By: Desmond Rutherford.
Lest anyone think that America was alone its shock, its grief, or sense of loss I can assure you that we Australians were weeping with you.
I wrote and recorded a poetic sound-scape in homage to the president and in attempt to console both the people of the United States and ourselves. Unfortunately, I have lost the recording, but it was my first artistic venture into using sound and words to express my feelings.
At 19, I was well aware that I was living through the horror that my generation thought could never happen again. Assassinations were what happened in in times long past; such things weren’t supposed to happen anymore.
In time, I would recall my mother’s dismay at the report of Gandhi’s assassination on January 30, 1948, when I was 4 years old, but on that November day in 1963 I was absorbed in the unthinkable, and our lives were robbed of the promise which we felt could then never be fulfilled.
All the conspiracy theories that flooded the media since that day, have but fed the fear for any president’s safety, and for the promise of the American experiment in democracy for equality, of and by equals. There is no doubt that there are those who would attempt to deprive us of Obama’s Presidency, but today political assassination is implemented through obstruction of the democratic process in the Congress. In memory of the hopes and dreams we thought were inevitable in those days, in the memory of what JFK meant to so many of us, I plead for the people to make sure the mid-term elections reflect those memories, those hopes and dreams, by returning a Congress capable of not being the instrument of obstruction that is really little more than a modern form of political assassination, not only of the President’s effectiveness, but an attack on the Constitution itself.
If we are to take lesson from the past, then of all the threats to our existence, it is the guns of bigotry loaded with the ammunition of ignorance and superstition that endangers us, all. It seeks to replace love with hate. Ignorance and superstition are all that are needed to obliterate and assassinate love, and as many people have realised and proclaimed so many times since ancient days, love is the only sane and satisfactory reason for life. Any society which excludes the development of love assassinates its own future, and life’s hopes and dreams will perish from the Earth.