Remember Rashard Brooks and Other
Black Victims of Police Brutality
In 1964, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to sweep the country, the arc of justice needs to bend more quickly in the case of Rayshard Brooks and other African Americans who have been killed by police. This is especially important as the country commemorates Juneteenth.
The justice system must send a clear message that overzealous police cannot get away with targeting and treating Black men and women as second class citizens. Every American must fully comprehend that all Black lives matter.
Continue reading Juneteenth Message – by Elwood Watson
THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING
I have always specialized in hostile or militant audiences but from time to time even I have to step back and pause for a second. Current events are always “fair game” in my workshops; it is what makes my sessions current, electric and never boring. Recent moments of truth in my sessions lead me to pen and update to the original article I wrote many years ago. The recent rash of horrible racial injustices (some say pattern) of Ahmaud Arbery to Breonna Taylor to George Floyd to Amy Cooper has erupted into a national conversation about racial injustice, white privilege, inequity, diversity, inclusion, and more.
Comments like – “I don’t care about BLM – Black Lives Matter, I am trying to run a business” or “White Lives Matter” or worse “White Lives Matter More (WLMM)” when people mention “Black Lives Matter” has led many to the politicization and polarization of these horrible atrocities and we these acts continue a horrible pattern of racial injustice. You have to go back to “Rodney King had it coming!” and “Tayvon Martin, who cares.” Today, you must be a “liberal” or a “conservative” – ouch!
Continue reading Eyes and Ears Wide Shut – by Mauricio Velásquez
I thank God my son was in California
when the police looked down at him sitting
on the ground and said to the suburban shopper,
who called security and reported him.
“Is he the one?”
I thank God my son has white friends.
The fact that his friends were all doing the same thing—
making an action-packed testosterone video for school,
might have helped him some.
They let his friends do the explaining,
showed the po-lice
their guns weren’t real,
while my son held his head down on concrete,
his wrists handcuffed together
like the shackles of his ancestors.
They let him go with
a restraining order:
never enter our mall again
and I thank God it wasn’t
a restraining rope
in a community square
or a bullet
from a real gun.
Image credit: Abstract art (Cyclone Zone Amoled Backgrounds)
i want to say something but then i think of food again
chewing the thick pieces of a privileged life is easier when its buttered by the comfort and bliss of the suburbs // dishes are served deboned and all crusts already cut off sweetly sinned and sprinkled slippery with deceit // on some occasions a stranger reflects back at me from the cutlery especially late at night when i feel the need to lie to myself // i tell myself that their uncooked problems do not outweigh my people’s thawed out mistakes // i greedily swallow the marrow of a smooth history // what is politics nowadays but an aftertaste anyway?
i say let’s move on and forget about what happened in the past // we need the bad taste of this meal to dissipate for my white-skin sake // i should try to understand that it is not as easy if the leftovers bite back and break the hand that holds the plate // empathy is what i lack and i can’t seem to understand their hate // desperately they chew on sinews while covered by reluctant skin // they try to disguise whatever freedom they could salvage under candlelight
i say let’s put our disadvantages behind us even if i disown to this day // please forget about your shortcomings and my free-flow // i say I know the reasons for a black man crying in the rain // his incessant hunger for a mother and the will to simply co-exist but never have i invited him to dine at my dinner table never have i envisioned this // do i understand what martin luther meant when in me he searched for a brother and not just a friend?
tomorrow i see black lives matter protests on the news and all empathy dissipate // why i want to justify it to read only all lives matter is a representation of my blind faith // to survive i have to make myself believe that the world’s greatest never die in vain
Image credit: Artwork by Johann van der Walt
A hawk shadows the lawn,
shades my view
where honeybees hover clover
scattered in the grass, gathering.
Laden with yellow pods of pollen
clinging to their back legs,
I watch them disappear into the hive.
The rusty beehive smoker puffs
as my dad, clad in his sting-proof suit,
walks slowly to the three-tiered honey keeper.
He lifts the metal telescoping roof
to 10 wood frames filled with wax covered goodness,
pulls them out one by one,
and slings the soul of the hive into mason jars.
As I spread the fruits of their labor
on a piece of wheat toast
cradled in my hand,
for a brief moment, I am
surrounded by buzzing, wings fanning
until all that is left
is the pure golden nectar of the gods.
Image credit: Honey photography by Bea Abascal
Happy Mother’s Day! Celebrated across the world for this year on May 10, 2020. During the COVID-19 period, it is a time when people are doing social distancing and this is the time through online, to facilitate, help, support, be fair and objective for mothers across the world.
I should state in this time, I had come across a Great Person, Mrs. Deborah Levine, whom I wanted to share and support as a true mother having all the above qualities.
She is a giver and she takes time to do so always promptly, in spite of her busiest schedule on earth-managing multiple things at this time period. It’s not easy, and I respect her fully, support her as a generous, compassionate, humanitarian. She is true being human compared to being born as a human…there is a difference in practice in action and deeds as a true/fellow brotherly/sisterly hood. Continue reading Mother’s Day for a True Diversity Futurist – by Sridhar Rangaswamy
One School’s Experience
Imagine that literally overnight, everyone in your profession all over the world was told that your work would have to be done very differently, totally online, starting the next day. No-one had preparation, many of the recipients of your work did not have devices, and many were traumatized by the change. In addition, many of the professionals, who were to be working from home, also were trying to deal with their family’s needs.
Welcome to the world of education today, where teachers, support personnel and administrators are creatively trying in new ways to meet the needs of so many.
Continue reading Education in the Pandemic – by Katie Schwartz
Diversity in the Sports World
Sport plays a significant role in creating communities as common bond is formed when individuals and teams compete celebrating their successes and failures with others. The Olympics is as much a peace movement as a sporting event with the Olympic flame a symbol of harmony, cultural plurality and togetherness. Athletes have been practitioners of Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) for decades meeting and connecting with people from other countries and backgrounds setting aside differences and developing a sense of fair play for all. Nicknamed “The Greatest”, Muhammad Ali is one of the most celebrated sporting figures of the 20th Century and he brought the whole world together when an estimated global audience of 1 billion viewers watched his famous “The Rumble in the Jungle” fight with George Foreman. In the 21st Century, major sporting apparel companies understand the ubiquitous commercial benefits of I&D as evidenced in the World Economic Forum article titled: The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming which stated:
“It is important for corporations to step up and advocate for diversity and tolerance on a public platform. A great example of this is Nike’s support of American football quarterback and rights campaigner Colin ` Kaerpenick. More than a marketing exercise, it showed the world that one of America’s best-known corporations was willing to stand aside one man in his battel against racial injustice and intolerance.”
Continue reading Inclusive Sports – by Martin Start
Fruit hangs from the bony fingers of the tree,
some pippins, barely past their bloom,
others in full sun, pink, plump and taut
with nectar. The sight of them makes the mouth
water. A few with sinewy stems
and thickened skin still cling to branches.
Continue reading The Stand along the Hudson – Poem by Ann Thornfield-Long
I hail from the family of Priests and Pastors in India. My tryst with “Om” and its significance in my life is immense. From early childhood, I was taught how to chant it with correct diction and feel so that it would bring my mind, soul, and body in unison with the vibrations of the chant.
I used to be an over active child and would never sit in one place to study or do anything with concentration and single-minded focus. The chanting of Om made my mind calm, it helped me focus on my studies and made me aware of my surroundings.
Continue reading The Power of Om – by Sridhar Rangaswamy