• Tag Archives Peace
  • NAACP: A Man Was Lynched Yesterday, And The Day Before That, Too

    a man was lynched yesterday
    “A man was lynched yesterday.” (Photo: NAACP)

    Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
    only light can do that.
    Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Darkness.

    Light.

    Justice.

    Peace.

    Love.

    Five officers killed in Dallas.

    Five.

    One sniper. Acting alone. While many, many #BlackLivesMatter activists marched peacefully.

    Before that, however, the many lives lost in the African American community at the hands of law enforcement, which gave rise, finally, to #BlackLivesMatter.

    We do not condone violence against African Americans.

    We do not condone violence against police.

    The overwhelming majority of African Americans want peace.

    The overwhelming majority of police want peace.

    The overwhelming majority of people want peace.

    What sense can we make of the State of the Union? What is happening to us? Is this 1968 again?

    Activists stormed the Democratic National Convention in 1968 and were met with brutality by police. Why did they not storm the GOP convention that year?

    Because they knew the GOP would not listen anyhow.

    A mere 12 years later, Ronald Reagan bowed down to “states rights” in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where, in 1964, civil rights workers had been murdered.

    Ronald Reagan was calculating, the “great communicator,” remember?

    He knew what he was doing. He knew to whom he was speaking. The Southern Strategy was alive and strong with this one.

    The GOP has been stoking the fires of the Southern Strategy for decades. And the chickens have come home to roost. Talk about buyer’s remorse. Watch, as GOP leaders try, so desperately try, to distance themselves from Donald Trump. But many of these same leaders vowed, when President Barack Obama was elected, that they would not work with him at all.

    And they spent the better part of eight years fighting each and every thing President Obama proposed, said, didn’t say.

    Whatever.

    From the moment that then-Senator Barack Obama declared his intention to run for POTUS, the number of hate groups in the United States began to grow. In 2011, for the first time ever, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the number of hate groups in this country topped 1,000.

    Their number continues to grow.

    And, now, with membership in the KKK growing, America’s oldest, most infamous hate group, we watch in horror.

    For your consideration, from the NAACP:

    Activists created the NAACP more than a century ago to fight racialized violence.

    Then, we called it “lynching.” Today, we call it “police brutality,” but the effect is still the same — our lives are in danger. Endangered by some of the very people who are called to protect and serve us. We are all tense, angry, devastated, and grieving.

    We grieve for Alton Sterling. We grieve for Philando Castile. And we grieve with the rest of the country over the senseless loss of lives in Dallas, too — because the execution of police officers does not end the execution of black Americans, and it will not put us on the path to change.

    What will put us on the path to justice is the passage of the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act (LETIA) and the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA). Radical reform of policing practices, policies, and laws at all levels must be made — immediately — because the current system is taking too many lives.

    We can take small solace in the fact that the outrage over this 21st century form of lynching is not isolated to the black community. Americans of all races and ethnicities are fighting to put an end to the epidemic of violence — gun violence in particular — in this country. Now is the time to come together as one in grief, in protest, and in pursuit of real, measurable change.

    As an organization, we are doing everything we can to ensure justice is served, but we can’t do it alone. Stand in solidarity with your fellow activists, hand in hand with your community. Contact your elected officials to demand life-saving reforms to a broken system.

    We can — and must — put an end to this together.

    Cornell William Brooks
    President and CEO

    And, we remind ourselves again:

    Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
    only light can do that.
    Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


  • Where the Hell is Matt?

    A new friend of mine showed this to me today. I never heard of Matt before today.

    Apparently, over 24 million people already know who Matt is. Nice to meet you, Matt.

    This is just too, too cool. And a wonderful moment of Zen.

    A little bit about Matt:

    Matt is a 32-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play videogames. Matt achieved this goal pretty early and enjoyed it for a while, but eventually realized there might be other stuff he was missing out on. In February of 2003, he quit his job in Brisbane, Australia and used the money he’d saved to wander around Asia until it ran out. He made this site so he could keep his family and friends updated about where he is.

    A few months into his trip, a travel buddy gave Matt an idea. They were standing around taking pictures in Hanoi, and his friend said "Hey, why don’t you stand over there and do that dance. I’ll record it." He was referring to a particular dance Matt does. It’s actually the only dance Matt does. He does it badly. Anyway, this turned out to be a very good idea.

    A couple years later, someone found the video online and passed it to someone else, who passed it to someone else, and so on. Now Matt is quasi-famous as "That guy who dances on the internet. No, not that guy. The other one. No, not him either. I’ll send you the link. It’s funny."

    The response to the first video brought Matt to the attention of the nice people at Stride gum. They asked Matt if he’d be interested in taking another trip around the world to make a new video. Matt asked if they’d be paying for it. They said yes. Matt thought this sounded like another very good idea.

    UPDATE: A huge tip of the hat to PENGUINSIX for the lyrics to Praan, the "Stream of Life" song. First, a transliteration of the original, which is sung in Bengali, from the composer’s blog, followed by a translation:

    Praan Lyrics – Transliteration

    Some people have asked for this. So here you go.

    Bhulbona ar shohojete
    Shei praan e mon uthbe mete
    Mrittu majhe dhaka ache
    je ontohin praan

    Bojre tomar baje bashi
    She ki shohoj gaan
    Shei shurete jagbo ami
    (Repeat 3X)

    Shei jhor jeno shoi anonde
    Chittobinar taare
    Shotto-shundu dosh digonto
    Nachao je jhonkare!

    Bojre tomar baje bashi
    She ki shohoj gaan
    Shei shurete jagbo ami

    Stream of Life
    by Rabindranath Tagore

    The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
    runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

    It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
    in numberless blades of grass
    and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

    It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth
    and of death, in ebb and in flow.

    I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
    And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.

    Want to dance with Matt? Go here for more: http://wherethehellismatt.com/

    Download the song Praan, by Garry Schyman, here.