On the holiday celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it seems appropriate to highlight citizens of the United States standing up for our better natures. Here's a story from Lowell, Massachusetts reported by MSNBC.
A group of veterans held an “eat-in” at an immigrant-owned restaurant to show support for the eatery after a man threw a 20-pound building stone through the front window, frightening the family and raising fears that they were the target of a hate crime.
Some 40 to 50 vets -- from World War II, Vietnam, the Korean war and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq -- turned up at the Babylon Restaurant in downtown Lowell, Mass., on Tuesday night.
The Al-Zubaydi family, who came to the U.S. in October 2010 from Uzbekistan, opened Babylon about seven months ago. Like other immigrants, they were simply trying to make their way in their new American home, said Patrick Scanlon, a Vietnam veteran and local coordinator of Veterans for Peace.
…About 50 Iraqi families live in Lowell, said Scanlon. He noted other attacks on Iraqis, including a man who had two rocks thrown through his windows and a woman wearing a head covering being called "terrorist" by a man as she walked home from a supermarket.
…Leyla Al-Zubaydi said the family also doesn't believe it was a random attack. She said the family was trying to recover after such a scary episode, but the outpouring of support from the veterans renewed their confidence in the local community.
My musings on current events, current projects, current anxieties and current delights.
I started this under the Bush regime when any grain of sand thrown into the gears of the over-reaching imperial state seemed worthwhile.
I have worked to elect more and better Democrats -- and to hammer the shit out of them once we get them in office so they do the things their constituents want and need. It's a big job.
It's mighty uncomfortable, getting by in a declining empire where elites maintain their power by massaging our mean streaks and mobilizing our resentments. This country and this "civilization" may be on their way out, but there's nothing else to do except try to make them as humane as possible along the way. That and to celebrate the extraordinary love that sometimes accompanies our species' bumbling way.
And the end hasn't come til it comes, ever.
Visitors will find a lot of commentary on books I'm reading here. I am very intentionally reading more offline these days because when it feels hard to find direction, it's time to learn something new.
I'm a progressive political activist who runs trails and climbs mountains whenever any are available. I've had the privilege to work for justice in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador), in South Africa, in the fields of California with the United Farmworkers Union, and in the cities and schools of my own country. I'm a Christian of the Episcopalian flavor; we think and argue a lot. For work, I've done a bit of it all: run an old fashioned switch-board; remodeled buildings and poured concrete; edited and published periodicals, reports and books; and organized for electoral campaigns. I am currently an independent consultant to organizations seeking "help when you have to make a fight."