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US Militarism and the girls of Nigeria
by Liz Moore
More than two hundred girls kidnapped in Nigeria have caught the sympathy of many in the West, and that attention has helped to prompt US military aid as part of the effort to rescue them.
It started as a simple #BringBackOurGirls call gaining amplification on social media. Then came the names of the girls, which I and others re-posted as a way of making more specific and more powerful our call for their return. And then, wiser people pointed out that listing the girls’ names puts them in greater danger in the future and violates their right to decide whether or not to be public about their experience. I had to pause my urge to help to learn whether my actions were actually helpful or harmful.
The world clamor, led by protests by parents in Nigeria, led to greater attention and some international response. The US government response, of course, was to offer “counter-terrorism assistance.”
Let us pause again to see if our offer of help is actually helpful. Read more »
It is the Zimmerman mindset that must be found guilty
Like millions of people across the country, I was very saddened when I learned a Florida jury had found George Zimmerman not guilty of murder nor manslaughter for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin. Read more »
Yelling “Fire!” In A Crowded Bill of Rights
Rusty Nelson on Peace and War
Cassandra, in ancient Greek stories, has become a more and more compelling character to me as I’ve observed the politics of institutional violence. What curse could frustrate you more than being able to see the future clearly while every other mind is completely closed to any warning or constructive comment you might offer? Watching epic, human-driven disasters unfold was much less painful before I realized two essential facts: The violence residing within me is part of the problem, and there is always an alternative to violence.
Our national conversation is full of presumptions that immutable conflicts emerge from the blue, with no way to anticipate or prevent them. What a waste of talk. Read more »
Pulling at the Threads of Violence in our Culture
By Rev. Dr. Todd F. Eklof, The Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane
What a privilege it was to moderate during PJALS’ February 7th panel discussion on violence. We don’t hear about most the violence that occurs every day in our country or in our communities, but the recent and terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, as well as those in places like Aurora, Colorado, the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, and far too many others, have reminded us all that something must be done now! Read more »