Monday, 22 May 2017

What would Jesus say?

Markus Dröge is the bishop of the Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia and ambassador for the House of One in Berlin. He openly discusses what it means to be truly Christian and points out that being Christian is not about defending traditions but about having a social mission. Dröge is convinced that the church has to actively react to right-wing populism that is on the rise - he refers to Trump and the German far-right party "Alternative for Germany" (AfD) and what they have in common.

The church, according to Dröge, does not tell people who to vote for but communicates Christian values and sees itself as a sort of sparring partner. From all political parties that there are in Germany, he chooses the AfD to talk about. And there is a reason why. The AfD is the defender of "western Christianity". But their political agenda, according to Dröge, is not Christian when they reject homosexuality, when they only accept a conservative family image, when they aggressively protect unborn life without being able to differentiate, when they promote the so-called German Leitkultur (often a rather nationalist and monocultural vision of German society that tends to solve any problem with cultural assimilation), or when they reject Islam.
Last year, the AfD published a paper saying that the party had to be politically incorrect, that the party in fact needed to provoke. Dröge explains the mechanism: After the provocation, the party denies that it has ever provoked and says that it was only one member's opinion. By doing so, the party makes sure that it is always present in the media. Apart from that, the misanthropic ideas that are constantly repeated start being normalised after a while. Society gets used to them and finally a great many people do not realise that they find inhumane remarks normal.
Dröge asks the question what Jesus would say. Altruism, Christian love or Christian charity do not mean loving your own national traditions, your own family, your own native country, and people who share your religion. Christian love crosses cultural and religious borders. Dröge comes to the conclusion that the values of the church and the values of the AfD are incompatible.

Content from Markus Dröge's speech "Was haben wir Christen, was hat die Evangelische Kirche, dem wachsenden Rechtspopulismus entgegenzusetzen?, 25 March 2017, via

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photograph via

Sunday, 21 May 2017

"The I Hate to Cook Book" (1960)

"Some women, it is said, like to cook. This book is not for them."
Peg Bracken

Ruth Eleanor "Peg" Bracken (1918-2007) was the US-American author of books such as "The I Hate to Cook Book" (1960). "The I Hate to  Housekeep Book" (1962) and "The Appendix to the I Hate to Cook Book". Her recipes had unusual names and sardonic comments. She offered quick-witted recipes that were founded on the principle that her "standard position in regard to cooking is on the sofa with my feet up". Bracken understood "the silent tyranny of cooking", the demands, the social pressures, and the need to ease the 1960s' housewife's tasks. Male editors did not agree. The first half-dozen editors - all men - she approached, thought US-American women were not unhappy with their lot and did not want to publish her manuscript. Things changed when she finally found a woman editor at Harcourt Brace; more than three million copies of the book were sold (via), various editions were published (via).

"Male editors were afraid of it because they were convinced that women regarded anything that had to do with cooking very seriously and would not stand for an attitude that was the least bit flippant."
Peg Bracken

Her book aimed to make cooking easier by using common, convenient ingredients (e.g. crushed cornflakes instead of breadcrumbs). She also used plenty of alcohol or suggested taking a shortcut and just drinking it. It was about saving time as her books was meant to appeal to "those of us who want to fold our big dishwater hands around a dry Martini instead of a wet flounder" (via).
"When the sun has set and the party starts to bounce, you want to be in there bouncing too, not stuck all by yourself out in the kitchen, deep-fat frying small objects or wrapping oysters in bacon strips." Peg Bracken
"We don’t get our creative kicks from adding an egg, we get them from painting pictures or bathrooms, or potting geraniums or babies, or writing stories or amendments, or, possibly, engaging in some interesting type of psycho-neuro-chemical research like seeing if, perhaps, we can replace colloids with sulphates. And we simply love ready-mixes." 
Peg Bracken
Skid Road Stroganoff (literally via)
Start cooking those noodles, first dropping a bouillon cube into the noodle water. Brown the garlic, onion and crumbled beef in the oil. Add the flour, salt, paprika and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink.

Trivia: Before becoming famous, Bracken worked as an advertising copywriter along with Homer Groening, father of the great Matt Groening (via).

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image via

Monday, 15 May 2017

Franco Basaglia, Democratic Psychiatry & the Closure of Psychiatric Hospitals in Italy

"Many were seduced by Basaglia’s intellect and his personality (including those who had never met him). He was charismatic and charming, and he inspired love and admiration, but also fear, jealousy and sometimes hatred. He became a hero to many, but also an anti-hero for those who were opposed to the movements linked to 1968 (as well as for some who were key figures in ‘1968’ itself). In 1968, he became a symbol for a whole epoch overnight, a household name. A key law was later named after him, a rare honour in Italy, especially for a non-politician."
John Foot (2014)

Franco Basaglia (1924-1980) - "the most influential Italian psychiatrist of the 20th century" - studied medicine and surgery at the prestigious university of Padua and spent the years after his graduation studying the philosophical ideas of Sartre, Husserl, Heidegger, and Jaspers, as well as critics of psychiatric institutions such as Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman. He worked at university and specialised in the field of "nervous and mental diseases", then left university as he was "too sharp, too unorthodox, too original, not servile enough" to progress within the university system. Basaglia left and became the director of the provincial asylum of Gorizia which had about 500 patients (after this position he became the director of asylums in other cities). When he arrived at the Lunatic Asylum of Gorizia in 1961, he was "revolted by what he observed": locked doors, straits jackets, ice packs, bed ties and insulin-coma shock therapies in response to human suffering. Basaglia refused to bind patients to their beds and abolished isolation methods. He introduced democracy within the asylum: doctors did not wear white coats and mingled with patients, locked wards were opened, bars and strait-jackets were removed.
Thanks to his initiative, a debate started all over Italy that finally resulted in a paradigm shift seeing recovery as participation and citizenship, a shift that led to the gradual closure of mental hospitals. The so-called "Basaglia Law" (Law 180, Italian Mental Health Act) was passed in 1978 which restructured mental health care and closed all psychiatric hospitals in Italy.

Basaglia's main criticism was that psychiatry's approach was to oppress persons instead of curing and liberating them. He was convinced that  the entire asylum system was morally bankrupt and reducing inmates to "non-persons" or "hollow men" (via and via and via and via).
"We want to change the pattern that makes the patient a dead body and strive to transform the dead mental patient in the asylum into a living person, responsible for his own health." Franco Basaglia, cited in Roberto Mezzina
For Basaglia, stereotypes of madness were consequences of institutional conditions. In other words, some eccentric behaviour patterns were exacerbated or even created by the institutions themselves. Inmates were "the excluded", a "deviant majority" that was interned against their will and broken down by this very system. Psychiatric hospitals were prison-like, oppressive institutions. Both architecturally and functionally they were similar to prisons. Basaglia himself, by the way, had spent six months in prison after being arrested for being an anti-fascist activist  (via and via).
This was a collective ‘no’. And this ‘no’ changed the world. It was not acceptable to treat people in that way – without rights, without autonomy, without knives and forks, without hair, without any control over their own treatment. It was wrong to electrocute these people, cut out bits of their brains or tie them up for years on end. This movement was a struggle for liberation, for democracy and for equality. These 100,000 inmates of mental asylums had disappeared from history.
They needed to re-emerge – to be given back their own identity and dignity. This generation of politicians and psychiatrists was a post-war, anti-fascist generation. There was something profoundly anti-fascist about the anti-asylum movement. It was a movement about human rights. The people inside the asylums were people.
John Foot (2014)

"Democratic Psychiatry", created by Franco Basaglia, was never "antipsychiatric" but a movement to liberate the ill from segregation in mental hospitals (via). Its implementation was and is not easy and it is debated to what extent the reform has made changes in the general picture of psychiatric care (Palermo, 1991). Literature on Basaglia either tends towards idealisation or demonisation portraying him as a secular saint or an irresponsible radical (via). Basaglia was not a saint but he surely "helped to transform the way we see mental illness" and it was his work that "saved countless people from a miserable existence". His "legacy persists, as an object lesson in the struggle against the brutality and ignorance that the establishment peddles to the public as common sense" (John Foot, 2015).
The history, biography and practice of Franco Basaglia and the psichiatria democratica (democratic psychiatry) movement he partly led and inspired has, with a few exceptions, been consistently misinterpreted in the English-speaking world (and in particular in the UK, although one exception is Ramon, 1988). Let us take, for example, the judgements of two of the leading historians of ‘madness’ and ‘asylums’. In 2002, Roy Porter wrote: ‘In Italy, leadership of the movement was assumed by the psychiatrist Franco Basaglia, who helped engineer the rapid closure of institutions (chaos resulted)’ (Porter, 2002: 210). In 1994, Porter referred to Basaglia as ‘Enrico Basaglia’ and labeled him as a ‘boisterous anti-psychiatrist’ (Porter and Micale, 1994: 20). Andrew Scull’s judgement on Basaglia was similarly brief, in 2011: ‘In Italy, led by the charismatic Franco Bassaglia [sic], the political left led the charge’ (Scull, 2011: 113). A more balanced and well-informed account (although with some errors) can be found in Burns (2013: xlvi, 148–9, 183). However, even here, Basaglia is described as a ‘Gramscian Marxist’.
The origins of these snap and inaccurate judgements lie in a series of areas. First, Basaglia’s work was not translated into English, including (and most importantly) L’istituzione negata (Basaglia, 1968). This book was, however, quickly translated with success into numerous other languages.
John Foot (2014)
“Tomorrow morning, at visiting time, when without any lexicon you try to communicate with these men, you will be able to remember and recognise that, in comparison with them, you are superior in only one way: force.”
Franco Basaglia

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photographs via and via

Monday, 8 May 2017

Quoting Paul McCartney (II)

"I used to think that anyone doing anything weird was weird. I suddenly realized that anyone doing anything weird wasn't weird at all and it was the people saying they were weird that were weird." 
Paul McCartney

Related posting: Quoting Paul McCartney

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photograph of Paul McCartney by Linda McCartney via

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Losing my religion for equality, by Jimmy Carter (2017)

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices - as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy - and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: "The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable."

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world's major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn't until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

Jimmy Carter, 27 April 2017 via

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photograph by Platon Antoniou via

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Message from a black man (1969)

[Melvin:] Yes, my skin is black,
But that's no reason to hold me back
[Eddie:] Why don't you think about it,
Think about it, think about it, think about it,
Think about it...
I have wants and desires,
Just like you
So move on the side
'Cause I'm comin' through, oh!

[Temptations:] No matter how hard you try
You can't stop me now
Eddie and Temptations: No matter how hard you try
You can't stop me now, oooh...

[Melvin:] Yes, your skin is white...
Does that make you right?
[Eddie:] Why don't you think about it,
Think about it, think about it, think about it,
Think about it...
This is a message
A message to y'all,
Together we stand,
Divided we fall, oh!

[Dennis:] Black is a color
Just like white,
Tell me how can a color determine whether
You're wrong or right,
We all have our faults...
Yes we do

[Eddie:] So look in your mirror
[Temptations:] Look in the mirror
[Eddie:] What do you see?
[Temptations:] What do you see?
[Eddie:] Two eyes,
[Temptations:] Two eyes,
[Eddie:] A nose, and a mouth just like me, oh!

[Eddie:] Your eyes are open
But you refuse to see,
The laws of society
Were made for both you and me,
Because of my color,
I struggle to be free
Sticks and stones,
May break my bones
But in the end,
You're gonna' see my friend, oh!

[Temptations:] No matter how hard you try
You can't stop me now
[chorus repeated several times through music, or "the bridge"]

[after a few minutes, above chorus is repeated as song nears end, and then...]

[Temptations:] Say it loud!
No matter how hard you try
You can't stop me now

[Temptations:] Say it loud!
No matter how hard you try
You can't stop me now

[Temptations:] Say it!
No matter how hard you try
You can't stop me now

[Temptations:] Say it loud!
No matter how hard you try
You can't stop me now

[Temptations:] Say it loud!
[Dennis:] I'm black and I'm proud!
[Temptations:] No matter how hard you try
You can't stop me now

[Temptations:] Say it loud!
[Dennis:] I'm black and I'm proud!
[Temptations:] No matter how hard you try
You can't stop me now

(lyrics via)

"'Message From a Black Man' was a popular radio request in 1969, although the Temptations themselves, who thought the record too forward, never performed it live." (via)

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photograph by Jim Britt via

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Half a Life

"It deals with the whole issue of growing old and how society deals with the elderly and, in my mind, it was one of the most pertinent story-lines I have done."
Les Landau, director

"Half a Life", the 96th episode of "The Next Generation" - a morality play about ageism - was first released in 1991 (via). Dr. Timicin of the planet Kaelon II boards the Starship Enterprise in order to test an experiment that is supposed to save his planet. Lwaxana Troi - daughter of the Fifth House of Betazed, the Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, and Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed - and Dr. Timicin fall in love with each other. Timicin, however, has to return to his planet to dutifully die. As he is turning 60, he is expected to commit suicide as society cannot be expected to take care of the elderly (via).

Some excerpts:

LWAXANA: I don't know. I just can't accept that fate will allow me to meet him like this and then take him away. I mean, he's not ill. He hasn't had a tragic accident. He's just going to die, and for no good reason. Because his society has decided that he's too old, so they just dispose of him as though his life no longer had value or meaning. You can't possibly understand at your age, but at mine, sometimes you feel tired and afraid.


TIMICIN: I want to explain. I want very much for you to understand. Fifteen or twenty centuries ago, we had no Resolution. We had no such concern for our elders. As people aged, their health failed, they became invalids. Those whose families could no longer care for them were put away in deathwatch facilities, where they waited in loneliness for the end to come, sometimes for years. They had meant something, and they were forced to live beyond that, into a time of meaning nothing, of knowing they could now only be the beneficiaries of younger people's patience. We are no longer that cruel, Lwaxana.

LWAXANA: No, no, you're not cruel to them. You just kill them.

TIMICIN: The Resolution is a celebration of life. It allows us to end our lives with dignity.

LWAXANA: A celebration of life. It sounds very noble, very caring. What you're really saying is you got rid of the problem by getting rid of the people.

TIMICIN: It may sound that way, but it is a time of transition. One generation passing on the responsibilities of life to the next.

LWAXANA: What about the responsibility of caring of the elderly?

TIMICIN: That would place a dreadful burden on the children.

LWAXANA: We raise them, we care for them, we suffer for them. We keep them from harm their whole lives. Eventually, it's their turn to take care of us.

TIMICIN: No parent should expect to be paid back for the love they've given their children.

LWAXANA: Well why the hell not?


LWAXANA: But it makes no sense. Some of your people could still be active at seventy or eighty, and others might be seriously ill at fifty.

(transcript via)

According to a British survey carried out in 2011, the elderly believe they have become invisible in today's youth-obsessed society, they feel ignored, silenced, written off and ridiculed. One participant said that young people talked to the elderly "as if they want us to go away and die" (via).

images via and via and via

Friday, 28 April 2017

The Drumhead

The Drumhead is the 95th episode of "The Next Generation" and originally aired in 1991. The courtroom drama was directed by Jonathan Frakes, is one of Michael Dorn's favourite episodes and has Jean Simmons starring as Admiral Norah Satie (via).

"An explosion aboard the Enterprise leads to a high-level investigation headed by Admiral Norah Satie, a retired officer renowned for her skill at exposing conspiracies. Satie quickly determines that a visiting Klingon officer was attempting to smuggle diagrams off the ship, but the Klingon denies any involvement in the explosion. Satie refuses to give up on her investigation, even after the explosion is proven to be an accident, and she accuses Captain Jean-Luc Picard of treason when he challenges her charges against an innocent crewman." (via)

Interrogation room

SABIN: Isn't it true that the paternal grandfather of whom you speak was not a Vulcan but was in fact a Romulan? That it is Romulan blood you carry and a Romulan heritage that you honour?
(Riker whispers in Simon's ear)
SABIN: We're waiting, Mister Tarses.
TARSES: On the advice of my counsel I refuse to answer that question, in that the answer may serve to incriminate me.

Observation lounge

WORF: You and Crewman Marcus will coordinate to track Tarses' movements over the last five years. Ensign Kellogg, I want a list of all relatives, known associates, and especially old school friends. And make arrangements to do an encephalographic polygraph scan.
PICARD: Mister Worf?
WORF: Yes, Captain?
PICARD: I need to speak with you.
WORF: You are dismissed. Please get your reports to me as soon as possible.
(the security officers leave)
PICARD: Do you see what is happening here, Mister Worf?
WORF: Sir?
PICARD: This is not unlike a drumhead trial.
WORF: I do not understand.
PICARD: Five hundred years ago, military officers would upend a drum on the battlefield sit at it and dispense summary justice. Decisions were quick, punishments severe, appeals denied. Those who came to a drumhead were doomed.
WORF: But we know there is a traitor here. J'Dan has admitted his guilt.
PICARD: That's true, and he will stand for his crimes.
WORF: Tarses has all but done the same.
WORF: He refused to answer the question about his Romulan grandfather.
PICARD: That is not a crime, Worf. Nor can we infer his guilt because he didn't respond.
WORF: Sir, if a man were not afraid of the truth, he would answer.
PICARD: Oh, no. We cannot allow ourselves think that. The Seventh Guarantee is one of the most important rights granted by the Federation. We cannot take a fundamental principle of the Constitution and turn it against a citizen.
WORF: Sir, the Federation does have enemies. We must seek them out.
PICARD: Oh, yes. That's how it starts. But the road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think. Something is wrong here, Mister Worf. I don't like what we have become.


PICARD: I am deeply concerned by what is happening here. It began when we apprehended a spy, a man who admitted his guilt and who will answer for his crime. But the hunt didn't end there. Another man, Mister Simon Tarses, was brought to trial and it was a trial, no matter what others choose to call it. A trial based on insinuation and innuendo. Nothing substantive offered against Mister Tarses, much less proven. Mister Tarses' grandfather is Romulan, and for that reason his career now stands in ruins. Have we become so fearful? Have we become so cowardly that we must extinguish a man because he carries the blood of a current enemy? Admiral, let us not condemn Simon Tarses, or anyone else, because of their bloodlines, or investigate others for their innocent associations. I implore you, do not continue with this proceeding. End it now.


PICARD: You know, there (sic) some words I've known since I was a school boy. With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably. Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie as wisdom and warning. The first time any man's freedom is trodden on, we're all damaged. I fear that today

Observation lounge

WORF: Am I bothering you, Captain?
PICARD: No. Please, Mister Worf. Come in.
WORF: It is over. Admiral Henry has called an end to any more hearings on this matter.
PICARD: That's good.
WORF: Admiral Satie has left the Enterprise.
PICARD: We think we've come so far. The torture of heretics, the burning of witches, it's all ancient history. Then, before you can blink an eye, it suddenly threatens to start all over again.
WORF: I believed her. I helped her. I did not see what she was.
PICARD: Mister Worf, villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged.
WORF: I think after yesterday, people will not be as ready to trust her.
PICARD: Maybe. But she, or someone like her, will always be with us, waiting for the right climate in which to flourish, spreading fear in the name of righteousness. Vigilance, Mister Worf, that is the price we have to continually pay.

(transcript via)

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images via and via and via

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Born this day ... Coretta Scott King

"She was a staunch freedom fighter."
Jesse Jackson

"She was the glue that held the movement together."
John Lewis

Coretta Scott King, the "First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement" was born on 27 April 1927. She met Martin Luther King, Jr. while in college; they married in 1953. After his death, she continued "to stand up with courage and ferocity for her husband's values", she "devoted the rest of her life to keeping alive the flame her husband had lit" and took on the leadership of the struggle for black US-Americans' equality, established Martin Luther King Day and the King Center, fought against apartheid and advocated women's rights and LGBT rights. The grandchild of slaves had been politically active long before meeting her husband, later worked side-by-side with him, then guarded his legacy.

"Sometimes, I am also identified as a civil rights leader or a human rights activist. I would also like to be thought of as a complex, three-dimensional, flesh-and-blood human being with a rich storehouse of experiences, much like everyone else, yet unique in my own way, much like everyone else." Coretta Scott King
Coretta Scott grew up in a society that normalised racism and segregation, saw her parents' home being burned down and neighbours disappear whose bodies were found hanging from trees. She attended a one-room elementary school 8 km from her home and was later bused to Lincoln Normal School which was the closest black high school in Marion, Alabama and 14 km from her home. Shen then enrolled in Antioch College in Ohio and applied for the Interracial Scholarhip Fund for financial aid which was a means of Antioch to diversify the historically white campus. Her older sister Edythe already attended Antioch and had become the first black American to attend the school on a completely integrated basis. Coretta Scott studied music and "envisioned a career for herself in the music industry she knew would not be possible if she were to marry Martin Luther King". Her dream of  becoming a classical singer had to be given up - "giving up on her own ambitions would become symbolic of the actions of African-American women during the movement".
"Though such women have rarely been given voice, they were the staunch backbone of the civil rights movement. They raised funds as well as children, did the accounting as well as the housework, taught school and cooked meal. They kept the minutes at NAACP meetings, played organ at church, coordinated their husbands' schedules."  The New York Times
Coretta Scott King received more than forty honorary doctorates, was the first woman to preach at St Paul's Cathedral and the first woman to give the class day address at Harvard. She passed away on 31 January 2006 (via and via and via) leaving her own legacy (via).

"On Thanksgiving Night, 1942, when I was fifteen years old, white racists burned our house to the ground." Coretta Scott King

"I think that... discrimination in the job market is a very important area where work needs to be done." Coretta Scott King

"In the area of economic justice, we still have a long way to go. We have too many people who are discriminated against just because they happen to be black or they happen to be a woman or some other minority." Coretta Scott King

"To abandon affirmative action is to say there is nothing more to be done about discrimination." Coretta Scott King

"I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation." Coretta Scott King

"Wherever there was injustice, war, discrimination against women, gays and the disadvantaged, I did my best to show up and exert moral persuasion." Coretta Scott King

"Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood." Coretta Scott King

"Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union." Coretta Scott King

"A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing to protect traditional marriages." Coretta Scott King

"I don't see how you can separate human rights and the rights of all people, no matter what their sexual orientation is." Coretta Scott King

"The woman power of this nation can be the power which makes us whole and heals the rotten community, now so shattered by war and poverty and racism. I have great faith in the power of women who will dedicate themselves whole-heartedly to the task of remaking our society." Coretta Scott King

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photographs via and via

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Quoting Erich Fromm

"Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?"
Erich Fromm

photograph of Erich Seligmann Fromm (1900-1980) via