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Monday, February 13, 2006

A Peace Week

Last week was a week of peace. I was first astounded and then greatly comforted by the moral courage exhibited by the array of speakers who gathered at the funeral service for Coretta Scott King on Tuesday, Feb. the 8th.

I turned on the TV just in time to hear the poetic and potent words of Rev. Joseph Lowery. He honored Coretta Scott King and her husband, Martin Luther King Jr. by calling attention to the human suffering of Katrina's victims, the victims of the Iraq war, and the poverty and racism that are eating away at America's psyche. The eleoquent Rev. Lowery was an inspiration to all of us who champion civil rights, human rights, and deplore the cruelty and wasteful excess of war. Rev. Lowery eulogized Coretta Scott King in his speech by picking up where death obliged her to leave off. He will carry on the work of Coretta and Martin Luther King Jr.

Maya Angelou's powerful words expanded beyond her "sister" to embrace all of us: women, men, the poor, the war weary, people of different religions, cultures, and colors, gay people, the sick, the old, and the young. Maya Angelou, human and spiritual mother, focused her goddess strength into beams of love and courage. She will continue in the spirit of Gandhi and the King's.

Four presidents attended the service for the civil rights leader, Coretta Scott King, but only two have actively supported civil and human rights. The two Bush presidents have NEVER marched for freedom, monitored voter intimidation at the polls, participated in a civil rights sit-in, protested against Jim Crow laws, spoken at a rally, or worked on legislation to guarantee equal rights. The aristocratic "status quo" Bushes did not participate in the civil rights movement and have steadily worked behind the scenes to limit both civil rights and human rights. The civil rights movement compelled the government of the United States of America to change. Only when it was socially forced on them did the the Bushes bother to show up.

Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter have, over the course of their respective careers, been actively involved in the fight for equal rights and opportunities for all American citizens and have consistantly done whatever they could to advance human rights the world over. They offered insight, truth, and comfort when they spoke about Mrs. King and her accomplishments during Tuesday's funeral. Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter also spoke of peace. They will continue to travel the road toward peace.

Coretta Scott King in death, shone like a beacon through these dark terrible times that have mired us in a cruel and indifferent reality. I, for one, was uplifted, comforted, and inspired by what Mrs. King, together with many fine people, had accomplished. I will continue the struggle and travel the road toward peace.

Friday night, as my family and I watched the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, once again, we were overwhelmed. Eight women carried the Olympic flag... a first. Four of the women were well know peace activists, three were extraordinary athletes, and one, Sophia Loren, the embodiment of femininity and passion. "We wanted to make a strong statement of peace tonight", said the creative director for Friday night's opening ceremony, Marco Balich.

We sat in stunned silence as Yoko Ono took center stage to deliver a peace poem. "Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world. Just start thinking Peace and the message will spread quicker than you think" was Yoko's message. Then she went on to introduce Peter Gabriel who sang John Lennon's "Imagine".

I can't "Imagine" a more important message of peace than Lennon's universal lyrics or a more symbolic event at which to sing his notes of harmony than the Olympics. It was, indeed, a week of PEACE.

We must not forget that last week, thousands gathered and spoke for PEACE. The ugly winds of yet another American War are gathering. The Pentagon under Donald Rumsfeld, at this very moment, is planning blitz-like bombing raids combined with submarine-launched ballistic missle attacks against Iran's nuclear sites. Remember the neoconservatives have a war list - first Iraq, then Iran and Syria, followed by Saudi Arabia.
War with Iran anyone?

I am still not well. Whatever virus I have is lingering. It is harder to write when one is ill but I feel that I must keep on "keepin' on". Last week, the Peace week, did wonders for my spirit!

Kitchen Window Woman


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a well written essay, but I just have two comments. Sometimes you have to do more that just "think peace". Sometimes you have to actually do something, like take out a Hitler or a Saddam. The people of Iraq have a much greater hope for peace now than they ever did with Saddam.

The other is that the Imagine song sounds nice and all, but when Peter seemed to emphasize "and no religion too", I found that quite offensive. I work with many Muslims and Christians and find them all to be some of the most peaceful people I know.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

I am a creative person and like many artistic people I visualize the finished project and all of the steps leading up to it. "Think Peace" is a form of visualization. First visualize then act.

Both Hitler and Saddam came to power with considerable help from American and European Banks and Corporations. The CIA plucked Saddam from obscurity back at the end of the 60's. They helped him gain position in the Baathist party, gave him an apartment, and millions of dollars and weapons over the years. Iraq today is fragmented and is being devoured by civil war. Even the Kurds are split into two fighting factions. There is more death yet to come.

I love the all of the concepts in the song "Imagine". No religion especially. Religion is responsible for much of the misery in the world. Maybe some individual Muslims and Christians are peaceful but their overall religious organizations are not and never have been peaceful. Over 3,000 years of continuing wars in the Middle East all justified by one of the three "ONLY" gods is proff of that fact. I am glad that you mentioned that you know peace followers of religion...maybe there is hope for religious tolerance enough for coexistance.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Coyote said...

I hope you feel better soon KWW. Peace to you and yours.


3:46 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Great post. Sorry to hear you're still under the weather. Get better soon.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Paladin said...

Anon brings up a couple of great points... its always been the brave actions of the few that have permitted the dissentions and critiques of others. It's all well and good to "visualize peace," but far more effective to be prepared to defend it.

As to "religion being responsible for most of the misery in the world" - utter hogwash.

People and their actions are responsible... religion has simply been their justification (for actions they would do anyway!) You conveniently forget the great amounts of humanitarian aid the Churchs of the world provide every year... predominately Christian churchs, I might add.

And finally, regarding Bush's civil rights record... you might want to do a bit more research. President Bush passed a law here in Texas stating that the top 10% of high school students automatically were admitted to Texas universities, regardless of race! *THAT* is a better step towards MLK's vision of unity than any democrat's "quota system."

And though I was personally moved by the turnout for Coretta's funeral... I was not surprised by the democrat's grandstanding and inappropriate use of the setting. I mean, look at their behavior at Paul Wellstone's funeral... they all but turned it into a pep rally!

3:56 PM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

apparently "anonymous" has a limited imagination.

and you, paladin, might want to start keeping up with current events.

you have no earthly idea what happened at wellstone's funeral (except, apparently, what you heard on conservative talk radio).

as for king's funeral, yes, how inappropriate. to think that people doing the eulogizing might talk about the things that were most important to the deceased. shocking!

i suggest you do a little more research before engaging your keyboard.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Paladin said...

"Talking about the things most important to the deceased" is fine, but the Democrats did much more than just "talk!" (I follow Nascar racing, but I don't expect them to run stockcars over my grave when I die!!)

They have twice now, taken the spotlight from an influential person's life and put it on their adgenda. Rather than celebrate the deceased's accomplishments, they used the opportunity to get in front of the media.

In any light, what they did was deplorable and despicable. If you have any values whatsoever, you don't need to perform research to recognize this.

5:22 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Bernice King, the daughter of the desceased gave the eulogy for her mother.She is an ordained minister. In the course of that speech she mentioned how her mother had "choosen" to transition at this particular time with the intention of focus being drawn to certain injustices and war. Mrs. King was an activist who wanted her passing to further the work she had done with passion and persistance every day for most of her life. Note also that close friends like Maya Angelou were speaking both of and FOR Coretta as was their right. You weren't her close friend. If you don't like that type of passing do something more establishment uptight and grim for yourself.

I am an activist and would PREFER also that my passing would be used to draw attention to the work that I do....and then, I want my friends and family to celebrate my life and theirs with one hell of a party! No black clothing...I want COLORS...no morbid prayers and no bummer people allowed. I want thoughtful discussions to occur along with good food, good music, good company, and a good time to be had by all. What a send off!

3:20 PM  
Blogger spaceneedl said...

kww, just make sure no one says anything contrary to republican talking points, because that would be completely inappropriate. and probably treasonous.

the right is bidding to control every aspect of your life, so it follows that they should determine your send-off into death.

7:48 PM  

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