Monthly Archives: October 2018

Historical Change, by Carmel Mawle

41644111_304358337033968_3514319838484889600_n-1 (2)As founder and president of the board of directors, I want to clarify that Writing for Peace is a Not-for-Profit (501c3) entity and, as such, we do not endorse political candidates. Our goal is to encourage young writers to do their own research and empower them to make a difference in the causes that are important to them.

With that disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I write now as a citizen of these United States, exercising my First Amendment rights.

It cannot be denied that the United States I love, the nation in which I was born and raised, has an abhorrent history. Built upon a foundation of genocide and slavery, much of the folklore around “old glory” is thinly veiled propaganda. But, like mythologies over the eons, there are truths, and something to be learned of both the best and worst of human nature.

George Washington, who led the American resisters to victory, became known to the Native Americans as “Town Destroyer.” After decimating a village, his troops would skin the bodies of Iroquois from the hips down to make “leather stockings.”

Abraham Lincoln, one of my personal favorites (and I highly recommend George Saunder’s novel, Lincoln in the Bardo), ended the Civil War and emancipated the slaves. But he also ordered the largest mass execution, 38 Sioux men who had been accused of war crimes.

The United States has (and continues to) supported dictators, interfered with sovereign nations, and committed war crimes and, despite rhetoric to the contrary, capitalism is more often than not the driving force behind both foreign and domestic policies.

There have, of course, been historical high marks. The signing, on December 10th, 1948, of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, showed aspirations of our highest selves. In retrospect, I have to wonder if witnessing the worst of humanity at the close of WWII and the knowledge that U.S. corporations were collaborating and profiting by German atrocities while our soldiers gave their lives fighting fascism, had reached something deep within each of us, our responsibility to our brothers and sisters. Whatever it was, our government has studiously avoided being held accountable for violations of that signed declaration (or the Geneva Conventions) ever since.

Still, we have made some progress. We’ve made advancements in Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, and Environmental Rights (among others). I’m sitting here trying to remember whether that has ever happened without a fight. Would I sound too cynical if I said that, unless the oligarchy also profits by those advancements, they won’t be given to us on a silver platter? No, when it comes to human rights, we have historically had to demand change.

We march, we protest, we write letters and create art and raise awareness so our numbers will continue to swell. And brave journalists are at the forefront of these battles, showing us body bags and civilian casualties, the dogs and billy clubs and lynchings. They show us Black Lives destroyed by police brutality, white supremacism once again empowered to raise its ugly entitled head, refugees at our borders and detained children, school shootings and N.R.A. funded representatives with their bulging pockets, floods and fires and an unprotected environment in decline, and perhaps worst of all, voter suppression.

Current events, and our checkered past, have shown us that we can’t count on our government to do the right thing. Change depends on you and me.

If there was ever a time to march or write for peace it is now. Join me in marching to your polling station, filling out your ballot, and signing your name. Vote. Alone we may be a single wavering candle, but together we are the sun, shining light on this administration’s lies and oppression.

And if you need help getting to the polls, contact me at my personal website. I’ll help you in whatever way I can. We’re in this together.

Now, back to our regular programming: Thank you for supporting Writing for Peace.

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Carmel Mawle writes from the northern Colorado Rocky Mountains where she lives with her husband and Max, a ten-pound border terrier mix who firmly believes he’s a mountain dog. You can find her blog at www.carmelmawle.com.

 

Copyright © 2018 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

In This Moment, by Lacey Knight

In This Moment

By Lacey Knight

Lacey KnightI was in a waiting room this morning, my 18-month-old on my lap, when I realized the television was tuned to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the senate panel. As I intently read the subtitles, a young woman walked in and sat directly across from me. She was young and beautiful, conservatively dressed, and appeared quite self-possessed. I was suddenly self-conscious of my dirty hair, “mom” clothes, and the clearness with which I wear my emotions. I felt vulnerable sharing this moment with a stranger who, in my quick “analysis,” struck me as impermeable.

Still, I was drawn to the interview of this brave woman speaking her truths to our country. It opened a place in me that, in recent years, has been opened again and again. Her words shined a light on dark areas of my personal history. Watching her was painful, knowing that so many discredited her already. Knowing that she’ll suffer greatly for her courage. Knowing that my daughters are going to live in a time where woman are guilty until proven innocent.

My name was called and I snapped back to the waiting room, looking over sheepishly as I remembered my company. The young woman was leaning towards the T.V., her hands clasped together, the exact same look of pain streaked across her face as I know I’d been wearing on mine. She caught my eye as I stood and nodded to me, acknowledging what we had both shared.

In that moment, I wanted to shield her from the world and its harsh judgments; I wanted to hug her; I wanted to be her mom, a safe place for her. I felt extreme gratitude for Dr. Ford and her bravery. Gratitude to all those who continue to give a voice to the trauma and abuse while so many suffer in silence. Gratitude that this moment of truth was heard. Gratitude that my daughters will have champions of their own to lead them through their journeys, and gratitude that my heart was softened by it.

Thank-you, Dr. Ford.

 

Lacey Knight is a mom of three, business owner and a lover of words. She currently expresses herself through journaling, social media, coloring books and the occasional HR paperwork. As a woman business owner with an all female staff and mother to two daughters, she believes passionately in women empowering women and the power of strong community.

 

Copyright © 2018 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.