Thursday, December 31, 2015

At the end of 2015, what will 2016 bring? A New Economy? Peoplecentric Politics? Climate Justice?

There are so many stories from 2015. What's stuck with you the most? From anarchists currents in social movements for people and the planet, to those working to dismantle the oppression wielded by capitalist, neoliberal politics, to the continued aggression towards people of color by police in the US, the list is truly stacked. To highlight just one would be narrow sighted as this blog is meant to offer as open as a place as possible to envision a new world that can be formed because every issue brought to the world has been done by humans, so it can therefore be undone by them as well.

The COP21 was looked by some as a major triumph. With respect to those who lost their lives and were impacted in the Paris attacks, these climate talks were nothing more than the same conversation that's been had for years, only redone for 2015.

Read this. The Indigenous activist piece linked breaks down the failure of Paris and what really needs to be done.

As "we" look to 2016, take a breath and think about how you can play your own role in a revolution to bring about well being to all people and the planet. Think about community, and think about those who have been disproportionately burdened by socially constructed forms of oppressions, and systems that DO NOT HAVE TO EXIST. They do exist though, and we are all forced to deal with them on some level. But that does not mean you have to accept that reality.

Believe in LOVE, believe in YOU, be the change you wish to see, and do whatever you can to stay good with yourself. Then give what you can.

With thanks and solidarity, in the hope for a better world for all!

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Monday, November 2, 2015

The bill to replace Minnesota's derogatory geographic site names that are offensive to Indigenous People

Whether you don't understand what cultural appropriation means, why mascots like the Redskins should be obliterated from the NFL, or question why in the now folks are still trying to heal from the past, this should be helpful:


The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council (MIAC) asked me (Thomas Dahlheimer) to write and send Annamarie Hill-Kleinhans, the council's executive director, a MIAC draft resolution endorsing the bill to replace Minnesota's derogatory geographic site names that are offensive to Indians. My draft resolution is presented below. It has not yet been approved by the MIAC. And this posting of the draft is not posted on behalf of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council.

Alfred Bone Shirt (Sigangu), a nationally renowned Indian activist who is the contact person
for the Dakota-Lakota-Nakota Human Rights Advocacy Coalition, published the following Minnesota Indian Affairs Council draft resolution.



Minnesota Indian Affairs Council Draft Resolution

Dear Minnesota Legislators,

In respect to Representative Mike Jaros' bill to change our state's derogatory and, in some cases, also profane geographic site names, names that are offensive to American Indians as well as to a lot of other people, we, the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, request that you pass this important bill.

We find our state's geographic site name that refers to the Dakota people as a snake, as does, according to the Minnesota Historical Society's Web site, Snake River, to be very demeaning and insulting. And because some of our state's Dakota/Sioux people, consider the name Sioux to be a derogatory and offensive name, we therefore request that the geographic site names, Sioux River, Little Sioux River, Cut Foot Sioux Lake and Indian Sioux River be considered derogatory and therefore included with the other geographic place names that we would like for you to replace by passing this bill.

The name Dakota, a Dakota language name meaning friend or ally, is the name that we would like for you to use to replace the name Sioux. The name Sioux was given to the Dakota people by colonial Frenchmen. It is an abbreviation of a past derogatory Ojibwe name for the Dakota people (Nadouesioux), a term of hatred, meaning "snakes, enemies".

We also find the geographic site name that refers to both the Dakota and Ojibwe people as redskins, as does Redskin Lake, to be demeaning and insulting. We also find the geographic site names that refer to Dakota and Ojibwe people as savages, as does, according to the Minnesota Historical Society's Web site, Savage Lake and East Savage Lake to be very demeaning and insulting.

We also find it very demeaning and insulting that our state has two geographic site names that are the White man's faulty translation names for a lake and river that the Ojibwe named to honor their Great Spirit (Manido), Manido bimadagakowini zibi is the Ojibwe name for this lake and its outlet river, it means the spirits (or God) walking-place-on-the-ice river. However, white men mistranslated Manido as Devil, hence our state, unfortunately, has a lake named Devil Track Lake and a river named Devil Track River. We not only find these names demeaning and insulting, but also very disrespectful toward the Ojibwe 's traditional religion and spirituality.

In a book published by the Minnesota Historical Society, a book titled, "Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origins and Historic Significances", Warren Upham wrote that the Rum River name is "the white men's perversion of the ancient Sioux name Wakan". He also wrote, in this same book, that: "The name of Rum river, which Carver in 1766 and Pike in 1805 found in use by English-speaking fur traders, was indirectly derived from the Sioux. Their name of Mille Lacs, Mde Wakan, translated Spirit lake, was given to its river, but was changed by the white man to the most common spirituous liquor brought into the Northwest, rum, which brought misery and ruin, as Du Luth observed of brandy, to many of the Indians..."

We find it very demeaning and insulting that the Dakota people's sacred "name" for a river (Wakan River), translated as (Great) Spirit River was mistranslated by white men to mean the alcohol spirit rum, and that the river was then give the faulty and punning translation name (Rum).

And we believe that what makes this "Rum" River name even worst is the fact that, at the time when the river was named Rum, rum was not only bringing misery and ruin to many of the Dakota people, it was also being used to help steal their land.

White European rum runners were transporting rum from the trading posts on the Mississippi River to the Dakota people's villages on the headwaters of the badly named "Rum River". They were supplying them with enough alcohol to cause a lot of the Dakota people to become alcoholic drunkards. This was a method that the European settlers used to separate the Dakota from their traditional religion and spirituality, a religion and spirituality that was intimately connected with their sacred relationship with their land and consequently to their attachment to it. This made it easier to lure a lot of the Dakota people to leave their sacred homeland and go to where they could get a steady supply of rum to satisfy their alcoholic addition cravings.

According to colonial European international law, after Duluth planted the flag of France on the Dakota people's land it officially belonged to France, provided the French annex the Dakota people from their land. The French not only supplied these Dakota people with a lot of alcohol they also supplied a band of Ojibwe people (a band that had recently migrated from the east coast into the Dakota people's territory) with a lot of alcohol. According to information presented on our state's DNR Web site, "Early White/Indian intervention played an important role in the settlement of the area by white men. The French, instigated fights between the Ojibwe and Dakota so as to ally themselves with the Ojibwe." The Dakota and Ojibwe people were abusing alcohol and the French knew that they were abusing it. And the French also knew that by continuing to supply them with a lot of alcohol they would cause the Dakota and Ojibwe people to become hateful and violent toward each other. This occurred, and when it occurred, the French sided with the Ojibwe, including providing them with gun powder. They did this in order to be successful in using the Ojibwe (in a radically abusive way) to drive all of the Dakota people from their sacred land on the headwaters of the "Rum River". And by doing so, they finalize their land grabbing transaction.

We believe that these derogatory and, in some cases, also profane names demean our traditional cultures and languages, and in some cases, also desecrate sacred sites of ours, and that they are legacies of racism that are a shameful scandal to our wonderful state of Minnesota.

In addition, we believe that replacing the derogatory and profane "Rum River" name would help our people who are suffering from alcohol abuse to increase their appreciation of our/their traditional cultures and values and that this would help to heal the wounds that are contributing to their drinking problems, and that this, in turn, would be good for all of our Minnesota Indian communities.

We appreciate the local, national and international support for the effort to change the derogatory and profane name of the "Rum River". We are aware that there is a United Nations Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues promoted international movement to change derogatory and profane geographic site names that are offensive to indigenous peoples who are still suffering from the oppressive effects of colonialism. We are more than happy to participate in this international movement by endorsing our state's name-changing bill. We believe that indigenous people all around the world will be helped by, both, our endorsement of this bill as well as by, hopefully, your passage of it.

We are also aware that there is a national movement to replace derogatory and profane geographic site names that are offensive to American Indians and we are more than happy to also participate in this movement by endorsing our state's name-changing bill. We believe that our endorsement of this bill sets another national precedent and that if you pass this bill, it will also set another national precedent that will help our nation to replace all of its racists names, names that demean American Indian cultures and languages and, in some cases, also desecrate sacred American Indian sites. We believe that our endorsement of this bill and, hopefully, your passage of it will help promote the national movement to replace all of our nation's derogatory and profane geographic site names, and that this will help our nation to become a better place to live.

We also believe that this campaign to change our state's derogatory and profane geographic site names is a valuable history lesson and that if you pass this bill, this valuable history lesson will even more so help to transform our wonderful state so that the people of the dominate culture more fully respect and appreciate our people's traditional cultures and languages.

We also believe that in the wake of a recently published on-line document by the United Nations' World Conference Against Racism that the true history of what happened to our people will be revealed to the general public, and be revealed by (1.) the campaign to replace our state's derogatory and profane names, (2.) our endorsement of this bill as well as (3.), hopefully, your passage of it, and that this true history will cause both our state's Ojibwe people, especially the Mille Lacs Band of Ojiwe, as well as the dominate culture to apologize to the Dakota people as well as offer them restitution justice. In addition, we also believe that the revealing of this true history of our people will cause the dominate culture to also apologize and offer restitution justice to our state's Ojibwe people, and especially to the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, for the injustices committed against them, and that everyone will benefit from our endorsement of this bill as well as, hopefully, your passage of it.

After reading a recent United Nations' World Conference Against Racism document and then searching to find out why our state has these derogatory and profane names it becomes clear as to why our state has these derogatory names. Thanks to both this World Conference Against Racism document and campaign to replace our state's derogatory geographic place names, for the first time, the true history of what happened to our state's Dakota and Ojibwe people is fully revealed. On-line articles about what happened to our state's Dakota and Ojibwe people can be viewed at:
(4.) html

Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer, the person who originally drafted the name-changing bill and who also asked Representative Jaros if he would like to introduce an apology resolution, which Rep. Jaros said he would, has, so far, also asked the Minnesota Council of Churches, Greater Minneapolis and Saint Paul Area Councils of Churches, the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the Lutheran Coalition for Public Policy in Minnesota, the Diocese of Saint Cloud, the Bishop of Minnesota's United Methodist Church and the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota to not only apologize for their ties to the exploitation of our people, but to also radically repent and reform their lives, and do so, in order to treat our people with due respect.

Mr. Dahlheimer has been corresponding with the leaders of these Christian organizations and churches and this causes us to believe that our endorsement of this bill as well as, hopefully, your passage of it will help influence the establishment and promotion of an, indigenous peoples rights, social and political movement that will greatly transform our state, and that this movement will spread throughout our nation as well as throughout the Americas, setting all of the Americas' indigenous peoples free from the subjugated state of existence imposed upon us by Pope Alexandria the VI's 15th century Papal Bull (Inter Caetera). A Papal Bull that continues to be the source of the oppressive White racism being perpetrated against us to this present-day. We believe that Pope Alexandria the VI's present-day predecessor as well as the leaders of both the Eastern Orthodox Church and Protestant Churches continue to abide by this papal bull's, subjugation of indigenous peoples, racist edicts.

In the Papal Bull (Inter Caetera) Pope Alexandria the VI called for the "subjugation of the New World's barbarous nations and their lands". And ever since, first colonial and then successor States have subjugated our people and our lands as well as kept our people and our lands in subjugation. According to the Papal Bull (Inter Caetrea) and colonial European international law (law basis on this Papal Bull) a law that was later incorporated into U.S. law only White European Christian nations could own land. Therefore, we believe that there is a need for the leaders of Christian Churches as well as their people to radically repent and reform their lives. Christian leaders and colonial European international law denied us two of our basic human rights. And U.S. law, currently, denies us these same basic human rights. We had, and still have, a right to absolute root ownership of our homelands as well as full sovereignty rights. However, thanks to, primarily, Christian Church leaders we are still being denied these two basic human rights. This has to change to make things right.

And we also believe that this Christian reformation will occur, primarily, because of our endorsement of this bill as well as, hopefully, your passage of it, and that this Christian reformation will cause a great and wonderful transformation of our state, our nation and the entire world.

This campaign to change our state's derogatory and profane names is revitalizing our appreciation of our traditional cultures and languages. And we believe that your passage of this bill would even more so help us to preserve what is left of our traditional cultures as well as restore that which has been lost. And we believe that this would be good for everyone, and especially for everyone living in our wonderful state of Minnesota.


Minnesota Indian Affairs Council

-----Click apology resolution to view and read my draft Minnesota Apology Resolution for the
----- exploitation of Minnesota's Native Americans

-----Click truth and reconciliation commission to view and read my article U.S. and states should
----- establish truth and reconciliation commissions

Thanks to for the share.

In Solidarity. 

There is no such thing as "Reverse Racism"

In the US especially, I often here white folks claiming reverse racism when they feel uncomfortable. Well, the truth of the matter is that condition does not exist. There is absolutely no such thing. Why?

For starters, if you haven't already, this is a must read:

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsackby Peggy McIntosh “I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group” DAILY EFFECTS OF WHITE PRIVILEGE I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and time of work cannot count on most of these conditions.

Peggy does an excellent job of speaking to privilege and power, the key components of why reverse racism does not exist. This next piece spells it out as well. A white person can feel prejudice or bigotry, but not racism, not when the systems of power in place exult people to an advantage simply because they are white.

White folks are not oppressed, and yes #alllives matter, but failing to understand the prominence and importance of #blacklivesmatter misses the point entirely. Systems of injustice are in place today built on the imperial, colonial legacy of the past. To move forward these systems must be confronted, called out and obliterated. If there is ever to be peace, sustainability and justice, look at all systems of power-political/economic/race/class/gender/sexuality/age/ability/-then look at all oppressions to the earth and people. Some "people" created these systems and yes, some very small numbers of people thrive because of them. The rest of the world and its total life systems are forced to take on unnatural burdens because of these systems. Is this fair? If people created these oppressive systems of racist laws and dominating capitalist principles, can't something else be created to honors all living systems?

In Solidarity.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!

With inspiration from the Zinn Project, and author Bill Bigelow, here is a call to action to abolish columbus day!

By Bill Bigelow
Once again this year many schools will pause to commemorate Christopher Columbus. Given everything we know about who Columbus was and what he launched in the Americas, this needs to stop.
Columbus initiated the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in early February 1494, first sending several dozen enslaved Taínos to Spain. Columbus described those he enslaved as “well made and of very good intelligence,” and recommended to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that taxing slave shipments could help pay for supplies needed in the Indies. A year later, Columbus intensified his efforts to enslave Indigenous people in the Caribbean. He ordered 1,600 Taínos rounded up—people whom Columbus had earlier described as “so full of love and without greed”—and had 550 of the “best males and females,” according to one witness, Michele de Cuneo, chained and sent as slaves to Spain. “Of the rest who were left,” de Cuneo writes, “the announcement went around that whoever wanted them could take as many as he pleased; and this was done.”
Taíno slavery in Spain turned out to be unprofitable, but Columbus later wrote, “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.”
The eminent historian of Africa, Basil Davidson, also assigns responsibility to Columbus for initiating the African slave trade to the Americas. According to Davidson, the first license granted to send enslaved Africans to the Caribbean was issued by the king and queen in 1501, during Columbus’s rule in the Indies, leading Davidson to dub Columbus the “father of the slave trade.”
From the very beginning, Columbus was not on a mission of discovery but of conquest and exploitation—he called his expedition la empresa, the enterprise. When slavery did not pay off, Columbus turned to a tribute system, forcing every Taíno, 14 or older, to fill a hawk’s bell with gold every three months. If successful, they were safe for another three months. If not, Columbus ordered that Taínos be “punished,” by having their hands chopped off, or they were chased down by attack dogs. As the Spanish priest Bartolomé de las Casas wrote, this tribute system was “impossible and intolerable.”
And Columbus deserves to be remembered as the first terrorist in the Americas. When resistance mounted to the Spaniards’ violence, Columbus sent an armed force to “spread terror among the Indians to show them how strong and powerful the Christians were,” according to the Spanish priest Bartolomé de las Casas. In his book Conquest of Paradise, Kirkpatrick Sale describes what happened when Columbus’s men encountered a force of Taínos in March of 1495 in a valley on the island of Hispañiola:
The soldiers mowed down dozens with point-blank volleys, loosed the dogs to rip open limbs and bellies, chased fleeing Indians into the bush to skewer them on sword and pike, and [according to Columbus’s biographer, his son Fernando] “with God’s aid soon gained a complete victory, killing many Indians and capturing others who were also killed.”
If Indigenous peoples’ lives mattered in our society, and if Black people’s lives mattered in our society, it would be inconceivable that we would honor the father of the slave trade with a national holiday. The fact that we have this holiday legitimates a curriculum that is contemptuous of the lives of peoples of color. Elementary school libraries still feature books like Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus, by Peter Sis, which praise Columbus and say nothing of the lives destroyed by Spanish colonialism in the Americas.All this and much more has long been known and documented. As early as 1942 in his Pulitzer Prize winning biography, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that Columbus’s policies in the Caribbean led to “complete genocide”—and Morison was a writer who admired Columbus.
No doubt, the movement launched 25 years ago in the buildup to the Columbus Quincentenary has made huge strides in introducing a more truthful and critical history about the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. Teachers throughout the country put Columbus and the system of empire on trial, and write stories of the so-called discovery of America from the standpoint of the people who were here first.
But most textbooks still tip-toe around the truth. Houghton Mifflin’s United States History: Early Years attributes Taíno deaths to “epidemics,” and concludes its section on Columbus: “The Columbian Exchange benefited people all over the world.” The section’s only review question erases Taíno and African humanity: “How did the Columbian Exchange change the diet of Europeans?”
For example, here’s how Peter Sis describes the encounter in his widely used book: “On October 12, 1492, just after midday, Christopher Columbus landed on a beach of white coral, claimed the land for the King and Queen of Spain, knelt and gave thanks to God…” The Taínos on the beach who greet Columbus are nameless and voiceless. What else can children conclude but that their lives don’t matter?Too often, even in 2015, the Columbus story is still young children’s first curricular introduction to the meeting of different ethnicities, different cultures, different nationalities. In school-based literature on Columbus, they see him plant the flag, and name and claim “San Salvador” for an empire thousands of miles away; they’re taught that white people have the right to rule over peoples of color, that stronger nations can bully weaker nations, and that the only voices they need to listen to throughout history are those of powerful white guys like Columbus. Is this said explicitly? No, it doesn’t have to be. It’s the silences that speak.
Enough already. Especially now, when the Black Lives Matter movement prompts us to look deeply into each nook and cranny of social life to ask whether our practices affirm the worth of every human being, it’s time to rethink Columbus, and to abandon the holiday that celebrates his crimes.
Last year, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant put it well when she explained Seattle’s decision to abandon Columbus Day: “Learning about the history of Columbus and transforming this day into a celebration of Indigenous people and a celebration of social justice … allows us to make a connection between this painful history and the ongoing marginalization, discrimination, and poverty that Indigenous communities face to this day.”More cities—and school districts—ought to follow the example of Berkeley, Minneapolis, and Seattle, which have scrapped Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day—a day to commemorate the resistance and resilience of Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas, and not just in a long-ago past, but today. Or what about studying and honoring the people Columbus enslaved and terrorized: the Taínos. Columbus said that they were gentle, generous, and intelligent, but how many students today even know the name Taíno, let alone know anything of who they were and how they lived?
We don’t have to wait for the federal government to transform Columbus Day into something more decent. Just as the climate justice movement is doing with fossil fuels, we can organize our communities and our schools to divest from Columbus. And that would be something to celebrate.
Bill Bigelow is curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools magazine and co-director of the Zinn Education Project. He co-edited  A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis.

This article is part of the Zinn Education Project’s
If We Knew Our History

© 2015 The Zinn Education Project.
Published on: Huffington Post | Common Dreams | AlterNet.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Feel the Bern? Or Feel the System?

Many "progressives" are coming out in waves to offer their support for Democratic presidential nominee, Bernie Sanders.

What do you think?

Our take- Bernie is probably the most progressive person to run under a major party platform, ever. That said, as these conversations are ongoing do you believe in the current political system enough to support it, meaning do you vote?

And if you do, do you vote on party lines?

The question is essential because many true progressives argue that Democrats and Republicans are nothing but different sides to the same coin, one perhaps a little less evil than the other. We also know that there are even better parties and people to support, like Jill Stein and the Green Party.

However, does it really matter who the president is? it not the political system that empowers the economic reality of the U.S. that is most at fault for empowering continued oppression, and marginalizing people of color, the poor, the environment, and anything that gets in the way of "growth"?

As the presidential debates kick up, educate yourself, as always, on the totality of issues at play. Our perspective here is that until the flawed, nondemocratic system of governance employed by the U.S. changes and/or is obliterated to to reflect the actual reality that all that matters is the planet and its people, it does not matter who is in charge of the executive branch.

Many choose to not vote so as to not support this inherently flawed system. At the same time, no matter what, this system impacts us all, so others try and vote for third parties, for those who more closely reflect their political hopes and dreams. Still more folks are theorizing something else...

Let me tell you, achieving peace, justice and sustainability through the current political framework in this country with capitalism in charge is laughable. Bernie does not truly critique capitalism, but he at least gives it some shit. But I'll tell you what, if he became president, let's see what he can do. Yes, the House and Senate matters too, but does it?  The point to meditate on is no matter who takes those seats, under this system, true well-being for all can not be achieved. Something else must take it's place...or keep supporting Bernie. He is pretty rad for another white male in a position of power, but in your true faith for hope in this world, will he really bring about the change that's necessary? can he? can this system? Should we start talking about the other person in the media spotlight and all his hate towards people of color, immigrants, women and the Earth...

Open your mind, don't be fooled into thinking the world HAS to be this way...

In Solidarity.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Is Pope Francis Really THAT Important?

Pope Francis just left the United States (U.S.) after an almost weeklong visit that has caused quite a stir across the country, and the world. The Pope visited major cities, and even shrugged off a meeting with Congressional leaders to visit and serve homeless folks. However, the biggest take away's not only from his visit to the U.S. but since he has assumed the roll of Pope has been to critique capitalism, offer an apology for faith based colonial attacks on Indigenous people, and most recently to call out the failure of the prison industrial complex.

During his U.S. visit the Pope also met with victims of sex abuse scandals fostered by clergy members, supporters for environmental protection, and immigrant families. Some environmentalists champion the Pope for speaking out about climate change and the sin it presents to the world for treating the earth in such a way. His plan, which unfortunately did not take place, to cross the Mexico-U.S. border would've been a great act in solidarity for undocumented citizens of the U.S. had it actually happened. His words in Congress to end arms trades, to open doors to immigrants, and to link climate change to inequality and poverty are nothing short of spectacular. But we're talking about the leader of a HUGE religiously dogmatic regime here. How can this be?

To be frank, this Pope has ruffled feathers and will continue to do so. He's a man to watch, read up on and listen to. While some have said, regarding sexuality, it's more about what he hasn't said than what he has said, if he can take deeper steps on certain issues he might be one of the biggest individuals to enact and foster change in quite some time. As much as it shouldn't matter, individuals in leadership roles do help enact revolution and change. It's all about community in the end, but individuals can spark the change.

However, what must not be lost is the Pope has maintained his conviction to canonize Junipero Serra, a Spanish missionary said to have helped usher in a wave of imperialism, genocide and oppression on California Indigenous People during first contact in the 18th century. In addition, the Pope continues to favor patriarchal roots of men dominating women through the church, especially when it comes to women's rights.

On these last few points alone, the Pope can not be looked at at the "radical" he appears to be, but then again, will pressure from those opposing his push to canonize Junipero, and those pushing him to engage justly on issues of sexuality and gender rights get to him enough for him to give way? If so, the Pope may truly be one to watch and support for the necessary paradigm shift needed in this world. For now, we wait, we study, we push, we find his flaws and bring them to him to discuss, analyze and defend. There are some MAJOR flaws with some his positions, but there's hope. In Solidarity.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fight Against The Apache Land Grab and Neocolonization!

Russell Means is watching, and even those not in tune to the continued neocolonial acts of the US Government towards American Indians have taken notice of the conflict surrounding Oak Flat.

Borrowed from an Indian Country piece on the issue, "Late last year, Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake attached a land-swap measure to a must-pass defense bill in which ownership of 2,400 acres of Apache holy land—public lands that were supposed to be immune from such treatment—was transferred to a mining company. Resolution Copper wants what is under that land and is willing to destroy it to get to the prized metals underneath."

As revolting as this is and may seem to some, it's nothing new. Native Americans have been fighting to protect their sacred sites, retain their cultural heritage, and protect traditional resources since first contact. The American Indian Movement (AIM) of the 1970's with the words of leader Russell Means helped lead to a revival of justice during the "Red Power" movement. But with cases like Oak Flat, business as usual continues.

If you stand in solidarity for people and the planet learn more about the history of genocide brought to Indigenous people across the world. Learn more about how even in an age of understanding the atrocities of the past, continued oppression exists through cases like this one centered on Oak Flat. Find out how you can play a part, standing in solidarity with those who have no choice, but to either fight, or succumb to capitalism once again empowered through the political system, viewing people, ecosystems and culture as nothing but a barrier to increased profits. This link highlights the July march on Washington. It is offered here, with this post, as a way to not let the information die, but rather showcase it as something folks that believe in peace, sustainability and justice can rally around to fight and win a battle, in the war for all living things, especially those who continue to be disproportionally dominated.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

History Is Made | One Flag Up, One Flag Down

It's been a historic few weeks. With the ever present tone of continued turmoil across the world, let us reflect on a battle fought and won with regards to a symbol of oppression coming down, and a symbol of human rights going up in the U.S.

It's beautiful, isn't it? Such a simple cartoon, yet it's so profound.

If you come across someone who's defensive of the confederate flag, think about passing on this piece. Here, there is undeniable evidence, from the creator of the flag:

I'd say there's not much heritage to protect, unless it's one built on racism, slavery, and oppression through a belief in white supremacy. It's a beautiful thing, that flag has come down in South Carolina, but will it remain exalted elsewhere?

On the flip side, in a movement to support equality for all, sexuality as a tool of oppression took a major hit as the Supreme Court voted to make same-sex marriage a human right. It's a major win for people across the world who believe in peace, justice and sustainability.

Imagine, if you are heterosexual, not being able to freely love the one you love because you are homosexual. Put yourself in someone else's shoes. Think about community, respect, and being human. This is one of the greatest things to come from the Supreme Court in this history of its creation.

The war wages on, but in every war, battles are fought and victories, as small as they may seem in the grand scheme, should be celebrated. One symbol of hate down, one symbol of love and justice up.

In Solidarity.

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Utah's Strategy for the Homeless: Give Them Homes

This is not the first time we've shared thoughts from the below linked piece, but issues of homelessness or houselessness remain at the forefront of social justice and community health projects across the world. Time and time again the ugly face of elitist environmentalism shows its true colors when issues like these are present. Why is it so difficult for people to see that the houseless population is a part of the population?

Usually, issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and age are central in such discourse. But the rampant manner that so many choose to demonize those who are on the street continues as unabated as the perpetuation of corporate control of American politics. I ask you, the next time you see someone who's houseless, ask yourself, "Do they want this existence?" Believe it or not, many answer yes as a direct result of their disenfranchisement from status quo society.

The other main question is to, like most issues of social justice, and in regards to those who don't want to be in such a position, how did s/he get here? Why are they here? What might support this person in regaining a sense of autonomy over their own life? Whether it's abuse as a child, drugs and crime as a way to escape a plagued reality, or impacts from serving in the military, bringing a sense of well-being to houseless folks across the world is one of the most difficult, important issues in the fight to achieve peace, justice and sustainability.

Take a look at this report from Utah, look outward, and think more critically, with compassion, love and respect the next time you engage with a member of the houseless community. In Solidarity.
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19 Years of Essential Interviews with Noam Chomsky

It's far from a new report that the folks at Peace, Justice and Sustainability believe Democracy Now! is one of the most, if not the most accurate, justice driven news source in the US. Recently, they've made all of their interviews with globally recognized political activist Noam Chomsky available for video streaming and listening.

Head here to the page in question where you'll find hours upon hours of thought provoking interviews. From calls of accountability, to issues of war and peace, let this post serve as something you can go back to when you're ready to marinate on the critical thought necessary to bring about peace, justice and sustainability to a world fueled by corrupt power, framed through numerous interlocking systems of oppression.
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Friday, May 1, 2015

Celebrate Labor Rights and Immigrant Rights this May Day, aka, International Worker's Day | May 1st, 2015

Do you celebrate May Day? Ever wonder about its activist history? Salon republished this piece that was originally printer by AlterNet. Check it out, learn about the move to evolve this ancient celebratory day into International Worker's Day, and stand in solidarity for economic justice, labor rights, and immigrant rights. The above photo from 1886 depicts the Haymarket affair, a key event that helped spur the May Day movement.

From Salon/AlterNet: American general strikes—or rather, American calls for general strikes, like the one Occupy Los Angeles issued last December that has been endorsed by over 150 general assemblies—are tinged with nostalgia. AlterNetThe last real general strike in this country, which is to say, the last general strike that shut down a city, was in Oakland, Calif. in 1946—though journalist John Nichols has suggested that what we saw in Madison, Wisconsin last year was a sort of general strike.

When we call a general strike, or talk of one, we refer not to a current mode of organizing; we refer back, implicitly or explicitly, to some of the most militant moments in American working-class history. People posting on the Occupy strike blog How I Strike have suggested that next week’s May Day is highly symbolic. As we think about and develop new ways of “general striking,” we also reconnect with a past we’ve mostly forgotten. So it makes sense that this year’s call for an Occupy general strike—whatever ends up happening on Tuesday—falls on May 1.

May Day is a beautifully American holiday, one created by American workers, crushed by the American government incubated abroad, and returned to the United States by immigrant workers. The history of May 1 as a workers’ holiday is intimately tied to the generations-long movement for the eight-hour day, to immigrant workers, to police brutality and repression of the labor movement, and to the long tradition of American anarchism. Perhaps the first nation-wide labor movement in the United States started in 1864, when workers began to agitate for an eight-hour day. This was, in their understanding, a natural outgrowth of the abolition of slavery; a limited work day allowed workers to spend more time with their families, to pursue education, and to enjoy leisure time. In other words, a shorter work day meant freedom.

It was not for nothing that in 1866, workers celebrated the Fourth of July by singing “John Brown’s Body” with new lyrics demanding an eight-hour day. Agitating for shorter hours became a broad-based mass movement, and skilled and unskilled workers organized together. The movement would allow no racial, national or even religious divisions. Workers built specific organizations—Eight Hour Leagues—but they also used that momentum to establish new unions and strengthen old ones. That year, the Eight Hour Movement gained its first legislative victory when Illinois passed a law limiting work hours.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015


You can trace the roots of the recent Baltimore uprising back to the LA race riots of 1965 and 1992. What can and should be done when those who are vested with the power to serve and protect the people, continue to show that such power has not only been abused, but it has consistently been abused in a disproportionate manner against people of color?

And to be more specific, when compounded with the rise of the prison industrial complex and its focus on African-American youth, what is to be done when one confronts the uneven orientation towards unnecessarily causing harm, even death to those particular people? Well, the people of Baltimore are not keeping quiet.

The recent civil unrest in the US started on April 25th as a response to the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American who died in police custody after being arrested. As the story goes, Gray was arrested, but later passed due to injuries sustained during his arrest. Six police officers are currently under suspension pending further investigation. Based on protests that erupted after Gray's funeral, thousands of police and Maryland Army National Guard troops have been deployed to Baltimore, a state of emergency has been declared in the city limits, and hundreds have been arrested. What can you do, learn and contribute to what's happening in Baltimore?

Click the links on 1965 and 1992 above and gain some context. Sort through some news feeds to read differing perspectives/thoughts on the matter, then read this. Kirsten Clodfelter speaks wisdom and offers truth.

All the sigs are here. The earth is at a tipping point environmentally, even the fattest fat cat knows capitalism is failing as more and more realize its destructive nature, and more and more, people are not letting oppressive power continue in tyranny without at least a fight.

In respect to all who are loved ones of Mr. Gray, and with the continued hope for a world of equal rights and justice, I hope you can continue searching to find your voce in this movement and contribute. There's never been a better time.

 With love to Baltimore and in solidarity.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Education for Activism and Beyond

There are so many issues in the world, with so many outlets reporting, yet time and time again people ask how they can become more knowledgeable about the various socio-envieonmnetal issues plaguing our planet.

In a much deserved shout out, check out South End Press and AK Press. From there, you'll uncover more literature than you'll know what to do with. Having a tough time reading all that theory? Buy yourself a Slingshot organizer. They're an inexpensive way to stay knowledgeable, activated and to keep up-to-date with historical events that have paved the way for the present.

Zines are another rad way to maintain in this life of oppression and injustice. Just remember, take care of yourself and your health, and when you're ready, continue educating and communicating struggle in any way you can. These inked sources are a gift, and with people like you, there can be another world for us all!

In solidarity
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Croatia Cancels Debt for Thousands of its Poorest | A Model for Other Countries to Follow?

What would it mean if across the world governments alleviated finical burdens on its most low income people by wiping away their debt? Although this is ultimately an attempt to kick-start the country's floundering economy, the fact that impoverished Croatians will have a new start by way of such a move is somewhat profound.

The reason this is so profound is the conversation can turn to critically examine how and why poverty continues to exist in this world, who perpetuates inequality, and how might the oppressive finical institutions and world economy that is in current order be abandoned for something that's so opposite,  it's actually something totally different?

 Another stemming conversation from this move is to look at where the flow of capital is strongest, and how, for example, some countries can continue to spend billions on their military/war budgets while "regular" people continue to fight to make ends meet without adequate access to food, clothing, education, shelter, health care and the ability to live a life with dignity. 

Here are a couple of links to some reports on what's happening in Croatia- ;

However, the real news should be how this move might become a model to better alleviate the continued burdens placed on the majority of the world by a few who are in power, who continue to stratify the masses that fight for the ability to live a life with health.

Here's a link to the cost of war in the US. The numbers are staggering.  

Think outside the box. Believe in a better world. Find your passion, voice and act to make any difference you can.

In Solidarity!
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Newly Discovered Martin Luther King Jr. Speech on Civil Rights, Segregation and Apartheid in South Africa

The United States recently celebrated one of the greatest non violent leaders for peace, sustainability and justice the world has ever seen. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated last Monday in the U.S. and in a Democracy Now! and Pacifica Radio Archives exclusive, a newly discovered speech was found and shared. The transcript for that speech is pasted below. Take a moment and read it.

Think about how much Martin sacrificed of his in individual self for the movement during a time that direct racism was still so alive and well, it was open celebrated by many. Although not every activist will agree that non violent means will bring about the change needed in the world today, it's people like Martin who have shown that with dignity, selflessness and respect, great things can be articulated and achieved for the masses. It's inspiring to say the least and I hope this gives you a little hope for the now and the future today. In solidarity,

 AMY GOODMAN: Today is the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King. He was born January 15th, 1929. He was assassinated April 4th, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just 39 years old. While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor, organizing the Poor People’s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic of U.S. foreign policy and the Vietnam War. In 1964, Dr. King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Days before he received that award in Oslo, Norway, Dr. King traveled to London. On December 7th, 1964, Dr. King gave a speech sponsored by the British group Christian Action about the civil rights struggle in the United States, as well as the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. The speech was recorded by Saul Bernstein, who was working as the European correspondent for Pacifica Radio. Bernstein’s recording was recently discovered by Brian DeShazor, director of the Pacifica Radio Archives. This is that address by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: I want to talk with you mainly about our struggle in the United States and, before taking my seat, talk about some of the larger struggles in the whole world and some of the more difficult struggles in places like South Africa. But there is a desperate, poignant question on the lips of people all over our country and all over the world. I get it almost everywhere I go and almost every press conference. It is a question of whether we are making any real progress in the struggle to make racial justice a reality in the United States of America. And whenever I seek to answer that question, on the one hand, I seek to avoid an undue pessimism; on the other hand, I seek to avoid a superficial optimism. And I try to incorporate or develop what I consider a realistic position, by admitting on the one hand that we have made many significant strides over the last few years in the struggle for racial justice, but by admitting that before the problem is solved we still have numerous things to do and many challenges to meet. And it is this realistic position that I would like to use as a basis for our thinking together tonight as we think about the problem in the United States. We have come a long, long way, but we have a long, long way to go before the problem is solved. Now let us notice first that we’ve come a long, long way. And I would like to say at this point that the Negro himself has come a long, long way in re-evaluating his own intrinsic worth. Now, in order to illustrate this, a little history is necessary. It was in the year 1619 when the first Negro slaves landed on the shores of America. And they were brought there from the soils of Africa. Unlike the pilgrim fathers who landed at Plymouth a year later, they were brought there against their wills. And throughout slavery, the Negro was treated in a very inhuman fashion. He was a thing to be used, not a person to be respected. The United States Supreme Court rendered a decision in 1857 known as the Dred Scott decision, which well illustrated this whole idea and which well illustrated what existed at that time, for in this decision the Supreme Court of the United States said, in substance, that the Negro is not a citizen of the United States, he is merely property subject to the dictates of his owner. And it went on to say that the Negro has no rights that the white man is bound to respect. This was the idea that prevailed during the days of slavery. With the growth of slavery, it became necessary to give some justification for it. You know, it seems to be a fact of life that human beings cannot continue to do wrong without eventually reaching out for some thin rationalization to clothe an obvious wrong in the beautiful garments of righteousness. And this is exactly what happened during the days of slavery. There were those who even misused the Bible and religion to give some justification for slavery and to crystallize the patterns of the status quo. And so it was argued from some pulpits that the Negro was inferior by nature because of Noah’s curse upon the children of Ham. Then, the apostle Paul’s dictum became a watchword: "Servants be obedient to your master." And one brother had probably read the logic of the great philosopher Aristotle. You know, Aristotle did a great deal to bring into being what we now know as formal logic in philosophy. And in formal logic, there is a big word known as the syllogism, which has a major premise, a minor premise and a conclusion. And so, this brother decided to put his argument for the inferiority of the Negro in the framework of an Aristotelian syllogism. He could say all men are made in the image of God—this was a major premise. Then came the minor premise: God, as everybody knows, is not a Negro, therefore the Negro is not a man. This was the kind of reasoning that prevailed. While living with the conditions of slavery and then, later, segregation, many Negroes lost faith in themselves. Many came to feel that perhaps they were less than human. Many came to feel that they were inferior. This, it seems to me, is the greatest tragedy of slavery, the greatest tragedy of segregation, not merely what it does to the individual physically, but what it does to one psychologically. It scars the soul of the segregated as well as the segregator. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority, while leaving the segregated with a false sense of inferiority. And this is exactly what happened. Then something happened to the Negro, and circumstances made it possible and necessary for him to travel more—the coming of the automobile, the upheavals of two world wars, the Great Depression. And so his rural plantation background gradually gave way to urban industrial life. His economic life was gradually rising through the growth of industry, the development of organized labor and expanded educational opportunities. And even his cultural life was gradually rising through the steady decline of crippling illiteracy. All of these forces conjoined to cause the Negro in America to take a new look at himself. Negro masses all over began to re-evaluate themselves. And then something else happened, along with all of this: The Negro in the United States turned his eyes and his mind to Africa, and he noticed the magnificent drama of independence taking place on the stage of African history. And noticing the developments and noticing what was happening and noticing what was being done on the part of his black brothers and sisters in Africa gave him a new sense of dignity in the United States and a new sense of self-respect. The Negro came to feel that he was somebody. His religion revealed to him that God loves all of his children and that all men are made in his image, and that the basic thing about a man is not his specificity, but his fundamentum, not the texture of his hair or the color of his skin, but his eternal dignity and worth. And so the Negro in America could now cry out unconsciously with the eloquent poet, "Fleecy locks, and black complexion cannot forfeit nature’s claim; Skin may differ, but affection dwells in black and white the same," and, "Were I so tall as to reach the pole, or to grasp the ocean at a span, I must be measured by my soul; the mind is the standard of the man." And with this new sense of dignity and this new sense of self-respect, a new Negro came into being with a new determination to suffer, to struggle, to sacrifice, and even to die, if necessary, in order to be free. And this reveals that we have come a long, long way since 1619. But if we are to be true to the facts, it is necessary to say that not only has the Negro re-evaluated his own intrinsic worth, the whole nation has come a long, long way in extending the frontiers of civil rights. I would like to mention just a few things that have happened in our country which reveal this. Fifty years ago, or even 25 years ago, a year hardly passed when numerous Negroes were not brutally lynched by some vicious mob. Fortunately, lynchings have about ceased today. If one would go back to the turn of the century, you would find that in the Southern part of the United States you had very few Negroes registered to vote. By 1948, that number had leaped to about 750,000; 1960, it had leaped to 1,200,000. And when we went into the presidential election just a few weeks ago, that number had leaped to more than two million. We went into that election with more than two million Negroes registered to vote in the South, which meant that we in the civil rights movement, by working hard, have been able to add more than 800,000 new Negroes as registered voters in the last three years. This reveals that we have made strides. Then, when we look at the question of economic justice, there’s much to do, but we can at least say that some strides have been made. The average Negro wage earner who is employed today in the United States earns 10 times more than the average Negro wage earner of 12 years ago. And the national income of the Negro is now at a little better than $28 billion a year, which is all—more than all of the exports of the United States and more than the national budget of Canada. This reveals that we have made some strides in this area. But probably more than anything else—and you’ve read about it so much here and all over the world, I’m sure—we have noticed a gradual decline, and even demise, of the system of racial segregation. Now, the legal history of racial segregation had its beginning in 1896. Many people feel that racial segregation has been a reality in the United States a long, long time, but the fact is that this was a rather recent phenomenon in our country, just a little better than 60 years old. And it had its legal beginning with a decision known as the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which said, in substance, that separate but equal facilities could exist, and it made the doctrine of separate but equal the law of the land. We all know what happened as a result of the old Plessy doctrine: There was always the strict enforcement of the separate, without the slightest intention to abide by the equal. And the Negro ended up being plunged into the abyss of exploitation, where he experienced the bleakness of nagging injustice. And then something marvelous happened. The Supreme Court of our nation in 1954 examined the legal body of segregation, and on May 17th of that year pronounced it constitutionally dead. It said, in substance, that the old Plessy doctrine must go, that separate facilities are inherently unequal, and that the segregated child on the basis of his race is to deny that child equal protection of the law. And so, we’ve seen many changes since that momentous decision was rendered in 1954, that came as a great beacon light of hope into millions of disinherited people all over our nation. Then something else happened, which brought joy to all of our hearts. It happened this year. It was last year, after the struggle in Birmingham, Alabama, that the late President Kennedy came to realize that there was a basic issue that our country had to grapple with. With a sense of concern and a sense of immediacy, he made a great speech, a few days before—rather, it was really on the same day that the University of Alabama was to be integrated, and Governor Wallace stood in the door and tried to block that integration. Mr. Kennedy had to have the National Guard federalized. He stood before the nation and said in eloquent terms the problem which we face in the area of civil rights is not merely a political issue, it is not merely an economic issue, it is, at bottom, a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and as modern as the Constitution. It is a question of whether we will treat our Negro brothers as we ourselves would like to be treated. And on the heels of that great speech, he went in, recommended to the Congress of our nation the most comprehensive civil rights bill ever recommended by any president of our great nation. Unfortunately, after many months of battle, and for a period we got a little tired of that—you know, there are some men in our country who like to talk a lot. Maybe you read about the filibuster. And you know they get bogged down in the paralysis of analysis, and they will just go on and on and on. And they wanted to talk that bill to death. But President Lyndon Johnson got to work. He started calling congressmen and senators in and started meeting day in and day out with influential people in the country and making it clear that that bill had to pass, as a tribute to the late President Kennedy, but also as a tribute to the greatness of the country and as an expression of its dedication to the American dream. And it was that great day last summer that that bill came into being, and it was on July 2nd that Mr. Johnson signed that bill and it became the law of the land. And so, in America now, we have a civil rights bill. And I’m happy to report to you that, by and large, that bill is being implemented in communities all across the South. We have seen some surprising levels of compliance, even in some communities in the state of Mississippi. And whenever you can find anything right in Mississippi, things are getting better. AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Martin Luther King, speaking in London, December 7, 1964. We’ll return to the speech after this break. [break] AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. In this Democracy Now! exclusive, we return to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his own words from a recording recently discovered the Pacifica Radio Archives. This is from December 7th, 1964, in London, just days before Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: We can never forget the fact that just this summer three civil rights workers were brutally murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi. All of this reveals to us that we have not achieved the level of brotherhood—we have not achieved the brotherhood that we need and that we must have in our nation. We still have a long, long way to go. I mentioned voter registration and the fact that we have been able to add about 800,000 new registered voters in the last two or three years, the fact that it’s over two million now. I guess that sounded like real progress, and it does represent some progress. But let me give you the other side, and that is the fact that there are still more than 10 million Negroes living in the Southern part of the United States, and some six million of the Negroes living in the Southern part of the United States are of voting age, and yet only two million are registered. This means that four million remain unregistered, not merely because they are apathetic, not because they are complacent—this may be true of some few—but because all types of conniving methods are still being used to keep Negroes from becoming registered voters. Complex literacy tests are given, which make it almost impossible for anybody to pass the test, even if he has a Ph.D. degree in any field or a law degree from the best law schools of the world. And then actual economic reprisals are often taken out against Negroes who seek to register and vote in some of the Black Belt counties of Mississippi and Alabama and other places. Then, some are actually faced with physical violence, and sometimes physical death. This reveals that we have a great deal that must be done in this area. I mentioned economic justice, and I am sure that that figure, $28 billion, sounded very large. That’s a lot of money. But then I must go on and give you the other side, if I am to be honest about the picture. That is a fact that 42 percent of the Negro families of the United States still earn less than $2,000 a year, while just 16 percent of the white families earn less than $2,000 a year; 21 percent of the Negro families of America earn less than $1,000 a year, while just 5 percent of the white families earn less than $1,000 a year. And then we face the fact that 88 percent of the Negro families of America earn less than $5,000 a year, while just 58 percent of the white families earn less than $5,000 a year. So we can see that there is still a great gulf between the haves, so to speak, and the have-nots. And if America is to continue to grow and progress and develop and move on toward its greatness, this problem must be solved. Now, this economic problem is getting more serious because of many forces alive in our world and in our nation. For many years, Negroes were denied adequate educational opportunities. For many years, Negroes were even denied apprenticeship training. And so, the forces of labor and industry so often discriminated against Negroes. And this meant that the Negro ended up being limited, by and large, to unskilled and semi-skilled labor. Now, because of the forces of automation and cybernation, these are the jobs that are now passing away. And so, the Negro wakes up in a city like Detroit, Michigan, and discovers that he is 28 percent of the population and about 72 percent of the unemployed. Now, in order to grapple with that problem, our federal government will have to develop massive retraining programs, massive public works programs, so that automation can be a blessing, as it must be to our society, and not a curse. Then the other thing when we think of this economic problem, we must think of the fact that there is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a segment in that society which feels that it has no stake in the society, and nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a number of people who see life as little more than a long and desolate corridor with no exit sign. They end up with despair because they have no jobs, because they can’t educate their children, because they can’t live in a nice home, because they can’t have adequate health facilities. We always hear of the various reasons why and the various myths concerning integration and why integration shouldn’t come into being. Those people who argue against integration at this point often say, "Well, if you integrate the public schools, for instance, you will pull the white race back a generation." And they like to talk about the cultural lag in the Negro community. And then they go on to say, "Now, you know, the Negro is a criminal, and he has the highest crime rate in any city that you can find in the United States." And the arguments go on ad infinitum why integration shouldn’t come into being. But I think there’s an answer to that, and that is that if there is cultural lag in the Negro community—and there certainly is—this lag is there because of segregation and discrimination. It’s there because of long years of slavery and segregation. Criminal responses are not racial, but environmental. Poverty, economic deprivation, social isolation and all of these things breed crime, whatever the racial group may be. And it is a torturous logic to use the tragic results of racial segregation as an argument for the continuation of it. It is necessary to go back. And so it is necessary to see this and to go all out to make economic justice a reality all over our nation. I mentioned that racial segregation is about dead in the United States, but it’s still with us. We are about past the day of legal segregation. We have about ended de jure segregation, where the laws of the nation or of a particular state can uphold it, because of the civil rights bill and the Supreme Court’s decision and other things. We have passed the day when the Negro can’t eat at a lunch counter, with the exception of a few isolated situations, or where the Negro can’t check in a motel or hotel. We are fastly passing that day. But there is another form of segregation coming up. It is coming up through housing discrimination, joblessness and the de facto segregation in the public schools. And so the ghettoized conditions that exist make for many problems, and it makes for a hardcore, de facto segregation that we must grapple with on a day-to-day basis. And so, this is the problem that we face, and this is a problem that we are forced to deal with. And we are going to deal with it in a determined way. I am absolutely convinced that segregation is on its deathbed, and those who represent it, whether they be in the United States or whether they be in London, England, the system is on its deathbed. But certainly, we all know that if democracy is to live in any nation, segregation must die. And as I’ve tried to say all over America, we’ve got to get rid of segregation not merely because it will help our image—it certainly will help our image in the world. We’ve got to get rid of segregation not merely because it will appeal to Asian and African people—and this certainly will be helpful, this is important. But in the final analysis, racial discrimination must be uprooted from American society and from every society, because it is morally wrong. So it is necessary to go all out and develop massive action programs to get rid of racial segregation. Now I would like to mention one or two ideas that circulate in our society—and they probably circulate in your society and all over the world—that keep us from developing the kind of action programs necessary to get rid of discrimination and segregation. One is what I refer to as the myth of time. There are those individuals who argue that only time can solve the problem of racial injustice in the United States, in South Africa or anywhere else; you’ve got to wait on time. And I know they’ve said to us so often in the States and to our allies in the white community, "Just be nice and be patient and continue to pray, and in 100 or 200 years the problem will work itself out." We have heard and we have lived with the myth of time. The only answer that I can give to that myth is that time is neutral. It can be used either constructively or destructively. And I must honestly say to you that I’m convinced that the forces of ill will have often used time much more effectively than the forces of goodwill. And we may have to repent in this generation, not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around saying, "Wait on time." And somewhere along the way it is necessary to see that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God. And without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. And so we must help time, and we must realize that the time is always ripe to do right. This is so vital, and this is so necessary. Now, the other myth that gets around a great deal in our nation and, I’m sure, in other nations of the world is the idea that you can’t solve the problems in the realm of human relations through legislation; you can’t solve the housing problem and the job problem and all of these other problems through legislation; you’ve got to change the heart. We had a presidential candidate just recently who spoke about this a great deal. And I think Mr. Goldwater sincerely believed that you couldn’t anything through legislation, because he voted against everything in the Senate, including the civil rights bill. And he said all over the nation throughout the election that we don’t need legislation, that legislation can’t deal with this problem. But he was nice enough to say that you’ve got to change the heart. Now I want to at least go halfway with Brother Goldwater at that point. I think he’s right. If we’re going to get this problem solved in America and all over the world, ultimately, people must change their hearts where they have prejudices. If we are going to solve the problems facing mankind, I would be the first to say that every white person must look down deep within and remove every prejudice that may be there, and come to see that the Negro, and the colored peoples, generally, must be treated right, not merely because the law says it, but because it is right and because it is natural. I agree with this 100 percent. And I’m sure that if the problem is to be solved, ultimately, men must be obedient not merely to that which can be enforced by the law, but they must rise to the majestic heights of being obedient to the unenforceable. But after saying all of that, I must go on to the other side. This is where I must leave Mr. Goldwater and others who believe that legislation has no place. It may be true that you can’t legislate integration, but you can legislate desegregation. It may be true that morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. It may be true that the law can’t change the heart, but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law can’t make a man love me, but it can restrain him from lynching me. And I think that’s pretty important also. AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., speaking in London on December 7, 1964. We’ll return to that speech after this break. [break] AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. In this Democracy Now! exclusive, we return to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his own words from a recording recently discovered by the Pacifica Radio Archive, the speech given in London, December 7, 1964, just days before Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: Now, as you know, we have been engaged in the United States in a massive struggle to make desegregation and, finally, integration a reality. And in that struggle, there has been an undergirding philosophy: the philosophy of nonviolence, the philosophy and method of nonviolent resistance. And I’d like to say just a few words about the method or the philosophy that has undergirded our struggle. And first I want to say that I’m still convinced that nonviolence is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom and justice. It has a way of disarming the opponent, exposing his moral defenses. It weakens his morale, and at the same time it works on his conscience, and he just doesn’t know how to handle it. If he doesn’t beat you, wonderful. If he beats you, you develop the quiet courage of accepting blows without retaliating. If he doesn’t put you in jail, wonderful. Nobody with any sense loves to go to jail. But if he puts you in jail, you go in that jail and transform it from a dungeon of shame to a haven of freedom and human dignity. Even if he tries to kill you, you develop the inner conviction that there is something so dear, something so precious, something so eternally true, that they are worth dying for. And if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live. And this is what the nonviolent discipline says. And then the other thing about it is that it gives the individual a way of struggling to secure moral ends through moral means. One of the great debates of history has been over the whole question of ends and means. All the way back from the days of Plato’s dialogues coming on up through Machiavelli and others, there have been those individuals who argued that the end justifies the means. But in a real sense, the nonviolent philosophy comes along and says that the end is pre-existent in the means. The means represent the ideal in the making and the end in process. And so that in the long run of history, immoral means cannot bring about moral ends. Somehow man must come to the point that he sees the necessity of having ends and means cohering, so to speak. And this is one of the things that is basic in the nonviolent philosophy at its best. It gives one a way and a method of struggle which says that you can seek to secure moral ends through moral means. It also says that it is possible to struggle against an evil, unjust system, with all your might and with all your heart, and even hate that unjust system, but yet you maintain an attitude of active goodwill and understanding and even love for the perpetrators of that evil system. And this is the most misunderstood aspect of nonviolence. And this is where those who don’t want to follow the nonviolent method say a lot of bad things to those of us who talk about love. But I still go on and believe in it, because I am still convinced that it is love that makes the world go round, and somehow this kind of love can be a powerful force for social change. I’m not talking about a weak love. I’m not talking about emotional bosh here. I’m not talking about some sentimental quality. I’m not talking about an affectionate response. It would be nonsense to urge oppressed people to love their violent oppressors in an affectionate sense, and I have never advised that. When Jesus said, "Love your enemies," I’m happy he didn’t say, "Like your enemies." It’s pretty difficult to like some people. But love is greater than like. Love is understanding creative, redemptive goodwill for all men. Theologians talk about this kind of love with the Greek word agape, which is a sort of overflowing love that seeks nothing in return. And when one develops this, you rise to the position of being able to love the person who does the evil deed, while hating the deed that the person does. And I believe that this can be done. Psychiatrists are telling us now that hatred is a dangerous force, not merely for the hated, but also the hater. Many of the strange things that happen in the subconscious, many of the inner conflicts, are rooted in hate. And so they are saying, "Love or perish." This is why Erich Fromm can write a book entitled The Art of Loving, arguing that love is the supreme unifying force of life. And so it is wonderful to have a method of struggle where it is possible to stand up against segregation, to stand up against colonialism with all of your might, and yet not hate the perpetrators of these unjust systems. And I believe firmly that it is through this kind of powerful nonviolent action, this kind of love that organizes itself into mass action, that we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation and the world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. Certainly this is the great challenge facing us. Now, I think that nonviolence can work not only in the situation that we find in our country, not only with the magnificent example that we have in India, expressed through the marvelous work of Mohandas K. Gandhi, but I think it can work in ways and in circumstances that we haven’t seen it or we haven’t used it before. And in this context, I would like to say something about South Africa. And I’d like to read just a statement that I have written here so that I’ll be sure that I’ll say everything that I have in mind about the South African situation without missing anything. I understand there are here tonight South Africans, some of whom have been involved in the long struggle for freedom there. In our struggle for freedom and justice in the United States, which has also been so long and difficult, we feel a powerful sense of identification with those in the far more deadly struggle for freedom in South Africa. We know how Africans there, and their friends of other races, strove for half a century to win their freedom by nonviolent methods. We have honored Chief Lutuli for his leadership, and we know how this nonviolence was only met by increasing violence from the state, increasing repression, culminating in the shootings at Sharpeville and all that has happened since. Clearly there is much in Mississippi and Alabama to remind the South Africans of their own country, yet even in Mississippi we can organize to register Negro voters. We can speak to the press. We can, in short, organize the people in nonviolent action. But in South Africa, even the mildest form of nonviolent resistance meets with years of imprisonment, and leaders over many years have been restricted and silenced and imprisoned. We can understand how in that situation people felt so desperate that they turned to other methods, such as sabotage. Today, great leaders, like Nelson Mandela and Robert Sobukwe, are among the many hundreds wasting away in Robben Island prison. Against a massive, armed and ruthless state, which uses torture and sadistic forms of interrogation to crush human beings, even driving some to suicide, the militant opposition inside South Africa seems for the moment to be silenced. The mass of the people seems to be contained, seems for the moment unable to break from the oppression. I emphasize the word "seems" because we can imagine what emotions and plans must be seething below the calm surface of that prosperous police state. We know what emotions are seething in the rest of Africa, and indeed all over the world. The dangers of a race war, of these dangers we have had repeated and profound warning. It is in this situation, with the great mass of South Africans denied their humanity, their dignity, denied opportunity, denied all human rights; it is in this situation, with many of the bravest and best South Africans serving long years in prison, with some already executed; in this situation we in America and Britain have a unique responsibility, for it is we, through our investments, through our governments’ failure to act decisively, who are guilty of bolstering up the South African tyranny. Our responsibility—our responsibility presents us with a unique opportunity: We can join in the one form of nonviolent action that could bring freedom and justice to South Africa, the action which African leaders have appealed for, in a massive movement for economic sanctions. In a world living under the appalling shadow of nuclear weapons, do we not recognize the need to perfect the use of economic pressures? Why is trade regarded by all nations and all ideologies as sacred? Why does our government and your government in Britain refuse to intervene effectively now, as if only when there is a bloodbath in South Africa—or a Korea or a Vietnam—will they recognize a crisis? If the United Kingdom and the United States decided tomorrow morning not to buy South African goods, not to buy South African gold, to put an embargo on oil, if our investors and capitalists would withdraw their support for that racial tyranny that we find there, then apartheid would be brought to an end. Then the majority of South Africans of all races could at last build the shared society they desire. And so this is a challenge facing the nations of the world. And God grant that we will meet this challenge and be a part of that great creative movement that will seek to bring about change and transform those dark yesterdays of man’s inhumanity to man into bright tomorrows of justice and peace and goodwill. And may I say to you that the problem of racial injustice is not limited to any one nation. We know now that this is a problem spreading all over the globe. And right here in London and right here in England, you know so well that thousands and thousands of colored people are migrating here from many, many lands—from the West Indies, from Pakistan, from India, from Africa. And they have the just right to come to this great land, and they have the just right to expect justice and democracy in this land. And England must be eternally vigilant. For if not, the same kind of ghettos will develop that we have in the Harlems of the United States. The same problems of injustice, the same problems of inequality in jobs will develop. And so I say to you that the challenge before every citizen of goodwill of this nation is to go all out to make democracy a reality for everybody, so that everybody in this land will be able to live together and that all men will be able to live together as brothers. You know, there are certain words in every academic discipline that soon become stereotypes and clichés. Every academic discipline has its technical vocabulary. Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word "maladjusted." You’ve heard that word. This is the ringing cry of modern child psychology. And certainly we all want to live well-adjusted lives in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities. But I must say to you this evening, my friends, as I come to a close, that there are some things in my own nation, and there are some things in the world, to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon all men of goodwill to be maladjusted until the good society is realized. I must honestly say to you that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation, discrimination, colonialism and these particular forces. I must honestly say to you that I never intend to adjust myself to religious bigotry. I must honestly say to you that I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I must say to you tonight that I never intend to become adjusted to the madness of militarism and the self-defeating effects of physical violence, for in a day when Sputniks and explorers are dashing through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can win a war. It is no longer the choice between violence and nonviolence; it is either nonviolence or non-existence. And the alternative to disarmament, the alternative to a greater suspension of nuclear tests, the alternative to strengthening the United Nations and thereby disarming the whole world, may well be a civilization plunged into the abyss of annihilation. And I assure you that I will never adjust to the madness of militarism. You see, it may well be that our whole world is in need at this time for a new organization—the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment—men and women—men and women who will be as maladjusted as the Prophet Amos, who in the midst of the injustices of his day could cry out in words that echo across the centuries, "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream"; as maladjusted as the late Abraham Lincoln, the great president of our nation, who had the vision to see that the United States could not survive half-slave and half-free; as maladjusted as Thomas Jefferson, who, in the midst of an age amazingly adjusted to slavery, could etch across the pages of history words lifted to cosmic proportions: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"; as maladjusted as Jesus of Nazareth, who could say to the men and women of his day, "He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword." And through such maladjustment, we will be able to emerge from the long and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man into the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice. May I say to you that I still believe that mankind will rise up to the occasion. In spite of the darkness of the hour, in spite of the difficulties of the moment, in spite of these days of emotional tension, when the problems of the world are gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, I still have faith in the future, and I still believe that we can build this society of brotherhood and this society of peace. We have a song that we sing in our movement, and we have joined hands to sing it so often, beyond/behind jail bars. I can remember times that we have been in jail cells made for 12 people, and yet you would find some 15 or 20 there, and yet we could go on and lift our voices and sing it. I mentioned it yesterday afternoon as I was preaching at St. Paul’s. "We shall overcome. We shall overcome. Deep in my heart I do believe we shall overcome." And somehow I believe that mankind will overcome, and I believe that the forces of evil will be defeated. I believe this because Carlyle is right: "No lie can live forever." I believe that we shall overcome because William Cullen Bryant is right: Truth crushed to earth will rise again. I believe that we shall overcome because James Russell Lowell is right: "Truth forever on the scaffold / Wrong forever on the throne. / Yet that scaffold sways the future, / And behind the then unknown / Standeth God within the shadow, / Keeping watch above his own." With this faith, we will be able to adjourn the counsels of despair and bring new light into the dark chambers of pessimism. With this faith, we will be able to transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of peace and brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to speed up the day when all of God’s children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, Hindus and Muslims, theists and atheists—will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" We have a long, long way to go before this problem is solved, but thank God we’ve made strides. We’ve come a long, long way, before I close by quoting the words of an old Negro slave preacher, who didn’t quite have his grammar and diction right, but who uttered words of great symbolic profundity: "Lord, we ain’t what we want to be. We ain’t what we ought to be. We ain’t what we gonna be. But, thank God, we ain’t what we was." Thank you. AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., speaking in London at City Temple on December 7th, 1964. He would receive the Nobel Peace Prize three days later in Oslo, Norway. The recording of this speech was recently discovered by Brian DeShazor, director of the Pacifica Radio Archives. To get a copy of today’s show and to learn more about how this rare King recording was discovered, go to our website at The Pacific Radio Archives’ website is See for full course schedule