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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-03-06 05:45 PM
Original message
Where Are the Good Americans?
Where Are the Good Americans?
Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith

(Excerpt)

Anyone who sees the photographs of the victims of the Nazi concentration camps must wonder how human beings could ever have allowed such things to happen. They must wonder how people of good will could have stood by while their government committed atrocities in their name. In the wake of that nightmarish era, people often asked, "Where were the good Germans?"

After the publication of the long-suppressed pictures of Abu Ghraib victims and the United Nations finding that torture and abuse are still taking place at the US prison in Guantnamo Bay, America has fashioned its own nightmare. We now must ask ourselves, "Where are the good Americans?"

(snip)

If Congress won't act, then it is up to the people. We must make every family dining table, every house of worship and every town meeting a place to stand up and speak out.

Only then will those who come after us know where the "good Americans" were.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060313/brecher



Elie Wiesel: The Perils of Indifference

(Excerpt)

In a way, to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman. Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger and hatred. Anger can at times be creative. One writes a great poem, a great symphony. One does something special for the sake of humanity because one is angry at the injustice that one witnesses. But indifference is never creative. Even hatred at times may elicit a response. You fight it. You denounce it. You disarm it.

Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response. Indifference is not a beginning; it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor -- never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten. The political prisoner in his cell, the hungry children, the homeless refugees -- not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is to exile them from human memory. And in denying their humanity, we betray our own.

Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment.

(snip)

In the place that I come from, society was composed of three simple categories: the killers, the victims, and the bystanders. During the darkest of times, inside the ghettoes and death camps -- and I'm glad that Mrs. Clinton mentioned that we are now commemorating that event, that period, that we are now in the Days of Remembrance -- but then, we felt abandoned, forgotten. All of us did.

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/ewieselperilso... (text & audio)


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zeemike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-03-06 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. I have heard it said that
The opposite of love is not hate but indifference and I think that is true.
And in these times I think of what Jesus prophesied for the latter days when he said "Because inequities abound the love of many will wax cold."
Inequities do abound and love has turned to a cold indifference at least for some. And the rest of us are just waiting for a leader to act.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-03-06 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Waiting for someone else to act is part of the problem.
What happens if everyone is waiting for someone else, waiting for a leader? What will get done? What will change?

Each one of us needs to act. NOW.
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zeemike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Good point
But some of us do not have the resources or leadership ability to make a call for action.
Essentially your post here is just that a call for action, with which I agree. But you see how far it got. not that it was a bad idea or that most of the people here would not agree with you, but only because it was missed in all the blizzard of other things which are no less important.
A leader needs to have the resources to pull all that together and somehow get the media to publish his stuff. I will act with you but acting alone is not going to work.
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DeaconNoGood Donating Member (42 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. acting alone will not work and ...........
that is exactly what happened in pre-war Germany. A strong leader (Hitler) brought a message of hope and nationalism to the people of Germany who had been suffering through a terrble economic depression. The vast majority of Germans reacted in support of Hitler and what he was saying. They knew damn well that he hated the Jews because of there strangle hold on commerce. While many Germans, in private, had trepidation about Hitler, publically they chanted the Nazi slogan and the hope of new, powerful Germany. They stupidly allowed him to become the lone leadership figure and they got a despot. The rise of Nazi's is an excellent way to teach students of the need for a balance of powers in government. Our founding fathers were ingenious.
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zeemike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. your point is well taken
The last thing I want is a leader to worship. But someone has to bring us together in action, but it does not have to be even one person but a group of leaders that we now have that act together for change.
I have often wondered why groups like DU, Move on, Code pink, and other like minded progressive movements don't get together and organize a march on Washington. I am sure that millions would go. I know that I would, even given my limited resources, if I knew it would be big enough to do some good.
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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-03-06 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. ...
:kick:
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