Archive | March 2012

Why Peace Is the Business of Men (But Shouldn’t Be) A Modest Proposal for the Immodest Brotherhood of Big Men

 

 

International Women’s Day, March 8, 2012

 

(www.International Women’s Day.com)–this website is loaded with resources, etc. about IWD.

 

 

 

Image(Excerpts)
By Ann Jones

 

 

 

Looking for a way out of Afghanistan?  Maybe it’s time to try something entirely new and totally different.  So how about putting into action, for the first time in recorded history, the most enlightened edict ever passed by the United Nations Security Council: Resolution 1325?

 

Passed on October 31, 2000, more than a decade ago, that “landmark” resolution was hailed worldwide as a great “victory” for women and international peace and security. In a nutshell, SCR 1325 calls for women to participate equally and fully at decision-making levels in all processes of conflict resolution, peacemaking, and reconstruction.  Without the active participation of women in peacemaking every step of the way, the Security Council concluded, no just and durable peace could be achieved anywhere.

 

But as I learned firsthand as an aid worker in one so-called post-conflict country after another, when the men in power stop shooting at each other, they often escalate the war against civilians — especially women and girls.

 

 

 

And what has President Karzai done for the rest of the women of Afghanistan?  Not a thing.

 

That’s the conclusion of a recent report issued by the Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium (HRRAC), an association of prominent aid and independent research groups in Afghanistan, including such highly respected non-governmental organizations as Oxfam, CARE, and Save the Children. The Afghan researchers who did the study conducted extensive interviews with prominent male religious scholars, male political leaders, and female leaders locally, provincially, and nationally.

 

In fact, Karzai’s record on human rights, as the HRRAC report documents, is chiefly remarkable for what he has not done.  He holds extraordinary power to make political appointments — another indicator of the peculiar nature of this Afghan “democracy” our troops are fighting for — and he has now had almost 10 years in office, ample time to lead even the most reluctant traditional society toward more equitable social arrangements.  Yet today, but one cabinet ministry is held by a woman, the Ministry for Women’s Affairs, which incidentally is the sole government ministry that possesses only advisory powers.  Karzai has appointed just one female provincial governor, and 33 men.  (Is it by chance that Bamyan — the province run by that woman — is generally viewed as the most peaceful in the country?)  To head city governments nationwide, he has named only one female mayor.  And to the Supreme Court High Council he has appointed no woman at all.

 

Karzai’s claim that he can’t find qualified women is a flimsy — and traditional — excuse. Many of his highest-ranking appointees to government offices are notorious war criminals, men considered by the great majority of Afghan citizens to have disqualified themselves from public office.  The failure of many of his male appointees to govern honestly and justly, or even to show up for work at all, is a rising complaint of NATO commanders who find upon delivery of “government in a box” that the box is pretty much empty.

 

Copyright 2011 Ann Jones

 

__________________________________________________________________________________

 

Ann Jones is the author most recently of War Is Not Over When It’s Over: Women Speak Out from the Ruins of War (Metropolitan 2010) on the way war affects women from Africa to the Middle East and Asia.  She wrote about the struggles of Afghan women in Kabul in Winter (Metropolitan 2006). She is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.To listen to Timothy MacBain’s latest TomCast audio interview in which Jones discusses why wars never end for women and girls, click here or, to download it to your iPod, here. Ann Jones’ website is:

 

www.annjonesonline.com

 

You can read Ann Jones article by going to: TomDispatch.com/post/175340/tomgram%3A_ann_jones%2C_can_women_make_peace/. If you want to sign a petition regarding SCR 1325, check out Iraq Veterans Against the War (www.ivaw.org)

 

 

 

What I Will
by 
Suheir Hammad

 

I will not
dance to your war
drum. I will
not lend my soul nor
my bones to your war
drum. I will
not dance to your
beating. I know that beat.
It is lifeless. I know
intimately that skin
you are hitting. It
was alive once
hunted stolen
stretched. I will
not dance to your drummed
up war. I will not pop
spin break for you. I
will not hate for you or
even hate you. I will
not kill for you. Especially
I will not die
for you. I will not mourn
the dead with murder nor
suicide. I will not side
with you nor dance to bombs
because everyone else is
dancing. Everyone can be
wrong. Life is a right not
collateral or casual. I
will not forget where
I come from. I
will craft my own drum. Gather my beloved
near and our chanting
will be dancing. Our
humming will be drumming. I
will not be played. I
will not lend my name
nor my rhythm to your
beat. I will dance
and resist and dance and
persist and dance. This heartbeat is louder than
death. Your war drum ain’t
louder than this breath.

Another world is possible,

 

Iraq Veterans Against the War
& the Afghanistan Veterans Against the War Committee

 

 



Why Peace is the business of men (but shouldn’t be)

International Women’s Day, March 8, 2012

(www.International Women’s Day.com)–this website is loaded with resources, etc. about IWD.

 

Why Peace Is the Business of Men (But Shouldn’t Be) 
A Modest Proposal for the Immodest Brotherhood of Big Men  (Excerpts)
By Ann Jones

 

Looking for a way out of Afghanistan?  Maybe it’s time to try something entirely new and totally different.  So how about putting into action, for the first time in recorded history, the most enlightened edict ever passed by the United Nations Security Council: Resolution 1325?

Passed on October 31, 2000, more than a decade ago, that “landmark” resolution was hailed worldwide as a great “victory” for women and international peace and security. In a nutshell, SCR 1325 calls for women to participate equally and fully at decision-making levels in all processes of conflict resolution, peacemaking, and reconstruction.  Without the active participation of women in peacemaking every step of the way, the Security Council concluded, no just and durable peace could be achieved anywhere.

But as I learned firsthand as an aid worker in one so-called post-conflict country after another, when the men in power stop shooting at each other, they often escalate the war against civilians — especially women and girls.

 

And what has President Karzai done for the rest of the women of Afghanistan?  Not a thing.

That’s the conclusion of a recent report issued by the Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium (HRRAC), an association of prominent aid and independent research groups in Afghanistan, including such highly respected non-governmental organizations as Oxfam, CARE, and Save the Children. The Afghan researchers who did the study conducted extensive interviews with prominent male religious scholars, male political leaders, and female leaders locally, provincially, and nationally.

In fact, Karzai’s record on human rights, as the HRRAC report documents, is chiefly remarkable for what he has not done.  He holds extraordinary power to make political appointments — another indicator of the peculiar nature of this Afghan “democracy” our troops are fighting for — and he has now had almost 10 years in office, ample time to lead even the most reluctant traditional society toward more equitable social arrangements.  Yet today, but one cabinet ministry is held by a woman, the Ministry for Women’s Affairs, which incidentally is the sole government ministry that possesses only advisory powers.  Karzai has appointed just one female provincial governor, and 33 men.  (Is it by chance that Bamyan — the province run by that woman — is generally viewed as the most peaceful in the country?)  To head city governments nationwide, he has named only one female mayor.  And to the Supreme Court High Council he has appointed no woman at all.

Karzai’s claim that he can’t find qualified women is a flimsy — and traditional — excuse. Many of his highest-ranking appointees to government offices are notorious war criminals, men considered by the great majority of Afghan citizens to have disqualified themselves from public office.  The failure of many of his male appointees to govern honestly and justly, or even to show up for work at all, is a rising complaint of NATO commanders who find upon delivery of “government in a box” that the box is pretty much empty.

Copyright 2011 Ann Jones

__________________________________________________________________________________

Ann Jones is the author most recently of War Is Not Over When It’s Over: Women Speak Out from the Ruins of War (Metropolitan 2010) on the way war affects women from Africa to the Middle East and Asia.  She wrote about the struggles of Afghan women in Kabul in Winter (Metropolitan 2006). She is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.To listen to Timothy MacBain’s latest TomCast audio interview in which Jones discusses why wars never end for women and girls, click here or, to download it to your iPod, here. Ann Jones’ website is:

www.annjonesonline.com

You can read Ann Jones article by going to: TomDispatch.com/post/175340/tomgram%3A_ann_jones%2C_can_women_make_peace/. If you want to sign a petition regarding SCR 1325, check out Iraq Veterans Against the War (www.ivaw.org)

 

 

Why peace is the business of men (but shouldn’t be)

Why peace is the business of men (but shouldn’t be)

Ann Jones has spent a lot of time working overseas as an aid worker.  She wrote the book with the above mentioned title from her experiential observation and facts and statistics around women and men. This blogger urges to read this blog–it contains links and other resources that pop with sexism, white male system, human rights, denial and ignorance by men, and simply living in the un-sane world where we (this writer writing as a male) don’t accept women as fully whole and equal as we think we are.  These are the kinds of issues we at Sunbear Community Alliance want to put on the front burner, so I hope you’ll read the blog, and go to the other sources cited by the article.  Til next time.

Christopher Bear-Beam

Reflections on community, culture and conflict

St. James Episcopal Church “http://www.stjamesaustin.org” title=”St. James Episcopal Church, Austin, TX” and “St.Andrews Presbyterian Church, Austin, TX” (www.staopen.com) together sponsored a community event for Austin on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 7:00PM. The event was held at St. James, and donations went to benefit 5604 Manor, a progressive, community center. The reader can go to ” “The Third Coast Resource Center” http://www.thirdcoastactivism.org”to see other upcoming presentations.

The headline of this blog was the theme of Ms. Sen’s talk. The presenter was Rinku Sen, the President and Executive Director of the Applied Research Center, publisher of http://www.colorlines.org” “Color Lines” published by the Applied Research Center”, an e-zine that contains stories about racism, immigration and other isms that surround us today.

Ms. Sen began her talk by telling about herself. Her bi-racial came to the U.S. in 1975, and primarily lived in rural, small towns, at times being the only brown face there. As she described it she lived in many Levitt-towns around America.

Growing up Rinku had one passionate goal: to be an American. Rinku, like most small children, just wanted to belong and fit in. When she went to college she reluctantly went to a rally on campus, motivated by a couple of her friends. The rally and what happened after the rally, radically changed her perspective, because she saw the energy and resulting gains won on behalf of the movement with the university. Confidently she said that some of the changes are still visible at the school When asked later by this writer whether this was a major point in her seeing her place in the universe, she responded in the affirmative.

This writer observed Ms. Sen as a very intelligent person under pressure; this blogger has had a lot of public speaking experience, it’s a very stressful role, and you have to collect your thoughts quickly and give your own best answer; Rinku did that very effectively and passionately; her effervescence is contagious.

Rinku then moved onto immigration issues. She pointed out three general stereotypes used about immigrants: terrorists, foreigners, and free loaders. Stereotypes and labels are used to demonize large groups of people. In short, it’s the lazy man or woman’s way of denial. People, whether media journalists, the civilian in the street or politicians, use this tactic to stir up emotions, creating immigrants as straw women or men and the boogeyman behind the cellar door. They become the puppet-masters that hide below and make the targeted people the ‘strangers among us, who have come to take our stuff away.’

She told the story of Mamadou, an immigrant who helped organized restaurant workers after 911. As Rinku told this story, this writer began to see in much greater clarity that racism always has a hierarchy, and the U.S. has based its collective institutes on a white-structured patriarchal hierarchy of oppression. For example, as Rinku explained, in the restaurant business there are the up-front workers who are essentially white, have the most interactions with the patrons; they can naturally do this because they speak English whereas many immigrants don’t; as a result the ‘back of the restaurant workers’ are on the steps of the hierarchical ladder. Rinku mentioned that a friend had told her, “race makes any situation worse.” Seems to this writer to be a very wise statement based on my own experience of being a perpetrator in the past, and what has observed since my own awakening to my Unaware Racism.

Mamadou was indeed a community activist and organizer and his group went up against a very wealthy man who owned seven restaurants in this community of New York City. But he and his friends did something else—they were also creating their own community, out of conflict, and that community grew strong because it had to look the conflict straight in the face. As readers, I hope we are very proud about the accomplishments, and will stand in solidarity.

As she began to include her presentation, Rinku Sen explained her understanding of Racial Justice. First, Racial Justice equals diversity, but it goes deeper than that—diversity equals variety, thus a multiplicity of ethnicities and cultures. In her mind there needs to be a distinction between Racial Justice and diversity. Some would frame Racial Justice this way: it means equality but often includes the notion of sameness. For most of us who are white, our standard is what we feel we have already have, which is our white privilege, and we continue to perpetuate the standard of “rightness.” Some of us don’t have a clue, because we feel threatened about this sort of stuff—it’s just too messy and generates too much guilt.

Rinku demonstrated four levels of Racism: the first two are micro stages, and the last two are played out on macro levels: 1). internalized individual biases; 2). Interpersonal relationships—power here makes a big difference; 3). Institutional Racism—rules, policies and procedures within organizations, sub-systems, and systems; 4). Structural—interactions between systems.

These 4 levels or stages are not chronological, but when life is viewed through these lenses such as From Personal Prejudice To Institutional Inequality—From Who’s the Racist here?–judgment mode–To What’s causing Racial Inequality Within this Context of our community?

© Christopher Bear-Beam March 2, 2012

Continue reading on Examiner.com Reflections on community, culture and conflict – Austin Conflict Resolution | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/conflict-resolution-in-austin/reflections-on-community-culture-and-conflict#ixzz1oHDqAl5P