The History and Spirit of the House of the Lord Churches
Professor Intondi records one experience he witnessed. He writes “Indeed when one white stage manager threatened to squeeze out Third World members toward the end of the day, African American leaders had him removed and replaced by a black manager. Prominent African American participants included Dick Gregory, Chaka Khan, Toni Morrison, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Rita Marley, and Harry Belafonte.” Also participating in Central Park was the House of the Lord Church choir. This is why I believe that every person should write his/her history. I’ve never read a history in which I was involved that all the facts were accurate or mentioned. In all good intentions, historians and scholars being human cannot remember or cannot write all the details and facts about people and events and issues and get it all right.
I’d like to make reference to several personal quotes from the book:
Mrs. Corretta Scott King declared “ We have come to this great city from all across America and around the world to protest the nuclear arms race. All of our hopes for equality, justice, economic security, for a healthy environment, depend on nuclear disarmament. Yes, we have come to protest nuclear weapons. But we have also come to New York because we have a dream. An affirmative vision shared by the great masses of people of every race, religion, and the nation down through the ages; it is the timeless dream of a world free from fear, not only of war or its instruments but also of hunger or of not having a roof over one’s head. ”
Jack Odell of Operation PUSH maintained that “There can be no survival for the human race if the arms race continues. This is the first time the peace movement has added, as a demand, the transference of resources from the military to social and job-creating programs…Dr. King and the Poor People’s Campaign were saying this during Vietnam, but the peace movement as a whole wasn’t. That’s why the movement didn’t go past the end of the Vietnam War. Today's connections are bringing whole constituencies into the movement.”
Again because Dr. Intondi referenced me, “The Third World and Progressive People’s Coalition managed to express its concerns at the march as well. The Reverend Daughtry noted the $500 billion spent on arms annually and pointed to the impact such spending had on unemployment, hospitals, schools, transportation systems, and streets inside the United States. “This is a nation with the mightiest military machine in the world and yet it cannot feed, clothe, shelter, educate, heal and employ its people. And the same thing is happening in other countries with insatiable military machines,” he said. A member of the African National Congress charged South Africa with developing nuclear weapons to use against black Africans. Rubin Zemora of the Revolutionary Democratic Front of El Salvador blamed the delivery of arms instead of food to El Salvador for killing the country.”
* Intondi, V. J. (2015). African Americans against the bomb: Nuclear weapons, colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement. Stanford University Press.
I will conclude this section of June 12, 1982, with excerpts from an article and with my speech. The article is a speech that I did on May 3, 1981, in Washington, D.C. It was at the People’s Anti-war Mobilization rally, that over 100,000 people were present.
My subject was Struggling Against Madness:
The second consideration we must note derives from the Vietnam war days. During that time the Peace Movement poured its energy into stopping the war in Vietnam. Racism was left to run ramped with little or no response from the peace movement.
When the Vietnam war was over, whites, many of you here today, went back home, back to school, back to the status quo, back to the system, back to business as usual! And we were left to carry the battle alone. Let us not make the same mistakes. It is true many of us have had differences, but we say today, “If your heart is as our hearts give us your hand”; to Gentiles and Jews, to Protestants and Catholics, to Blacks and Whites, to every religion, creed, nationality, we say, “If your heart is as our hearts give us your hand.”
If you long as we do for a world wherein dwelt peace, justice, and equality in all things and among all people; and if you believe as we do that it is possible to shape that kind of world, we say, “Let us close ranks put our shoulders together and get on with the task.” Let us not end our solidarity here, but let us go back to the place from whence we came inspired by what we have seen and felt here today, and let us organize. Let us build a People’s Movement that will not end with a defeat of the Military Junta in El Salvador, but let’s build a People’s movement that will struggle until Namibia is free! Until South Africa is free! Until the USA's foreign policy reflects the wishes of the people and not of the few movers. Until support for reactionary, fascist, racist governments ceases. Let us struggle until the resources of the land are turned away from war-making and individual aggrandizement to service and programs for the people.
Until slums and ghettos are eradicated, poverty and unemployment are removed from the land.
Let us struggle until the social order has been transformed into democratic economic fairness and we will win.
Because madness is of short duration; because it is predicated upon a distorted perception of reality. Because evil good, good evil; friend enemies, enemies, because light darkness, and darkness light, because backwardness progress, progress backwardness. We will win because the budding future is stronger than the withering past. We will win because the wretched down-trotted are on the move.
Long live the People’s Anti-War Mobilization
Long live the Democratic Revolutionary Front in El Salvador
Long live the Sandinista Liberation Front in Nicaragua
Long live the People’s Revolutionary Government in Grenada
Long ling the African National Congress, Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania
Long live the Southwest African People’s Organization in Namibia
Long live the National Black United Front
Long Live People’s Progressive and Liberation Movements and the governments of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Forward Ever, Backward Never.
As I read and re-read the speech I was so impressed. It is relevant and powerful. It could be said today except for the organizations some of which have won their independence and are governing their countries. My prediction came true!
To be continued...