• On Nonviolence

    http://www.grassrootsdc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/micahel-brown-ferguson-police-and-protestor-1-325x225.jpg

    Published December 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm - One Comment I wrote this essay in response to liberal notions of nonviolence, which tend to be irritatingly sentimental and shallow. In the wake of this nation&# ...

    On Nonviolence
  • The Legacy of Marion Barry

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    Published December 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm - 4 Comments Cross-Posted from Sociology in My Neighborhood: DC Ward Six Written by Johanna Bockman On Friday evening, the Annual DC Historical Studies Conference ...

    The Legacy of Marion Barry
  • Revolution in Burkina Faso and the Downfall of Blaise Compmaore

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    Published November 13, 2014 at 1:49 pm - No Comments Cross-Posted from Sociable Susan Written by Susan Majek The community of social activists of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area organizes a panel d ...

    Revolution in Burkina Faso and the Downfall of Blaise Compmaore
  • Shaw Residents and Community Organizers Strategize to Stay in Their Neighborhood

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    Published November 6, 2014 at 11:31 am - No Comments Cross-Posted from ONE DC In a town rife with Non-Profits that seemingly have all the answers for what ails longtime D.C. residents as they face gentr ...

    Shaw Residents and Community Organizers Strategize to Stay in Their Neighborhood
  • Disparity in DC Public Schools

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    Published August 25, 2014 at 7:49 am - 2 Comments Several conclusions have been brought to the public view to why students specifically in DC public schools are dropping out. This problem has become ...

    Disparity in DC Public Schools
  • One Student’s Take On What Really Matters In DC Public Schools

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    Published August 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm - No Comments I asked DC Public School graduate Quintess Bond why she thought DCPS test scores were so low? She presents her thesis in the form of this documentary ...

    One Student’s Take On What Really Matters In DC Public Schools
  • The Human Heart and How It Works

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    Published July 1, 2014 at 6:29 pm - No Comments According to The New People’s Physician the human heart is a hollow muscular organ located in the breast that pumps blood received from the veins i ...

    The Human Heart and How It Works
  • Why the R*dsk*ns Needs to Change Their Name

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    Published June 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm - No Comments Crossposted from the Huffington Post Written by Amanda Blackhorse The Washington NFL team needs to change its name. I am a proud member of the Navajo ...

    Why the R*dsk*ns Needs to Change Their Name

On Nonviolence

I wrote this essay in response to liberal notions of nonviolence, which tend to be irritatingly sentimental and shallow. In the wake of this nation’s imprisonment system’s failure to indict Darren Wilson and Daniel Panteleo, the two police officers responsible for the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, respectively, much debate has been sparked about the nature of the rebellions, both peaceful and retaliatory, which have taken place across the country. Although not written in response to this particular series of tragedies, I believe the insights I offer in this piece shed light upon the necessity of transforming systemic manifestations of violence rather than condemning those groups and individuals who choose retaliatory tactics in response to the brutality they, and their community members, are subjected to.  

micahel-brown-ferguson-police-and-protestor-1

Protest in Ferguson…

There is a force in our society, one that has come to manifest itself in countless forms, that many people are hesitant to name as a detriment to their lives. Most who dare to speak against this force, to utter the word that names it, are waved away as sentimental dunces, are charged with promoting lofty idealisms and are thereafter banished to society’s dim margins. Very few wish to acknowledge the hideous commonness of this force in its many manifestations.

That force’s name, that persistent presence, that scourge of pain, and fear, and shame, is ‘violence’. When most people hear the word ‘violence’, memories of physical brutality may replay in their minds. A vicious swat by an older sibling, a sailing fist cracked across a jaw, a bloodcurdling assault by an anonymous assailant. Although many are quick to decry the most intimate aspects of physical violence where it rears its head, the majority of those are also unwilling, or incapable, to enact healing work against those lingering traumas associated with having one’s body ravaged at another’s hands. Of course, they themselves are not to blame.

Ours is a society that seeks to, at every turn, devalue the significance of its citizens interior lives. We are encouraged to neglect our inner lives; religious practices are derided as narrow-minded and uncouth within increasingly secularizing cultural spheres, those who seek out therapists are snickered at in secret, and all who deeply ponder about human nature are handled with suspicion and apprehension. For most people, extended silences and solitude allow sinister things to bubble up to their conscious, and no one has taught them to be at peace with these haunts. Too many flee their demons by embracing addictions. Too many lack skills that would disallow past traumas to rend their spirits. Too many have been coaxed into allowing their interior lives to decay.

Yet, the state of people’s interior lives can never be divorced from the surrounding sociopolitical and sociocultural environments in which they’ve developed. Is it not violence when ours is a society that devalues the humanity of female-bodied people to no more than their sexual organs, their bodies violated time and time again, their appeals for justice ignored just as often? When young children, of all colors, point to dolls of darker skin and Afro-features as inherently nefarious? When indigenous voices of various tones seeking sovereignty over ancestral lands are constantly ignored and, instead, have the miniscule wedges of Earth they’ve been murdered onto bombarded with toxic wastes? When people of all races lacking in economic resources must either subsist on foodstuffs that poison their bodies, or nothing? What world do we inhabit where these realities often go acknowledged and, yet, unmanaged; where the suffering of another is commonly associated with a character flaw on the individual’s part and not symptomatic of systems of domination our society was built, and tragically thrives, upon?

Any path toward nonviolence that fails to acknowledge and work against physical, non-physical, and structural manifestations of violence is inherently lacking in depth. Any paths toward nonviolence lacking in strategies for justice and healing are underdeveloped. We are past the era where the division between mind, body, and spirit can be justifiably imposed upon the masses. We are past the point of presenting the populace with sparkling words in hopes that they will suffice for the arduous labor of transforming our world into one where harmony reigns.

Comprehensive nonviolent ideologies must offer tactics and solutions to address the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of evil, blatant and insidious. Nonviolence is only authentic when the livelihoods of all persons are accounted for, when voices resounding at the margins become centered and their requests heeded. Ultimately, the nonviolent path is one that aims for peace. However, peace will never exist without justice. Justice for everyone.


The Legacy of Marion Barry

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Cross-Posted from Sociology in My Neighborhood: DC Ward Six Written by Johanna Bockman On Friday evening, the Annual DC Historical Studies Conference hosted “The Legacy of Marion Barry” roundtable discussion. It was a fascinating discussion, but there is so much more to say about his legacy. This is especially true, given that Marion Barry […] . . . → Read More: The Legacy of Marion Barry


Revolution in Burkina Faso and the Downfall of Blaise Compmaore

Panel Discussion on Burkina Faso

Cross-Posted from Sociable Susan Written by Susan Majek The community of social activists of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area organizes a panel discussion about the significance of the ongoing Burkina Faso Revolution characterized by the modern day African youth movement. The new phase of the Burkinabe Revolution, nurtured and fueled with Thomas Sankara’s Spirit […] . . . → Read More: Revolution in Burkina Faso and the Downfall of Blaise Compmaore


Shaw Residents and Community Organizers Strategize to Stay in Their Neighborhood

eyesclosed

Cross-Posted from ONE DC In a town rife with Non-Profits that seemingly have all the answers for what ails longtime D.C. residents as they face gentrification-fueled displacement, ONE DC’s July 26th meeting was a much needed breath of fresh air for me. I asked permission to record the meeting for my radio […] . . . → Read More: Shaw Residents and Community Organizers Strategize to Stay in Their Neighborhood


At-Large Councilmember Candidates Debate Racism, Gentrification & Displacement

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