Listen 7:00- 8:00 pm (PST) to the WeThePeopleRadioNetwork.com and to our guest in the first hour- Robert Shetterly
Listen 8:00- 9:00 pm (PST) to the WeThePeopleRadioNetwork.com and to our guests in the second hour- Emily and Darryl Bouchard
Robert Shetterly is an artist, author, radio show host, and produced a traveling exhibition, and book entitled Americans Who Tell the Truth a collection of portraits & quotes.
Robert Shetterly was born in 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated in 1969 from Harvard College with a degree in English Literature. At Harvard he took a couple of courses in drawing which changed the direction of his creative life --- from the written word to the image. Also, during this time, he was very active in Civil Rights and in the Anti-Vietnam War movement.
After college and moving to Maine in 1970, he taught himself drawing, printmaking, and painting. While trying to become proficient in printmaking & painting, he illustrated widely. For twelve years he did the editorial page drawings for the Maine Times newspaper, illustrated National Audubon's children's newspaper Audubon Adventures, and approximately 30 books.
Now, his paintings & prints are in collections all over the U.S. and Europe.
He wrote an excellent essay entitled- The Necessary Embrace of Conspiracy. Here's an excerpt:
Several years ago I gave a talk on Martha’s Vineyard about many of the people whose portraits I’ve painted in the Americans Who Tell the Truth series. I spent some time talking about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. When I talk about King, I like to focus on his last year --- the period when, defying the advice of many of his advisors in the civil rights movement, he spoke against the Vietnam War, equating racism with imperialism. King felt bound to make the point that the forces of capitalism, materialism, and militarism that were driving segregation were also driving the war, and until we confronted the source of the problem, the abuses would continue. It was April 4, 1967, in Riverside Church in New York, that he made that declaration. A year to the day before his assassination.
It has always confounded me every year when we celebrate Dr. King’s life that no mention is made of that Riverside Church speech in the major media. We are always treated to sound bites of the 1963 I Have a Dream speech. That speech’s oratory is as powerful as it is non-confrontational. Which is why it is re-played for modern audiences. Dr. King was about confrontation. Non-violence and confrontation, each ennobling and making the other effective. In 1967 he said, “... my country is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” And he explained how our economic system thrived on exploitation and violence, or, as Emma Goldman put it, “The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism.” This was probably the most important speech King ever gave and not playing it when we ostensibly honor him, is tantamount to castrating him morally and intellectually. Just as there is a long history of White America castrating black men, there is an equal legacy of Elite America cutting the most important truths of our social prophets out of the history books. We pay homage to King’s icon, the cardboard cutout, but not to his strongest beliefs and his most cogent analysis of our problems --- to what vision called forth his courage. And, if we think that he spoke the truth, to censor that truth is to promote a curious kind of segregation. He is segregated, not for the color of his skin, but for the accuracy of his perception, how close to the bone his words cut. We can’t bear to hear the sound of truth’s knife scraping on hypocrisy’s bone. Only people who actually want to change the system dance to that music or want it to be heard.
Equally important, and part of the same neglect, is the intentional ignoring of the facts of his death. In my talk on Martha’s Vineyard I spoke about William Pepper’s book, An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King, Jr. Pepper had been James Earl Ray’s lawyer. Ray was the man convicted of killing King. But both Pepper and the King family were convinced that Ray was innocent. The King family hired Pepper to represent them in a suit; they asked only $100.00 in damages to clear Ray’s name. Before the trial came to court in 1999, Ray had died in prison. The jury determined that King had been assassinated by a conspiracy involving the Memphis police, the Mafia, the FBI, and the Special Forces of the U.S. Army. Ray, the patsy, had left town before the shot was fired. Pepper had confessions from people involved from each of the organizations named. The verdict was barely mentioned in the U.S. media then and is not mentioned every year on the anniversary of his death. Why?
After my talk on Martha’s Vineyard a man came up to me and said, “I enjoyed your speech and was with you until you started that conspiracy stuff about MLK, Jr.” I said, “That’s not conspiracy. What I told you are facts.” End of conversation.
I think we’re confronted with two conspiracies here: one to commit the crime, the other to ignore it even when the facts are known. ( Two sides of the same coin.) The man who accused me of slipping into the neurotic, aliens-are–among-us land of conspiracy nuts was unable to hear the evidence, perhaps because he was so utterly convinced by our government and media that conspiracies don’t exist, people who espouse them are dangerous fruitcakes, and if you begin to think like that, your whole house of cards wobbles then topples. Who wants that? Better a standing tower of marked cards, than having to admit the game is rigged and the ground is shaking.
America is steeped in conspiracy, and even more steeped in propaganda that discredits those who try to expose the conspiracies. Whether we’re talking about MLK, Jr., JFK, RFK, Iran-Contra, 9/11, or, most importantly, the status quo, anyone who works to uncover the truth is branded a “conspiracy nut” and discredited before any evidence has a fair hearing. The government/corporate/media version is THE VERSION. Anything else is illusory.
In fact, the cultural success of labeling investigative reporters and forensic historians, and, simply, anyone who tries to name reality, “conspiracy nuts” is perhaps the most successful conspiracy of our time. Well, not the most successful. That prize goes to the conspiracy to give corporations all the rights of individual persons under our Constitution. That conspiracy has codified and consolidated corporate power so that it controls our lives in almost every meaningful way. It controls the election funds of our candidates, and them once they are in office. It controls our major media including public broadcasting. It controls the content of our television programming. It controls how are tax dollars are spent making sure that the richest get the most welfare. It controls the laws, the courts, the prison system and the mind numbing propaganda that we are the greatest democracy on earth. It controls the values with which we raise our children. It controls our ability to dispense justice. It controls how we treat nature, how we deface our land with strip malls, and blow the tops off our mountains --- a form of corporate free speech. It dictates our modes of transportation. It controls our inability to respond to true crises like climate change. It attempts to create a spiritual deficiency in every person that can be filled and healed only with stuff --- and no stuff is ever enough...
Emily and Darryl Bouchard help families, and couples to communicate with one another, nurturing healthy, peaceful relationships. They have, in the past specialized in helping Blended Families and have many insights to offer for solving personal communications problems which also can be applied on the macro-level to American society and the family of nations that share this planet.
I met Emily and Darryl at the Storyfield Conference last August, as was very impressed with their communications skills and their current project (their website isn't complete, yet.) This is how they describe what they are doing:
As we travel across North America speaking and connecting with like-minded people who are interested in furthering peace in their lives, we are struck by how many of these individuals are HeartHeroes -- people taking deliberate action to create peace in the world.
Along with our mission to share our tools for peaceful relationships with others, we are also committed to sharing the peaceful endeavors of others with the world.
We believe that there is as much, if not more, positive, uplifting and inspiring activity going on in the world as there are negative, destructive, and violent actions. We are motivated to bring greater awareness to how you can take action today to be a positive contribution in the world.
This is a not-for-profit, grass-roots project that was born from a heartfelt prayer after 9/11. The goal is to facilitate peace on the planet by focusing on those activities, communities, conversations, and organizations that are promoting peace. We believe that, along with us, there are thousands of people out there doing their best to make a difference, and that we can further their efforts by shining a light on what they are doing as individuals -- while also creating a collective community -- where the sum total of our efforts is much greater than each of us alone.
How we define Peace:
Choosing to live from love and not from fear
Choosing to move towards, not against
Choosing to build bridges, not destroy them
Choosing to come from the heart.
It’s all about choice.