BY BERNIE MEYER, THE AMERICAN GANDHI
In George Floyd’s universal memory
George Floyd was a community builder, a peacemaker. In Houston, in Minneapolis. His killers did not know that. They only saw one color. They only had one mindset, actually a mindlessness of inhumanity, an illusion of power and control, out of a culture of abusive dominance. George Floyd worked to bring people together for healthy living in Houston. He enjoyed life.
The violence of George Floyd’s murder is representative of the violence against people of color.
The violence is representative of racism.
The violence is representative of particular police training and oversight.
The violence is representative of greed and fear, of threats to power, and illusions of self-identity.
The violence is representative of the failure to see what is possible for every person, for every community.
The book of Ecclesiastes points out that there is a TIME. There is a time for everything under the sun.
There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven.
A time for loving,
a time for hating;
a time for war,
a time for peace. (3/1 and 3/8)
Now is the time for a new culture, a new government, a new way of life … for all humanity. It is the time to put aside the ways of dominance and fear, the ways of false controls. It is the time, it is the time.
Martin Luther King Jr. saw the time coming. In his famous address at Riverside Church in New York on April fourth, 1967, Martin came to understand that it was not only time to end racism against people of color being forged by the Civil Rights Movement. Martin saw that the United States was a country founded on violence, the time to re-found the country.
This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.”
If Martin was for Civil Rights, he must be for nonviolence about the Vietnam War. Martin also pointed out that “The arch of justice bends toward peace.” He knew it was not enough to fight “only” for civil rights. We must go to the root. The soul of humanity. He said we must create a “world house”, where the triple evil of racism, poverty, and materialism were overcome. He gave his last breath for that vision.
“We still have a choice today; nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.”
Martin came out of a long history of witnesses to truth and love. His Baptist spirit came from Jesus Sermon on the Mount which arose out of the Jewish tradition. He went to India to learn from the ways of Gandhi, the ways of “Truth Force, Love Forth, Soul Force”, called Satyagraha. Gandhi, as Martin saw, said in the last year of his life that it was a time to “Do or Die” to stop the killing of Hindus by Muslims and Muslims by Hindus. He tested his way of “experimenting with truth” by going into the seething violence, fasted to the death twice and stopped the killing twice.
Now is the time. The world sees as the uprisings in the US points out, that the murder of George Floyd is not an aberration; the murder is representative of the core breakdown of social mores. As the world uprisings point out, the murder is the spark that humanity needs to wake up and transform to a new way, a new way that the spirit of truth and love have pointed out for time immemorial.
We are at the MOMENT, IT IS “DO OR DIE”. Suicide, self-destruction, extinction, these real possibilities are well established. Both Gandhi and Martin made the point, echoed by moral leaders and scientists.
· George Floyd’s murder to the nth degree
· Covid Pandemic to the nth degree
· Climate Destruction, created by human blindness and greed to the nth degree
Mindless kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, eight minutes and 46 seconds, beyond the last breath.
2020: mindless creation of next generation of nuclear weapons and land, air, and sea delivery. Humanity will not breathe when these are turned loose, by hook or by crook.
In the last few years the United States has ended treaties to “control nuclear weapons” and potentially to work towards nuclear abolition beginning with Iran treaty and going to New Start. MINDLESS and HEARTLESS. Blindness. Humanity walking on the edge. Think of a medical system responding to a nuclear bombing of a city, let alone a nuclear war killing millions, radiating, burning, blinding. Endless maiming billions, then a nuclear winter preventing growing food for a decade or more. Nuclear Pandemic.
Just 10% of the U.S. weapons budget would provide basic needs for the 30% of poverty children and their parents. That would be real security. Food, shelter, education, health care, employment, stable society.
Blaming peoples of color, blaming acts of protesting violence, scapegoating. Mindless.
Humans know a better way. But, putting people in power who thrive on dominance and oppression compares to their self-delusion of being gods but with hearts of devils. Scourge of greed, scourge of fear.
The same “mindset”, the same “mindlessness” and “heartlessness”, the same illusions, that took the breath of George Floyd, took the lives of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and can take the life of humanity.
Abolish nuclear weapons, wipe out greed coated with power and security illusions. Create a society without war, without human cages or prisons. Create a world with nonviolent peaceful living.
We know how. ICAN says “We can.” ICAN moved the United Nations to write and authorize a treaty to abolish nuclear weapons in 2017.
We have the knowledge:
· From ancient Scriptures of the major religions
· From the witnesses of people like Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Jesus, Buddha, Mahavira
· From science of nature and ecology
· From the science of the brain and biology
· From the convergence of religion, spirituality, science
Shall we mindlessly … or mindfully prevent major species extinction, abolish nuclear weapons, end war as conflict resolution?
In memorial to the George Floyds of the world
…  Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Guest Post by J Glenn Evans: Bernie Meyer’s message in the MOMENT
Bernie is named “American Gandhi” in India. Gandhi’s way: “satyagraha. (“The fight of Satyagraha is for the strong in spirit. Satyagraha teaches us the art of living as well as dying. … The method of Satyagraha requires that the satyagrahi should never lose hope, so long as there is the slightest ground for it.”) Bernie Meyer is a holy man and a warrior for peace and justice who portrays the truth of Gandhi. He recently returned from a trip to India on the invitation of the Prime Minister of India to help plan the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahtani Gandhi. He lives here in Olympia, Washington and is one of our five directors of Glenn Kay Evans Farms, Inc., a nonprofit corporation dedicated to helping the homeless by providing food and shelter and training to become self-sustaining through independent no-till farming.
I am forwarding this statement by Bernie Meyer, also the author The American Gandhi’, because it so well states what is on our minds and in our hearts today. Bernie Meyer began his justice and peace career as a Catholic priest in Cleveland, Ohio.
Here is what others have to say about him: Charles Meconis, founder, Institute for Global Securities Studies, “For more than 50 years, Meyers has seen and done it all in America’s movements for peace and justice. Activist have come and gone, but Meyer has stayed, and the knowledge he has gained is invaluable for anyone hoping to achieve positive change in the 21st century.”
Daniel Liechty, School of Social Work, Illinois State University: “Bernie Meyer speaks with, in and through the Gandhian spirit of actively engaged nonviolence. He has lived through and experienced some of the most formative times and events of the American nation. This voice is genuinely a national treasure.”
I, J. Glenn Evans, Poet, Novelist and Political Activist, say, Bernie Meyer is one of the wisest and staunchest ally of those who seek peace and justice in the world that I have ever come across. When he speaks, I listen and hope you will also.