Can leadership, diplomacy and institutional design be used to wage peace? Seems like a no-brainer. Historically, there's been a gap between power and leadership. Hopefully a global change in thought will result in a change in the trend.
I've mentioned Michael Lloyd-Billington before, a wonderful, inspiring man who has a personal training and yoga business up in Fort Collins. This is a beautiful short vid he shared on Facebook this week and I will share it with you.
Be who you are. If you want to change something - in the world or in just yourself, work to do that - even if there are saboteurs looking over your shoulder. Chances are that you're not as crazy as people make you out to be.
Everyone should watch this video of Severn Suzuki, speaking at the Rio Summit in 1992.
There are times when I am fed up with the banalities of the world. We lose focus on what's important. Much of the time we don't even spend the time figuring out what really does matter to us, so how could we focus on goals we haven't even discovered? It's easier just to get up in the morning, get our Starbucks, and get through our to do lists. When I saw this video, I had to pause it to stop crying. I wish her speech had changed the world but we don't learn. 2.5 MILLION GALLONS of oil every day into the Gulf and we aren't going to stop drilling. As Severn said, "If you don't know how to fix it, PLEASE stop breaking it!"
In this cross-post from Huffington Post, Stan Sorscher, legislative director for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), looks behind the knee-jerk call for free trade to examine what such a policy really means for our nation.
Fascinating article from The Mark (a highly recommended addition to your newsfeed, by the way). Even having grown up just north (yes, north) of the Canadian border, I never would have made any connection.
The third Sunday in May is Malcolm X Day. In the 1960s, Malcolm X was one of the most candid and admired leaders of the black nationalist movement, whose philosophy was racial separation and self-determination that rejected Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent, integrationist approach to civil rights. Malcolm X was sharply critical of civil rights leaders who advocated black integration into white society as a substitute for building strong black institutions and defending themselves against racist violence. He was an internationally known political leader, whose philosophy can be summed up in his own words: “It is not integration that Negros in America want, it is human dignity.”
Malcolm X Day is celebrated in most major American cities, but what does it have to do with Canada? What impact, if any, did the philosophies of Malcolm X have on black Canadian consciousness and politics?
To answer this question, we must first understand not only the original militant philosophy expounded by Malcolm X and its influence in Canada at the time, but also the ongoing impact of Malcolm X’s transformative philosophy, which moved beyond civil rights to human rights developed shortly after his resignation from the Nation of Islam and just prior to his assassination at the Audubon Ballroom in New York on Feb. 21, 1965. That year, just before his death, he founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity as a non-religious medium to draw attention to the common cause of human dignity and human rights for all people of African descent in the world. On only one occasion did he visit Canada, where he did an interview with the CBC and visited the home of the well-known Canadian author Austin Clarke. However, his influence on black Canadians was significant.
Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington state are joining Representatives from the Cherokee, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, and Pawnee nations in the ceremony Wednesday at the Congressional Cemetery.
This is the second time in a week that I have seen a public figure invoke of the image of Martin Luther King, Jr. for the purposes of furthering a right-wing agenda that would have simply horrified the man. it certainly horrifies me. The first time I noticed this sort of statement was in the Anderson Cooper interview Tom Horne about the recent Arizona banning of ethnic studies classes. He maintains that we should have, essentially, social studies but that they should not be taught by members of that ethnicity to members of that ethnicity. He fails to realize that in order to specialize enough to even teach the subject, those teachers would ideally have received college degrees in that subject. He also fails to realize that there is no prerequisite of being, say, Asian American to take Asian American studies and there never was. While trying to argue that we don't have a problem if we don't separate coursework on separate cultures, Horne points out that he was on the Mall at Martin Luther King Jr's I Have a Dream speech. Perhaps he was there but he certainly missed the point.
Imagine Beck's lunatic rantings had Martin Luther King Jr. said the following today, instead of in 1967:
These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. We in the West must support these revolution
It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has a revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgement against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores, and thereby speed the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; [Audience:] (Yes) the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain."
A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.
Would Tom Horne let this man teach in the Tucson Consolidated District? Not likely. More likely, both he and Glenn Beck would have been calling him a communist and many in the right wing did in the 60s.
Calling into their context the "I Have a Dream" speech from 1963 and tossing aside everything MLK said over the next 5 years is reminiscent of their use of Leviticus to suppress the human rights of gay people, while thumbing their nose at same book's call to embrace the strangers in our land. Perhaps if these people had taken a few ethnic studies courses, they would have a little better grasp of history.
I'm neither Native American nor Hispanic and I don't live in Arizona - but I was fortunate enough to take at least a few different ethnic studies courses when I was still in Michigan. I firmly believe that understanding different cultures makes us a better society. Furthermore, I don't believe that you can just one multicultural course and be done with it, as some proponents of the AZ ban suggest. There is a wealth of wonderful literature from many ethnic communities from which students could benefit and there is absolutely no reason for this ban except to deny students information from those diverse perspectives. What a shame to perpetuate ignorance out of fear of the different.
This morning on my way up to town I caught a radio interview with author Hampton Sides on Fresh Air. I had the good fortune to hear him do a reading in Santa Fe when he released Blood and Thunder, a biography of Kit Carson. His new book, Hellhound on his Trail, is about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the subsequent hunt for James Earl Ray. The book has just been released He is wonderful speaker and did not disappoint the NPR interview, which you can listen to here: www.npr.org