"We felt that doing nothing in a period of repressive violence is itself a form of violence. That's really the part that I think is the hardest for people to understand. If you sit in your house, live your white life and go to your white job, and allow the country that you live in to murder people and to commit genocide, and you sit there and you don't do anything about it, that's violence." - Naomi Jaffe
How do I take part, really take part, in no longer being a silent participant in all the hate, this war, the terrorist economy?Cindy Sheehan has quit her activism, begun in 2005 after her son's death while serving in the military. The recent vote allowing for more funding and no deadlines for Iraq did it to her. It took her a lot to give up. She had all kind of poeple on her side but, instead of realizing that she was working within the dichotomy provided by our government (reps vs. dems, soldier supporters vs. war haters, etc.), she grew frustrated. Not to say that she wouldn't have grown frustrated if she'd taken steps outside of these spaces, but she might have felt as though she was really reaching something. Instead, Cindy discovered a movement "that often puts personal egos above peace and human life."
No surprise. Most of my activism work has revealed that ugly truth. It was just a month ago that I got this forward in an email about a supposedly great article about liberation - i clicked away only to see my ex supervisor from allgo talking what he used to always talked while he stuffed his mouth with tacos and mexican cokes - but there was little movement.
I'll be open to say that I didn't care for Cindy's "insider" view - that she was devasted that her son entered a war neither of them supported but couldn't change his opinion or his reasoning - sometimes saying nothing implies support - or that she thought she could work within the system because she was an average American mom (make note Americans - your voice is no stronger than anyone elses' in this place) - but I know the hurt when you discover those who were on your side were not really on your side or worse, are with you only while your face is sweet and your mouth is using the same language they would have you use.
Pobrecita - her struggle is not just the struggle of being an activist in a fucked up system - it's the struggle of what a mother has to do in order to grieve for her son. She should not have felt so alone in either of these processes.