Major Benefactors
Bina Aspen &
Martine Rothblatt

Curator: Bruce Duncan
History of posts

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.

California Indians Encounter Racism

The disastrous experience of the California Indians with white racism found expression in 1902 in the testimony by Cecilio Blaektooth, the “Captain of the Indians” living in Warner Ranch in Southern California to an Indian Commission. His testimony is reproduced in Douglas Monroy, Thrown Among Strangers: The Making of Mexican Culture in Frontier California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), p. 270:

“You see that graveyard over there? There are our fathers and grandfathers. You see that Eagle Nest Mountain and that Rabbit-Hole Mountain? When God made them he gave us this place. We have always been here. We would rather die here. Our fathers did. We cannot leave them. . . .If Harvey Downey says he owns this place, that is wrong. The Indians were [always] here.”

“If you [the Commission] do not buy this place [to make it a pro­tected reservation], we will go into the mountains like quail and die there, the old people and the women and children. Let the government be glad and proud. It can kill us. We do not fight. We do what it says. If we cannot live here, we want to go into those mountains and die.”

Mexican Immigrants Encounter Racism

(For more information goto: https://www.endracism.org)

For Mexican immigrants coming to California in the early twentieth century, the encounter with Anglo culture was often harsh and hurtful. A Mexican corrido (folk song), titled “El Deportado,” expresses the initial shock of border crossing at a time (c. 1930) when immigrants were especially vulnerable to immediate deportation in hard economic times. From George J. Sanchez, Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 14:

 It must have been about ten at night,

the train began to whistle,

I heard my mother say, “There comes that ungrateful train

that is going to take my son.”

“Goodbye my beloved mother, give me your blessings.

I am going to a foreign land, where there is no revolution.”

Run, run little train, let’s leave the station.

I don’t want to see my mother cry for her beloved son,

for the son of her heart.”

Finally the bell rang, the train whistled twice.

“Don’t cry my buddies, for you’ll make me cry as well.”

Right away we passed Jalisco, my, how fast the train rap. La Picdad, then Irapuato, Silado, then La Chona, and Aguas Calientes as well.

We arrived at Juarez at last, there I ran into trouble. “Where are you going, where do you come from? How much money do you have to enter this nation?”

“Gentlemen, I have money so that I can emigrate.” “Your money isn’t worth anything, we have to bathe you.”

Oh, my beloved countrymen, I am just telling you this, That I was tempted to go right back across.

At last I crossed the border, and left with a labor agent. And there, dear countrymen, was much that I endured.

 

For Mexican immigrants who raised families in Southern California, the clash between traditional-minded parents and “Americanized” children could be both comic and tragic. A father lamenting his daughter’s insistence on bobbing her hair—“flapper” style—during the 1920’s, from Douglas Monroy, Rebirth: Mexican Los Angeles: From the Great Migration to the Great Depression (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), p. 177:

My Lupe says she will bob her beautiful hair, if I say,  “yes,”  or if I say,
“no.” What makes her like that? She knows that her father will beat her if
she does not mind us. Since we have been in the United States she has always
been a good girl, until now when, she says that she will do  what she wants.
She says that we are funny and that we want her to be funny and like the
old people, too. Do you  think that the girls will laugh at her in the school
if she has long hair? The nurse says  for us to let her cut her hair, that it will
be good for  the hair. Lupe: says it is her hair, and she will cut it if she wants
to. She is young and she will not listen to the  ones who know more than
she does.