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.

 

Shooting for Democracy: Abroad? No, at Home.

2011-01-09

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

During the past 2 weeks, international media have focused on tensions in two African countries: Ivory Coast and Sudan. In both, democracy was being tested in elections with western powers, particularly USA  and England, unambiguously supporting the challengers.

Western media’s intensity of support for an independent South Sudan is especially evident. At the same time, in both cases, we are warned to expect civil strife. Then last night democracy was being tested at home. 

Apart from the sense of tragedy and sadness, it’s all rather embarrassing, don’t you think? The democracy Americans are so proud of, the democracy it seeks to export worldwide suddenly finds its elected officials targets of gunmen. At no time of course is there any suggestion of ‘terrorism’ here, or that the nation is under threat from internal forces.  

Arizona’s mass murder follows news only a few days ago of a gunman murdering a school principal and wounding a second school official in another quiet American community. Surely these too common incidents reflect deep flaws in our democracy. It goes beyond gun control or troubled individuals.

Our dynamic and capable news organizations might better serve the American public, in deep the world, if they indulged less in anticipated turmoil abroad and focused on home grown challenged to democracy. 

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Education here is a way to learn what makes you happy...

from "Where To Invade Next", film by Michael Moore

 

Finnish educator explaining Finland's educational policy and practices to visiting filmmaker Michael

Tahrir Diwan

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