The Big Noise: The Free Speech Fight of 1912, Part Six

San Diego has always been something of a country of its own... with the roots of public actions usually quite deeply hidden, the trunk and branches a bit more visible, while the leafy public pronouncements veil almost everything. It's also interesting to review this material, and see how common and global these vigilante techniques of terror turned out to be. You can see some form of the righteous "1000" (or its equivalent) coming to life in so many different countries in the first half of the 20th C. Good citizens doing good things to put things back in "order"... to set things "right." The results are often an astonishing manifestation of lawlessness... while protecting that lack of respect for law and order onto the "Other." Aeschylus tried to wrap his art around this 2500 years ago. Have we gotten anywhere? It suddenly crosses my mind... on hearing of King's assassination just before a public speech in a poor black Indianapolis neighborhood, after being deserted by his police escort, Robert Kennedy got up on a flatbed truck and gave the mostly black crowd the sad news, and then quoted Aeschylus: > My favorite poet was Aeschylus. And > he once wrote: > > > Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget / > > falls drop by drop upon the heart, / > > until, in our own despair, / > > against our will, / > > comes wisdom / > > through the awful grace of God. > > What we need in the United States is > not division; what we need in the > United States is not hatred; what we > need in the United States is not > violence and lawlessness, but is love, > and wisdom, and compassion toward one > another, and a feeling of justice > toward those who still suffer within > our country, whether they be white or > whether they be black. Here's a link to RFK's speech. [Audio][1] Indianapolis remained peaceful as other cities blew up, so this is an interesting example of rhetoric that gives us pause, as contrasted with rhetoric that inflames. Two months after this speech, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. [1]: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/H0SE-5I0...
— June 30, 2012 6:21 p.m.

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