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Showing posts from June, 2008

Progressives and Racism

Back when I was first invited to take this spot on Sunday mornings it was because I had started a weekly series titled Blog Voices This Week wherein I tried to summarize interesting information I had found in the diversosphere. I eventually wandered into other territory on Sunday mornings, but this week I'm going to go back to those roots and pull some long quotes from a couple of the people who have alot to say about progressives and racism. The two people I'll be quoting are Donna from The Silence of our Friends (that blog title is powerful and tells you alot about what Donna has to say) and Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican. First, a little background. The diaries I'm going to quote were posted in February/March 2007. They were sparked initially by some things Glenn Greenwald said in Awkward Discussions of Race and Obama . It is always preferable to have views and sentiments -- even ugly ones -- aired out in the open rather than forcing them into hiding through sup

Durga pierces the heart

Today I'm going to quote mostly from a book that I have just begun reading - but has already had an enormous impact on me. It's The Bond Between Women: A Journey to Fierce Compassion by China Galland. Here's a bit from the synopsis. Around the world, women are working for healing, and the lives of these women reveal an unusual source of strength: the fierceness of compassion, symbolized in ancient icons, images, and archetypes of the divine feminine. Known to Buddhists in Nepal and Tibet as Tara, to Hindus in India as the goddess Durga, to Catholics in Europe and Latin America as the Black Madonna, and as Jemanja in the Afro-Brazilian tradition of Candomble, this fierce divine feminine arises when the world is on the brink of destruction, and saves us, the ancient stories say. Galland begins this journey by telling the tale of the Hindu Goddess Durga. The world stood posed on the brink of destruction once before. Rivers dried up, plants refused to grow. People starved. T

Tipping Point

Today, I'd like to riff on a comment made by Valtin in Buhdy's essay this week about fear : All fears are conquered, ultimately, by facing them, and by accepting the fear that is felt, and acting anyway. The trick is to face the fear. For that, one needs social support. This is how soldiers go into battle: solidarity with their comrades, and with leadership they believe in. The same will be true for the legions who must be mobilized to change things. Once people perceive that others are willing to take the risk, things can begin to move quickly. It is my assessment that the political elites, both Democratic and Republican, are sitting on a social volcano. And when it blows... (emphasis mine) His statement reminded me of Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference . I'm not one to give total credence to any one theory as the sole explanation for human behavior, least of all social behavior. But I think Gladwell has some inter