Forthcoming

"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

"Make your story count". Michelle Obama

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

"We are citizens, not subjects. We have the right to criticize government without fear."  Chelsea Manning; activist/whisleblower

“My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I’m going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you, And no fascist minded people, like you, will drive me from it. Is that clear?” Paul Robeson; activist/singer

“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.

 

A Call for More Gaza-bound Flotillas

2010-06-22

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

The end of May confrontation on the high seas when Israelis attacked the Free Gaza Flotilla may have been a turning point in our efforts to support Palestinians. We must be proud of the martyrs who gave their life to expose the truth.

The 9 martyrs, the scores wounded and the hundreds of supporters on the Free Gaza ships show what determination and courage is needed and in the face of Israeli crimes and what can be achieved. It is also reminder of the sacrifices Palestinians must daily make in their struggle for justice.

In a June 1 article in Information Clearing House, journalist Yvonne Ridley makes a poignant comparison between the Israeli assault on the Mave Marmara flotilla and the infamous Achille Lauro attack in October 1985. There, a single passenger was killed by the hijackers. As she notes: “The incident created headlines around the world and polarized people over the Palestinian cause. It also prompted the law makers to create new legislation making it an international crime for anyone to take a ship by force.

“And this is the reason for the brief history lesson - under article 3 of the Rome Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation of 1988, it is an international crime for any person to seize or exercise control over a ship by force, and also a crime to injure or kill any person in the process.The treaty necessarily adopts a strict approach. One cannot attack a ship and then claim self-defense if the people on board resist the unlawful use of violence.

“…. Whatever your view, a number paid the ultimate price for their international right to resist. “Israel now stands virtually alone having exposed itself as a pariah state.”            Today, across the entire world informed free-thinking people are signing up for a presence on the many ships setting out to again break the blockade.

Some of us know what Palestinians endure daily; we read accounts of the murderous blockade and Israel’s criminal policy. We can recognize Israeli and US propaganda that mask their brutal policies. But it took this civil action by brave souls in the international community to completely expose the reality of Gaza life to the world. Words are not enough. Support the campaigns by joining a flotilla.

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