The World Today?
Usually I read one serious book along with a light one, often science fiction. But right now I'm reading two Very heavy ones. One is "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness" by attorney Michelle Alexander, and "The Broken Cord" by Michael Dorris. The first book explains how the "War on Drugs" is used as an instrument of racial control, especially against African Americans and other people of color. It contains much I did not know, such as the fact that during the time when "the war on drugs" was beginning, drug use was Actually Declining!
When I listen to NPR there is sponsorship of its programming by a charitable trust dedicated to finding and Fighting the Causes of Homelessness. How about the fact that a person charged with felony possession of marijuana, even if there is No evidence that selling marijuana can be found, can lead to a conviction which: prohibits the "convict" from living in Any low income housing, getting a student loan, receiving food stamps, or voting? What Is a young person to do? If That isn't a Cause of homelessness I don't know what is!
The other book by Michael Dorris is about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect. One of the symptoms of both of these medical conditions is impaired judgment, an inability to predict or forsee consequences of one's actions. The result seems to be that adults with these medically measurable disorders drink while pregnant giving birth to more children with the same problems.
Once on NPR there was a discussion of a bill Congress failed to pass and I thought, "You can Stop right there, Congress Failed!" I've never before heard so many people openly say they want to make President Obama look bad. They block his appointments, destroy the bills he favors or instigates, and I'm Sick of politics! What's the point?
Then there's the outcome of the Traevon Martin case. That Whole "Stand Your Ground Law" is crazy! My neighbor's dog bit me and I was Truly scared of rabies. Should I kill my neighbors? I don't have to Prove injury, after all, just Feel fear for my life. Well I Felt it and there Was injury. I went and took a series of rabies shots and called Animal Control. I am Still afraid of that wretched dog although my neighbors are making a serious effort to keep it Out of my yard. But I have no desire to harm my neighbors. I will spray their dog with an organic rabbit repellant whose central ingredient is rotten eggs, if the dog tries to attack me or my dog in my yard. I can't Visually identify which dog bit me but a sense of Smell should prove helpful. When wet, that stuff Stinks!
Every victim of severe child abuse has feared for their life at some time. Should they all shoot their families?
I understand the law doesn't apply to Past fear for one's life. But I wonder if a young white teenager who shot an abuser to death would be acquitted, especially if the abuser was one of those "pillars of the community".
Between the bucks states with large Native populations receive for adopting native kids out to white famiulies, and the mass incarceration of African American and Latino men and increasingly women for minor drug offenses, it's amazing that any community of color can survive As a Community. How many are?
I feel Very sad And Disgusted! Anger doesn't seem to bring about change right now. But eventually their will be a backlash against these policies I fear. Then many people may die because some didn't act when it was still possible. I Hope I'm wrong!
But when I look at meaningful change, the Civil Rights Movement, the end of Apartheid in S. Africa, the siege at Wounded Knee and the killing of two FBI agents in the mid-1970's, (leading to the imprisonment of Leonard Peltier who is going blind in prison) I have to admit that Most social change has been brought about with violence as a component. Buddhist or not, the truth is the truth.
All I know to do at the moment is try to add to peaceful positive changes, even some which effect only one person at a time.