakes and, at their best, learn from those mistakes and don’t repeat them. I include Aidan McLindon in this category.
I call on you as a man to use the weapons of your voice, your standing and your integrity to reject both:
A. the demonisation of men in Victoria.
B. the modern persecution and ridiculing of your own profession so that your profession can survive and flourish again.
I also call on you to follow the lead of one of your very best priests and, in conjunction with The Dean, ring the bells of your cathedral nine times every day, for however many days you and The Dean want, for the nine people in Australia a day who take their own lives, 75% of whom are men. Please involve me. As a witness? As voice? As a photographer?
I offer you these four both modern and ancient Latin words, adapted from Vergil and inspired by a recent homily of yours, under a creative commons licence in an attempt at reciprocation for you own generosity in putting your own image out under a creative commons licence.
“Arma virumque me cano.” (I sing of weapons and myself as a man.)
I dont urge you “to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them” because ending these oceans of troubles for priests and men would almost certainly be beyond your capacities as an individual human being.
But it is not beyond your reach and, IMHO, certainly within your responsibilities, for you to denounce modern evils which monstrously hurt men, including me, and your own male priests in particular.
In closely observing the recent, consistently brilliant priestly work of Hugh Kempster and David Farrer, I have seen how both very different men put themselves, indeed put just about the whole of their being, right into the centre of many other people’s lives including mine, to truly live well themselves by living in The Word far more fully than most people can.
The huge challenge for you as an Archbishop is to be even better at your job than those men have been at theirs.
Your job is much bigger and therefore IMHO harder to do really well than theirs.
I am calling on you to show considerable courage.
If you do, I will support and acknowledge that courage as best I can.
If you cant even try, then the wise individual who I am lead to understand told you that you are only doing 50% of your job, might have been right. Or even a little generous.
Archbishop, can you take any of what I have raised here with you for discussion at Lambeth later this month and elsewhere into the future?