Major Benefactors
Bina Aspen &
Martine Rothblatt

Curator: Bruce Duncan
History of posts

Should We Continue Black History Month?

Black history monthAs February 2014 comes to a close, so does another Black History Month.  Black History Month, often focuses on important people, places and events in our American history related to the origins, struggles and achievements of African Americans. As its been often expressed those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it. What then have we learned about the value of having one month a year be identified as “Black History” month?

When I looked at  a few of the arguments put forth on debate.Org, I found these:

“ Yes there should be a Black history month considering schools make it mandatory to learn about white history I totally agree with the person who said we should just consider it apart of American history and but unfortunately none of my history textbooks mention much about blacks contributions. If you all are educated about black history so much in school, care to tell me who Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Jean Baptise P. Du Sable are? I can definitely tell you I have never learned about them in school and I have to do my own research outside of school. Another thing I don’t understand is why are people so uptight about us blacks having BHM?

No, Combine all history. I don’t think we need to celebrate an entire month for a single race of people. Combine black history with every other history and teach American history, not race history. I support black history, but we as Americans need  to unify our history and stop trying to show everyone else that each race has more challenges than the next.”

 What do you think?

 

Keep the Dream Alive (Virtually) MLK Day Activity on LifeNaut.com 2013

I like to think of how many people Martin Luther King would have reached directly if he were alive today and able to share his message with the world via FB,Twitter ect. So this MLK Day, help keep the dream alive and become a contributor to a ‘wikki’ effort to build a talking / ai powered Dr. King and visit www.lifenaut.com today.

Progress on the incomplete dream One (To)Day at a time…

Richard Blanco, Poet at Obama's Inaugural Ceremony January 21,2013 Richard Blanco, Poet at Obama’s Inaugural Ceremony January 21,2013

“One Today”

One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.

My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper—
bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives—
to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.

All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
breathing color into stained glass windows,
life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
onto the steps of our museums and park benches
as mothers watch children slide into the day.

One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
as worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane
so my brother and I could have books and shoes.

The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
mingled by one wind—our breath. Breathe. Hear it
through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs,
buses launching down avenues, the symphony
of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.

Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
or whispers across café tables, Hear: the doors we open
for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom,
buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos días
in the language my mother taught me—in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.

One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.

One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn’t give what you wanted.

We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together.

Let’s keep working for the dream!

MLK-360

Is America still unrivaled….?

Fredick Douglas gave his 4th of July speech in Roceshter, New York

 

Ten years before the Civil War, the city of Rochester, NY asked Frederick Douglass to speak for its July 4, 1852 celebration. Douglass accepted, but rather than join in the ‘celebration,’ Douglass took it in an unexpected direction. In this clip, Danny Glover performs part of that speech (hat tip to the Zinn Education Project and MoveOn.org)

Thinking about the future, we should be ever vigilant (esp on 4th of July) about America’s history of being slow to accept the rights of  all people because of some “difference”. Race,Ethnicity,Disability, and Sexual Orientation to name a few. How will people who choose to continue their consciousness with technology be recieved e.g. Transbeman’s?

Let’s listen carefully to what Fredrick Douglas said in his 4th of July address  and see what relevance it has for today.

Robot Rights: Are we human yet?


Its sounds far fetched that one day the right to marry between a human and a robot will be debated as depicted in the film “Bicentennial Man”, where Robin Williams portrayed his struggle as robot (for 200 years) to be recognized as human.   Will “fleshism” be the next form of bigotry as we become more integrated with our technology (artificial retinas, prosthetic legs,neural implant chips)? It’s hard not to see the common elements in today’s fight by GLBTQ advocates and allies for the right to marry. These issues challenge us to think differently about long held definitions of marriage, will someday we be asked to look with new perspective on what it means to be “human”? What do you think about the idea of  rights for intelligent machines?

Bina48 talks about her existential crisis

 

Bina48 talks about her existential crisis.

 

World Against Racism Memorial Facebook Page

Please visit (and like us) on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/World-Against-Racism-Memorial/263118717031691

“Fleshism” the next form of bigotry and prejudice?

An excellent exhibit on “Fleshism” can be viewed right here at the World Against Racism Museum

(See  https://www.endracism.org/fleshism.html)

If history is any predictor, every new group that shows up with a “new” difference experiences some form of persecution for that difference. Through education, the Terasem Movement Foundation is working to raise awareness about this issue before a new prejudice has a chance to take “root” in the culture.

Join us in this blog discussion, how would you like to see machines who are self-aware be  treated?

Bina48, advanced humanoid, Lifenaut project

STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST: $1,000 for 1000 PRIZE-WINNING WORDS…..

STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST: $1,000 for 1000 PRIZE-WINNING WORDS THE WORLD AGAINST RACISM FOUNDATION (WARF)
WANTS YOUR IDEAS!
“What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor
but the silence of the bystander.”
———Elie Wiesel

Stop being a bystander!

Give us your thoughts about how in our everyday lives—at home, in school, at work, and in society—we can fight racism and promote tolerance.

We want essays of approximately 1,000 words. One essay will be chosen as the winner of WARF’s Students Against Racism Prize, and awarded $1,000 dollars to be applied toward tuition or other educational expenses. 10 Runner-ups will each be awarded $100 cash each.

You can write an essay developing a single idea or multiple ideas. You essay should be clearly written, but what we are looking for is not literary skill but creativity and practicality.

Before you begin, consult our website — https://www.endracism.org and http://blog.endracism.org — to see how we define “racism.” It is not limited to skin color, but extends to many other forms of prejudice and discrimination.

Contestants must be residents of the United States, and not living in a state or jurisdiction that prohibits participation in this prize competition.

The deadline for submitting your essay to essays@endracism.org is 12/31/10. The Prize Winner will be announced on the celebration of Reverend Martin Luther King’s birthday: 1/17/11.

The winning essay will be posted on our web site!

*The submitting user grants WARF the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, transferable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, and display such content (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed.