Connections 2000 July

Monthly Topics
Index of Issues
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Race, Class, and Civil Rights
Poverty, Homelessness, and Unemployment
Imperialism and Economic Injustice
Nuclear weapons
Education, Information, and Communication 
Democracy and Religion
Hunger and Health Care
Crumpled quilting square,  1999, Gail Perrone.
July: Violence -- Think of the most common forms of violence: war, rape, murder, assaults, then think of the subtler forms of violence: disregard for others feelings, speeding over a city bike trail, and scaring pedestrians or people slamming fists as they complain to clerks or colleagues. What about soccer coaches yelling at kids to the point that feelings are hurt? What about elderly husbands refusing to help their wives with housework? What about standing by and permitting children to be killed in our names so that we can live comfortable, affluent lives?

Certainly there are cycles of violence. Consider the Pentagon with more money now than ever, more by twice than Clinton requested. Money to the Pentagon is less money for social programs and education. When military spending is the priority and military solutions are always the proposed answers, social programs are cut, poverty increases and many young people have nowhere to go but the military or the street-where they learn new kinds of violence. Cities respond with more police, more prisons, and more violence.

Or, another cycle might start with children watching endless hours of TV or playing violent computer games because both parents work or there is only one work-weary parent. If nutrition is poor, if refined sugary foods are the norm, if there is no real contact with nature, and if the child's classrooms are crowded so that the child might receive no individual attention, development is distorted. And, if playground language is rough, games are aggressive, and children are humiliated, the child cannot possibly develop an egalitarian sense of life or any sort of reverence for the earth or the beings around her.

The responsibility belongs to those of us who understand these connections to "change the conversation" in the world about problems. They are all linked. A mass letter writing campaign on each month's subject from each progressive person in the US and, if the movement grows, in the world, could change the trajectory the world is on.

Sit down at your computer, or take pen in hand!

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