Archive for the 'Social Justice' Category

You Don’t Gots ta Burn ya Bra… but……

It never hurts to think a little bit and make small efforts towards the change you want to see in the world.

It’s fair to say that having kids trumps anybody’s (man or woman) intense involvement in social issues.  Yes, we all think about them - and chances are we really want more of a change once we have kids.  But, where we find the time to get out there and rally and volunteer and make phone calls…. I hate to say it, but, in the parenting circles it’s a lot of talk about how much we want things to change but not a lot of action.

I came across this website and it is one that I visit daily now.  Mothers Movement ONline is a resource for social justice issue - and parents that want to stay active despite their time constraints.  Just reading the articles keeps me abreast to some issues that I feel like I have lost involvement in - hopefully, once the kids are older I will not be so seperate from causes and issues that I will be able to jump head first into them when my children are more independent and I have more hours in the day.

I urge any of you out there that feel like you have had to put your inherent activist/social justice interest on hold (rightfully so - social justice begins with good parenting and a loving home.. what we do every day as parents is, truly, at the core of social justice) to keep up with this site - if not every day, at least once a week… It is, at the very least, a way for you to stay aware and make thoughtful, every day decisions. 

Posted in Daily Living, Social Justice | No Comments »

Snub Scouts

The Cub Scouts have started recruiting at my child’s school. I am not sure what to make of it.  I feel as if I have to take his post-brainwashing session postcard, inviting him to be part of the “fun” and burn it.  They are invading his school in a very communistic stlye propaganda type way that frightens me…. all this talk about team work and god and working for the “pack”.  hmph.  This is the part of me that doesn’t work well with being a mother - damn my inherent nonconformist thread.  I promise I have tried to shake it all my life (sort of) - to be aprt of a group of people who seem really happy teaming up against the world - but the reality is it all scares me silly.  And I decided several years ago that anyone using god as a front will eventually find a way to exclude others who aren’t of the same ilk from the group.  Case in point:  gay troop leader who had devoted most of his life to boyscouting getting kicked out as a leader because it was discovered he was gay.  Pardon me for being skeptical and for not forgiving and fogetting, but that right there is a big point against scouting for me. 

But my son is so excited about it.  It has been all he has talked about for days.  Dilemma.  Do I swallow my “issues” and let him figure out if that is the life for him?  Do I protest because it is an institution that, several years ago, projected utterly blantant discrimination toward a group of people that make up the majority of the people my son and I know and love.  What does a good parent do in this situation? Really I don’t mean to get political - I am just having a bit of a quagmire here. 

I guess the thing to do is take him to the meeting myself and ask a lot of questions and see what it’s all about before I cast judgement.  I don’t want to be discriminatory, even toward a discriminating institution.  I will focus on the people involved here and not the institution itself - because, if I have learned anything in my miniscule thirty years on this planet, it is that an institutions beliefs have little to nothing to do with that of the majority of its members.  Geez, maybe I should just turn off my overly-analytical switch and let my kid be a kid.  For goodness sakes, it’s just the cubscouts.  It’s just making pinewood derby cars and camping and fishing. Right?

Posted in Daily Living, Mental Environment, Social Justice | No Comments »

Turning a blind eye

Thembi recording her audio diary in Khayelitsha township.
Photo of Thembi Nguban

I think it is human nature to force out, or simply ignore, tragedy that it not our own. This is not the most upbeat way to start the week, but something that has been on my mind for a great deal of time.

I had heard a piece on NPR about an African woman named Thembi. For a year she kept a recorded diary of her experience as a woman living with AIDS - she began the journal at the age of 19 when a producer met her during a more general interview he was doing about the AIDS culture in Africa. I sat in my car, very late for work, and could not pry myself away from the radio. Her story captivated and saddened me. It was an awakening - it reminded me that even though this was not my story that it was still something I should be actively aware and responsive about. I urge you to go and listen to her story - and to remember that it could be you or someone you know one day. Get active.

Posted in Social Justice | 1 Comment »