Monday, January 03, 2011
2011 Role Model #2: The Rabbis for Human Rights
Many African-Americans in the United States live in what might as well be called a war zone. Unexpected violence waits around every corner in many, if not most, poverty-stricken communities as some residents are forced to engage in dangerous practices in an effort to pay the rent or alienated souls prey on others because of the demons that torment them or law "enforcement" officers, often twitchy with fear themselves and in advanced stages of White Supremacy sepsis, lash out randomly at unsuspecting "suspects" powerless to protect themselves.
A friend who lives on the border between Texas and Mexico recently told me that her region also has come to look like a war zone of late, with pit-bullish browbeaters wearing various kinds of uniforms attacking people at will and thinking up "explanations" later.
But we know that neither of these situations is precisely what is being experienced in other parts of the world, too often bankrolled by our own hard-earned wages (and I can't begin to tell you how it goads my soul to work a day every week for the U.S. government so that they can spend my money on killing people I don't know and don't want to kill). The war zones this nation's government is not bombing personally (like Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan, just as examples and just at the moment -- it could change in a heartbeat) depend on a continual flow of U.S. dollars and weapons and influence to keep the process escalated and dangerous on both sides and endlessly, infinitely profitable to corporate coffers. There's a reason why we strike terror in the hearts of humans all over the world and terror is not the same as respect.
In any case, since the subject of this blog is the socially-constructed, political notion of "race," I don't write often about other things, no matter how strongly I feel about them. Like the situation in Palestine, where Zionism (a political movement, not a faith) is trying to wipe out the Palestinian people completely -- as in genocide. This week, however, I'm posting about role models -- people who are choosing to demonstrate to the rest of us how one person can make a stand, alone if need be, just because they know it's the right thing to do -- and for 2011 Role Model #2, I've chosen to feature any member of the Rabbis for Human Rights organization. As you'll see from the New York Times op-ed video above, these valiant individuals put themselves boldly in harm's way to make even the tiniest difference in the lives of others to whom it means so much.