as the world burns and wars rage
Global protest actions on the Climate Crisis have been scheduled for September, as fires rage from the Arctic to the Amazon . Potential conflicts in the Middle East seem on the verge of flaring into their own wildfires, most prominently as I write this: Taliban-US, Iran-US, Israel-Hamas-(Hezbollah-Iran), and Pakistan-India-Kashmir. Underlying and entwined with these huge, tangled problems, the pressing need to address injustice, inequality, and huge economic disparity, which smolder or burn throughout the world. Big words cover what we wish for in place of these problems: Sustainability, Peace, and Social Justice. In order to understand the complex dimensions of each of these pressing global problems, The BeZine has focused in our first two issues of 2019 on Peace and Sustainability—and now, the Fall Issue of The BeZine focuses on Social Justice.
As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
(Source: “The Most Durable Power,” Excerpt from Sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on 6 November 1956—
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford)
In this time of Orwellian language-logic and fake news (aka propaganda and lies), science denial (aka lies and distortions), nationalistic-populism, vitriolic debate, and self-serving and greedy leadership in the financial and governmental towers of power unmoored from ethics or morality (aka high crimes and misdemeanors)—with all of this, I ask you to reflect on these words of Martin Luther King, Jr.—”Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence.”
I find myself at times of despair drawn to the idea of violence as the only solution, but each time remind myself of the repulsiveness of that solution. We must find a way to bring justice into the world, to immediately address the climate crisis, and to foster peace, without contributing to the bitterness, pain, and murder so rampant now, fueled as it is by the rhetoric and actions of government and corporate powers. If we stoop to the level of those men (and women) in power, we will end up only fanning the destructive fires they have lit and spread.
As the Reverend King goes on to say: “If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.”
Sometimes I feel that we already are reaping that legacy with this reign of chaos surrounding us today. I fervently hope that, if so, it is not an endless inferno.
Glimmers of hope emerge—Greta Thunberg and her activism shines like a bright light. Her language makes clear that the climate crisis is an issue of social justice for our children and grandchildren. It is also a social justice issue for indigenous peoples, migrants, the poor, and less “developed” countries. The climate crisis and wars contribute to the issue of justice for migrants, creating a flow of refugees that other countries refuse to shelter. Racism, unfettered capitalism, gender biases all create injustice, and those oppressed in the system that produce hate are most likely to suffer in war and the climate crisis. Our contributors touch on these intersections while exploring social justice in their work.
In the end, the hope has to come from us—from our acting, responding, striking if necessary. Yes, avoiding violence. But also, demanding change now. We need to seek the abstract “social justice” through social ACTION. And we need to see and act on the links between issues, rather than dividing ourselves and fighting over which issue is more important. They are all important, and they all need to be addressed holistically.
We all need to work together, because there are no jobs on a dead planet; there is no equity without rights to decent work and social protection, no social justice without a shift in governance and ambition, and, ultimately, no peace for the peoples of the world without the guarantees of sustainability.
(Cited in: “To transform the world, we need a revolution in our priorities and values.”
The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies. Aug. 24, 2019.
Michael Dickel, Contributing Editor
With this issue of the Zine, Global 100,000 Poets and Others for Change (100TPC), Read A Poem To A Child week, and The BeZine Virtual 100TPC we share our passions and concerns across borders, we explore differences without violence or vindictiveness, and we sustain one another. These activities endow us with hope, strength, and connection.
Our thanks to and gratitude for the members of The Bardo Group Beguines (our core team), to our contributors, and to our readers and supporters who come from every corner of the world. You are the light and the hope. You are valued.
Special thanks to Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion for the gift of 100TPC and Read A Poem To A Child week, to our resident artist Corina Ravenscraft for our beautiful 100TPC banner, and to Michael Dickel for pulling the Zine together this month, moderating Virtual 100TPC on September 28, and for his technical support and innovations. And to Terri Stewart, much appreciation for our stellar logo, and for our ultra-fabulous name: The BeZine – Be inspired … Be creative … Be peace. … Be …
Our theme for the December 15 issue is “A Life of the Spirit.” John Anstie will take the lead and submissions will open on October 1 and close on November 15. Look for revised submission guidelines soon.
In the spirit of love (respect) and community
and on behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,
Jamie Dedes, Managing Editor
The BeZine 100TPC Virtual—Live Online 28 September 2019
The global 100TPC initiative on Saturday, September 28, 2019, puts forward poetry, music, art, and more, that promote Peace, Sustainability, an Social Justice. The BeZine will again offer a virtual, online event on that date. Please stop by, leave links to your own writing, art, or music, leave comments… We welcome your participation.
Table of contents
How to read this issue of THE BeZINE: You can read each piece individually by clicking the links in the Table of Contents or you can click HERE and scroll through the entire Zine.
“There must exist a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures.” ― bell hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism
Peace, Benedicta Boamah
Five from Faruk Buzhala, Faruk Buzhala
Pushing through Utopia, Linda Chown
TimeInWar, Linda Chown
Don’t Be Stupid, DeWitt Clinton
Rising Up, You Poets, Jamie Dedes
One Dark Stand, Mark Heathcote
request…, Charles W. Martin
The Long Dark Night, Tamam Tracy Moncur
Ju$t d1$$1m1l@r, Sunayna Pal
Don’t Hang the Poets, Mike Stone
Art and Photography
Social Justice, Anjum Wasim Dar
In solidarity, documentary photographs, Christopher Woods
Using Social Interactions to Create Change, Kella Hanna-Wayne
RE-MEMBERING THE PAIN
“There are times when so much talk or writing, so many ideas seem to stand in the way, to block the awareness that for the oppressed, the exploited, the dominated, domination is not just a subject for radical discourse, for books. It is about pain–the pain of hunger, the pain of over-work, the pain of degradation and dehumanization, the pain of loneliness, the pain of loss, the pain of isolation, the pain of exile… Even before the words, we remember the pain.” ― bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black
Sounding Bugles, Sheikha A.
Silent Courage, Lorraine Caputo
“Nights with Ghosts,” a poem from a child in Zimbabwe, Jamie Dedes
Change, Michael Dickel
After the 2016 Election, Rachel Landrum Crumble
The Poor, Rachel Landrum Crumble
Substituting Life, Sunayna Pal
Flow Gathering Springs, Linda Shoemaker
War and Peace (Rime Royal), Clarissa Simmens
Women in Woad, Clarissa Simmens
I Never Knew I Was So Numb, Anjum Wasim Dar
Boots, DC Diamondopolous
The Dogs of Midnight, Mike Scallan
Time Never Waits, Anjum Wasim Dar
“We live in a system that espouses merit, equality, and a level playing field, but exalts those with wealth, power, and celebrity, however gained.” ― Derrick Bell, Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth
Control, Elvis Alves
The Long History of Genocides, Elvis Alves
dissecting the Geneva Convention, mm brazfield
Scary People and Madmen, Bill Gainer
Humanity is often a place of forgetfulness, Mark Heathcote
Chicken Little to Testify Before Congress, Rachel Landrum Crumble
Logging-Out of Bullying School, Marta Pombo Sallés
False Economy, Mantz Yorke
Dictators, Desperados, and Democracy Revisited, John Anstie
Radicals Are In Charge, Rob Moitoz
“In the unceasing ebb and flow of justice and oppression we must all dig channels as best we may, that at the propitious moment somewhat of the swelling tide may be conducted to the barren places of life.” ― Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House
Embrace, Lorraine Caputo
Epistle, Lorraine Caputo
Our Evolving, Jamie Dedes
Silent Life, Jamie Dedes
How I Park My Car, Bill Gainer
Awake at Night, Leela Soma
Places I Have Never Been, Ellen Wood
 In support of these, The BeZine blog has been posting about the Climate Crisis, and will continue to do so throughout September (2019), in addition to our Sustainability Issue this past Summer [back].
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