Wednesday, September 28, 2005

We Shall Overcome: Reflections on 9/11 & Katrina

Guest Blogger: Charles Ara, PhD

When British Tyranny oppressed our colonies, many died but we overcame with the American Revolution

When the country was torn apart over slavery in the Bloody Civil War between the North & the South, We overcame

When women did not have the right to vote, we overcame with Women’s suffrage

When workers were denied the right to organize, we overcame with the labor movement

When America was attacked at Pearl Harbor, we overcame at a great price

When Afro-Americans were segregated, we overcame with the Civil Rights movement and equal opportunity legislation

When Michael Harrington’s Book “The Other America” documented the disparity between the rich & the poor, we overcame with Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty

When immigrants were denied access to our country, we overcame with the welcome inscription at Ellis Island “Give me your tired and your poor.”

When our farm workers were mistreated, we overcame with the leadership of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers Union

And while we still have a long ways to go in overcoming poverty, war, injustice and our illusions of separation from our fellow human beings

We take hope in the words of Martin Luther King, “I have a dream that someday the sons of slaves and the sons of slave owners will sit down together at the banquet of brotherhood.”

And, as today, we remember the suffering and victims of 9/11 and Katrina,

let us work & hope & pray for the day in which we can all say

“I pledge allegiance to the earth, and to all the species for which it stands, one world, interdependent, with peace, justice & sustenance for all.”


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