Preach, Brother

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Preach, Brother

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To Be Twenty Again

For Debbie Rand, Volunteer, Mississippi Summer Project, 1964

To be twenty again,
believing with such fervor,
sure of the way,
committed unto death if need be.
Willing to offer myself without reservation,
to share my talents and hopes
without equivocation.

To be twenty again,
believing change is possible
because I have changed,
believing barriers can be lifted,
distrust transcended
because I have known friendship
across the color line, deep friendship.

To be twenty again
and to know the power
of a social movement
that transforms its participants
as well as the world,
to know I’ve found a place, a way of life that allows love of God
and commitment to justice
to flourish side by side.

To fall in love again and again
with life and idealism as it manifests
first in one and then another
young man’s eyes.
I lived so intensely,
believed so absolutely,
felt so acutely.
I had the energy to do so
and lacked the experience
to feel afraid or use caution.

I grew outside the bounds
of my white, middle class upbringing.
I grew outside the experience
of my professors at college.
There were times of connection
and transcendence,
times of anger
and fear of losing all we’d worked for.
There were times of trust
and times the trust shriveled
in the light of a sharp afternoon.

Oh, to be twenty again
and refuse compromise.
To believe justice is attainable.
That love will replace greed.
To believe people can live
and work in mutual respect for one another.

To be twenty again
and believe it is all possible.

[I wrote this poem after seeing Debbie Rand at the 1994 reunion in Jackson Mississippi. Debbie spoke of missing the fervor and idealism we had in 1964.]

Copyright © Chude Allen, 1994, all rights reserved.

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I believe the commonly used phrase is ‘well jelz’?


 

Just a cute couple from the lovely world of Tumblr (source) to keep everyone happy and hopeful 🙂

“I stand for honesty, e…

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“I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated, and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.”

Ellen Degeneres

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Peruvian Authorities: Don’t Justify the Rape of a Teenager Because He is Gay

Can’t even begin to describe how horrific this story is, or how angry it makes me. Please take a look, sign this petition and make a difference.  Every single signature counts.

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Members of Russian punk band, Pussy Riot, found guilty of hooliganism

I don’t think I could call this a human rights blog if I didn’t post something about this terrible injustice. Pussy Riot are an inspiration, to say the very least.  I can’t imagine the kind of courage it must take to stage such an explosive event – one which would inevitably hold the risk of severe consequences.  This group of feminists are role models for every young person out there, because they refuse to sit back and do nothing, they fight for their cause, they stand up to what can only be called an evil dictator for crying out loud, and will go to jail for it.  Not only is the fact that three Pussy Riot members have been sentenced to 2 years in jail an injustice, so is calling their actions hooliganism.  Hooligans wreak havoc, they destruct.  They don’t fight for good, they don’t inspire and they sure as hell don’t risk their lives. Their bravery is commendable, inspirational, and the injustice with which they have been served should stand as a warning to younger generations, yet another indication of the terrible effect power can have, and what we must ward away from. We must take heed, before we simply repeat the mistakes of the past.

Honest Mistake or Subliminal Racism?

I’ve been flicking through a children’s colouring book, which I acquired in Spain. Its your bog standard type – little cartoon boys and girls involved in various activities. A picture is provided next to each colourless drawing, to help little kids. What struck me was that in every single picture, the child is white. Am I stretching the truth or does it seem like subliminal racism turns up in the most quiet of places?