October 24, 1969 Twenty-Five Cents A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South The Texas Observer A Valedictory-II L’Affaire Caroline Austin I was away in England when Lawrence Caroline gave his famous speech at an anti-Vietnam war rally on the Capitol grounds. This was on October 21, 1967, in the days when most Americans were for the war, and before inflation began to make butter almost as expensive as bombs. The fact that there was a Texan president had on earlier occasions made war protests a delicate matter for the university administration. The gist of Caroline’s speech, however, was that marching in John Sullivan parades protesting the war was a waste of time except as an excuse for a walk on a nice day; a revolution was needed in America, he said, and in the “American way of life,” which was responsible ultimately for such wars as he put it, “the whole bloody mess has to go.” Had he but added: “Yes, we need a revolution today, my friends and brethren, Christ must come back into our hearts and God into our homes,” every Baptist on both sides of the Pedernales would have written to thank him. In a typical newspaper report, however, it came out like this: “This -country needs a revolution. Socialism of some kind will play a necessary role. I think we can change our society with a bloodless revolution only if the people who now hold power are willing to give it up gracefully.” \(Austin Statesman, March 17, Alternatively, had Caroline on the Fourth of July or at some funeral oration stood up and offered any old balderdash he cared to utter on the American Dream, the rectitude of her politicians and university regents, and so forth, he’d have probably got several awards from the Rotary Club, and the philosophy department would not
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