I have been preparing to write my blog for the Peacemaker Corps regaling the beauty and elegance of Martin Luther King Jr's march for Jobs and Freedom celebration on August 28, 1963, and the repeat of the event 50 years later just 10 days ago. I wanted to say how proud we as a nation should be of that moment in history when many diverse groups became a community, which made up a powerful coalition that together marched and prayed for peaceful changes of all the in justices that our government and part of the population were perpetrating on our own, very much like what we now see in other countries all over the world -- Syria is a good example.
I was a strong and loyal supporter of Dr King and would have been at the mall to celebrate the beginning of positive change in our country, but as a new mom, I stayed home at watched and cheered from my kitchen through the TV while feeding and looking after my son Robert, just recently born. Unfortunately he did not live long enough for us to have journeyed this past August for the 50-year anniversary. We had planned that trip many years ago, during one of our ongoing debates about the validity vs. the total uselessness of my continued work to train youths from urban America how to deal with life and bullies without violence but with compassion and community.
Robert, bless his vision, would continue over the course of the 14 years he lived, while I built the Peacemaker Corps to counsel me to stop my work in the urban America as no one really cared what happen to black Americans in our ghettos, least of all those who lived there. In his wisdom, there are these forces that have always controlled this country; the business and political power, never wanted the brown or the black people in our country to get an even footing on the ladder of success. In so many ways he was right, after years of trying to gain more supporters for peace in the streets from every corner of my world, we are continually thwarted by the military/industrial complex who is always taking us to war.
Here we are again debating about killing more people, in a faraway land, that has nothing to do with us, except for flaming the fire of hate against our people, just as they kill their own. Ironic that the Peacemaker Corps just launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise donations to continue training more and more youths with our workshops by translating the written program into short videos and send them, along with our written workbooks, free to all educators, mentors, youth workers, and youth focus organizations and train more youthful peacemakers across the country. Just now all media attention is focused on going to war. This dichotomy has followed us for years, every time I seek new funding for peace-building and peace-making I find our country going to or already in a war. This is the 17-year history of the PCA and the USA.
How will bombing Syria change what its government does to stop the people from toppling this country government? It will just kill more civilians and that will not endear us to those folks whose friends or families are collateral damage from our strikes. We all know this man, Bashar Hafez al-Assad, needs to go and I believe firmly that all people have the right to live in peace, harmony, dignity, and be fed and employed, not tortured and starved. I believe that governments are formed to help the people who form them, not to in slave, control and punish this has always been my belief. King had the right idea how to make change without war and his belief was so strong that people have followed that nonviolence path all over for 50 years. We still fight bigotry in our own country and we must always stand up to bullies all over, but to fight violence with force just prolongs the agony. After all these years' that humans have been on this earth it is about time that we find another way.
Discussion, dialogue, threats and world-wide pressure is good to begin the slow but steady path needed to free the people of Syria. We could make great headway with the Syrians if we sent help and aid to the refugees that are now encamped across the border of Syria, into Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Iraq. We already have boots on the ground in Iraq -- why can't we turn them into humanitarians?
By helping these Syrians who have left their homes to escape the terror that their own government is setting upon them, now living in fear and displaced is the perfect time and place to begin our work to form supportive communities within the Syrians and help them use influence with family and friends still in country that America will assist them to form a democracy and remove the current government without more war.
We shall see in these coming weeks how we proceed with shaking our fist and rattling those sabers, I hope that we have a perseverance to take the MLK Jr. way of community and support for change, abet it always takes longer but the results are deep and just maybe out of love comes peace.