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"Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another." author Toni Morrison (1931- 05.08.2019)

“If I tell the story, I control the version. Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me”; Nora Ephron, author/comedian

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"Social pain is understood through the lens of racial animus". Researcher/author Sean McElwee writing in Salon, 2016

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“We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent”. from civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” Frederick Douglass, WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS 4TH JULY? 07.05.1852 (full text in blog)

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"

 

"We are more alike than we are different"v  Maya Angelou

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89

 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain

 

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

 

 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:

 

"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.

 

Killing Machines

2012-07-23

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

While Americans mourn their shocking but all too frequent massacres in this country, my thoughts go to the use of those very same guns  across the world, machines that kill dozens daily, nightly. Less than in battle between opposing armies, these arms destroy families during their celebrations, laborers on their way home, children asleep beside their grandparents. Yes, nowhere is safe.

Mass murders in their own schools and cinemas ought to help Americans understand the insecurity that befalls too many people across the world.

Yet, I hear nothing of the widespread fear outside the US that these all-too-familiar and terrifying weaponry, bombs and handheld guns, generate. There may be calls for more restrictive gun laws for Americans—pleas that will fall on deaf ears, regrettably. But one hears not a word about restricting the manufacture and sales of weapons globally. Most of these mass destruction arms originate in the USA. Nearly 40% of arms sales worldwide are through US contractors. The ‘health’ of the American economy relies heavily on armaments sales. Figures of revenue generated in this sector are staggering, and increasing every year.

A 2007 San Francisco Chronicle article notes “Despite a recession that knocked down global arms sales last year, the United States expanded its role as the world's leading weapons supplier, increasing its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, according to a new study. … signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar, up significantly from American sales of $25.4 billion the year before”.

From a 2010 Guardian news item we learn: “The average volume of arms sales increased by 22% over the past five years …says the report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (www.SIPRI.org). …” This report, the Guardian points out, “does not give the cost of the arms trade because most governments no longer release the figures. Britain stopped publishing the cost of its arms sales last year. ….The US remains the world's top arms exporter, accounting for 30% of the total, followed by Russia (23%), Germany (11%), and France (8%).”

Then, according to the SIPRI report in 2011, sales by the world’s top 100 arms manufacturing companies increased even further to reach $401 billion. And this is an accounting only of ‘legal’ arms trading!

I don’t know the answer. But I do recognize the connections. Isn’t that a place to begin?

 

 

 

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