Monthly Archives: March 2016

Violence/Non-Violence/Violence/Non-violence…

The United States should count its blessing that the descendants of the Africans captured, transported, and sold into slavery in this country, who were technically emancipated, only to be faced with KKK terrorism, Jim Crow legislation, legal and de facto segregation, redlined housing, inferior segregated schools, murderous vigilante policing, employment discrimination, on and on.

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And then were mocked, ridiculed and insulted by being told they did not choose to assimilate, did not work hard enough, were not smart enough, did not take advantage of all the country offered, could not stay out of prison, on and on.

Should count its blessings that by some accident of history, a sizable number of the descendants of hereditary chattel slaves chose to organize a movement based on Gandhian principles of non-violence ((although Gandhi, himself a longtime resident of South Africa, considered blacks to be lesser human beings), sacrificing their own lives and those of their allies to gain the implementation of civil rights and human rights which were, in fact, their birthright as Americans.

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Should count its blessings that we chose the risk and the reality of death by so-called non-violence, never counting the cost to the spirit as well as to the body. Americans, black and white, were and still are, killed and maimed by the terrorism of American racism acting in a blind fury to maintain its stranglehold on our black population with police brutality, mass incarceration, false accusations, death by tasering, unexplained jailhouse deaths, church bombings and burnings, on and on.

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Count their blessings when they think about the Arabs, the Muslims, the Africans — North and Sub-Saharan– whose lands were invaded and occupied by European powers. Whose children and grandchildren, citizens now of the homelands of those occupiers, who are restricted to ghetto housing, are served by substandard schools, refused employment, are mocked, ridiculed and insulted by being told that they have not chosen to assimilate, that they do not work hard enough, are not smart enough, do not take advantage of all the country offers, cannot stay out of prison, on and on.

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Count their blessings that the same rage and despair that drives those heirs of colonialism to assault and massacre by gun, bomb, and suicide explosion in the cities of their tormentors, by accident of history have not been unleashed upon our tormentors here.

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My Most Personal Post So Far

 

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Feeling more than a bit something or other — off my game. In the past three years:
1. Post-Boston Marathon shootout, lockdown, house-to-house search, capture here in my small town.
2. Adult son C. in Paris when Charlie Hebdo massacre takes place. He joins in the protest demonstration.
3. C. back in Paris (he spends a fair amount of time there) and looking forward to concert by San Fran acquaintances at Bataclan. Avoids massacre there because of totally random sudden change of plans. His local cafe was one of those shot up.
4. Last weekend, adult son D. is in Turkey on a business trip when suicide bomber blows himself up a couple of blocks from his Istanbul hotel — he won’t tell us how close it actually was.

All 2nd or 3rd hand and we are all safe and sound. In the face of so much death and destruction it feels awkward, almost voyeuristic, to complain about feeling shaken. And yet, there is some sort of cumulative effect.

Among other things, I am almost at a loss to weigh the logic of my ideas and opinions about Brussels. I don’t like being my own guinea pig as I veer between reason and emotion; between, at the extremes, what motivates followers of Bernie and followers of Trump.