I am so inspired by the recent political revolutions happening in the Mid-East. It is as if someone flipped a switch and the whole region decided it was time to challenge the dictators in power. I just love it when people realise that they are the ones who should be in control.
To be sure, there are times when the people are glad to have someone else run everything. They are happy to just go on their merry way, live their lives and not focus too much on the way the country is being ruled. This is part of the ebb and flow of a dictator’s existence. The quiet of the people helps the dictator establish himself in power.
It is the disquiet of the people where things start to change.
The people begin to recognise little things that are wrong or that favour the ruler instead of the people. They start to see the benevolent leader turn into a malevolent ruler. It is a process that has happened over and over in history – and the end result is always the same…the people revolt.
There is something instinctive inside a human that tells them when a leader has crossed the line. I have enjoyed seeing the photos coming out of places like Tunisia, Egypt and now Jordan (The Syrians are calling for protests to begin as well). The photos out of Egypt show a strong showing of women involved in the protests to out President Hosni Mubarak.
Whatever the cultural and social influences that create a racist, I seemed to have been immune to them during my developmental years. It was not as if I did not interact with racists. I grew up in Middle America where racial ignorance abounds. Yet, somehow race hate never took hold in me.
A few years ago, I read something about race that has long stuck with me. It was a passage from “When God Was A Woman” by Merlin Stone. The book is not about race, of course, but this one sentence caught me and I’ve always remembered it. Speaking of the aggressive northern Aryan invaders, who felt themselves superior to the more civil and developed Near East inhabitants, the author said, “But historical, mythological and archaeological evidence suggest that it was these northern people who brought with them the concepts of light as good and dark as evil (very possibly the symbolism of their racial attitudes toward the darker people of the southern areas) and of a supreme male deity.”
When I read that passage, I stopped reading and chewed over the notion that perhaps it was at that point in history when racism started and continued spreading to the extent that in much of the world, a person’s skin colour became a determining factor in how much respect and freedom that person should be afforded.
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, this racist ideology pervaded and money hungry individuals ripped whole groups of people away from their homes in other lands and made them live in conditions that even animals were not forced to endure. People with dark skin lost their culture, freedom and dignity to men who insisted they were superior because their skin was lighter.
I recently wrote a column captioned, “Power, Priests, Pedophilia and Corruption,” in which I called for justice for the victims of rapist priests from the Catholic Church.
Subsequently, I received a response from Leon Jameson Suseran, an individual whom I respect. Leon took issue with my column and felt my rage against the rapist priests must be due to a vendetta I have against the Catholic Church. He felt I was judging an entire organization based on the actions of a few.
Leon told me, “Do not judge people, Stella, you do not know what struggles priests go through.” With respect, such reasoning would translate that society at large should also restrain from judging rapists who are not Catholic priests because we do not know what struggles they have faced in life. That is just preposterous, Leon.
Regardless of what causes a priest to rape a child, a predator is a predator – dangerous – and should thus be removed from society and locked away where they cannot prey on anyone else. This is true in civilized society and it should be true regarding priests who rape as well.
It was magnanimous of Pope Benedict XVI to ask the forgiveness of the rape victims on behalf of the Church, but the victims rightly desire more than an acknowledgment of this wrong, they want justice. A more righteous gesture from the Pope, and one that should be instinctive, would be to turn the criminal priests all over to the authorities so the victims can be assured of justice.
Though I have never hit another person, if there is one thing above all else that maddens me to the point that I could react in a physical way, it is when I hear of someone hurting a child. It is for this reason, that I consider the ongoing scandal about pedophile priests to be one of the vilest portrayals of human depravity.
The truly ironic part is that this base depravity comes from those who are supposed to champion moral living. Children are innocent, helpless and trusting. How on earth can a “man of morals” crush that innocence just to feed an ache for sex? I know the answer to my own question, no man of morals could.
Regardless of what the Catholic Church says, the priests who rape and sodomize children are not representatives of God on earth. I am not a religious person anymore, but from my decades of religious background I know the church believes in God and Satan and I would say these priests represent the latter far better than the former.
On a Thursday morning two weeks ago, Belgian police raided two Church offices and the home of a former archbishop just as a conference was beginning with local bishops to discuss, among other things, what should be done with old files that proved Belgian priests had raped children.
I have followed this ongoing story that has spanned worldwide for two reasons. The first reason is that it boggles my mind that these supposed men of God could betray their consciences, congregants and God with such pure wickedness.
This week in India a group of women, who were tired of waiting for the men to get down to business, started an all-woman political party to offer an alternative to the traditionally male-dominated political parties in India.
The United Women Front (UWF) party intends to give special attention to issues affecting women like dowries (because the bride is such a burden on her husband even though she will clean, cook and bear children for him for the rest of her life) and abortion of female foetuses (kill the girl because a boy is far more valuable).
It is about time the women stood up for themselves. For example, there is bill in India’s Parliament requiring at least 33 percent of federal and state legislatures be reserved for women. This bill, called the Women’s Reservation Bill, has been pending in Parliament for over a decade!
According to newindpress.com, UWF President, Suman Krishan, said:
“Despite having the second highest population in the world, of which women constitute 50 percent, the average representation of women in Parliament is a dismal low of just 8.8 per cent.”
The world average is 17 percent, which is still pretty pathetic.
Openness in governing remains an elusive goal in many parts of the world, which includes the fact that Freedom of Information (FOI) acts are still non-existent even in some supposedly democratic nations. However, it seems innovation has found a way around any governments’ refusal to openly share information and will no doubt be to the benefit of all free (and not-so-free) people.
Wikipedia is an online source of information that has made a sound impact on modern culture. Anyone in the world can contribute or edit entries on any subject; thereby creating the healthiest encyclopedia that has ever existed.
Now these remarkably inventive Wiki people have gone one step further and created a new site specifically designed for those who have valuable information to share about their governments and corporations. The site is called Wikileaks (www.wikileaks.org). Oh baby, is this going to be so much fun.