Saturday, November 14, 2015

Upcoming events for the week of November 15, 2015



UPCOMING EVENTS

11/15/15 BLACK LIVES MATTER SUNDAY 
At 10 AM, Hill Street Baptist Church of Asheville will host Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead as a guest speaker. She is an Associate Professor of Communications and African and African-American Studies at Loyola University in Maryland. Professor Wise Whitehead is an historian who works in the black documentary tradition.  This event is open to the public.

11/15/15 TALK AT UNCA FOR BLACK LIVES MATTER SUNDAY
Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead is an Associate Professor of Communications and African and African-American Studies at Loyola University in Maryland. Professor Wise Whitehead is an historian who works in the black documentary tradition.  She will be the guest speaker at an event at UNCA at 4 PM. The location will be the grotto in the Highsmith Building. This event is open to the public.

11/15/15 BUILDING A RADICAL PARTY OF THE LEFT
Red-Green Alliance: Building a Radical Party of the Left: A conversation with Jill Stein and the International Socialist Organization. This will run from 6 to 8 PM and location is the Alumni Hall of Highsmith Student Union at UNCA. A meet-and greet and fund raiser will follow at Block Off Biltmore Bar & Restaurant (39 S Market St, Asheville) starting at 8:30 PM. The UNC–Asheville branch of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) is hosting the Jill Stein campaign for a talk on UNCA campus. Stein was the 2012 Green Party presidential candidate and is running again for 2016. Join the Asheville ISO chapter (Asheville Socialists), local Green Party members, and allied people for a discussion with Jill about the importance of building an alternative party completely independent from the capitalist two-party system. We need systemic change. Speakers include: Jill Stein (Green Party Presidential Candidate), Jacob Cook (an ISO organizer in Asheville), Bruce Dixon (editor of the “Black Agenda Report”) and Jess Burroughs (ISO student organizer). Please contact Michael Dennis with questions at mikeldennis@me.com or 717-873-0588.

11/15/15 FILM AT FIRESTORM CAFE
On June 28, 2009, the people of Honduras were preparing to vote in their country's first-ever referendum. However, instead of waking up to ballot boxes they rose to find their streets full of soldiers. The first coup d'état in Central America in three decades. Beginning with the historic moment of the coup, “Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley” follows three key members of the farmers' resistance over four years as they attempt to implement participatory democracy in their new communities. All while trying to survive the violent reaction of the landlord and the coup regime. Time is 1 PM and location is Firestorm Cafe & Books at 610 Haywood Street in west Asheville. Contact Firestorm at info@firestorm.coop for more information.

11/16/15 PUBLIC INPUT TO NANTAHALA AND PISGAH PLAN REVISION
As a requirement to forest plan revision process, the USDA Forest Service will do evaluations of lands that may be suitable for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System, and identifying rivers for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. These evaluation materials will be available in late October on the Forest Service USDA’s website. Then a public meeting will be held for input from the general public on these evaluations. Time is 6 to 8 PM and location is Mountain View Room, Kimmel Arena, UNCA in Asheville. Meetings are open to the public. Contact Joan at joan@mountaintrue.org for more information.

11/16/15 PUBLIC HEARING ON I-26 CONNECTOR
A Public Hearing will be held on November 16th at the Renaissance Hotel Grand Ballroom, 31 Woodfin Street in Asheville. NCDOT representatives will be available between 4 PM and 6:30 PM for the Pre-Hearing Open House to answer questions and receive comments on the project. The formal public hearing that will then begin at 7 PM with a review of the project, followed by a public comment session. Public comments on the DEIS [Draft Environmental Impact Study] will be received through December 16, 2015. Contact Joan at joan@mountaintrue.org for more information.

11/16/15 MOVE TO AMEND BUNCOMBE COUNTY MEETING
Location is the North Asheville Library at 1030 Merrimon Avenue in Asheville. Time is 7 PM. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Diana at  dianakruk@gmail.com  or 828-275-0680. 

11/16/15 UNITED NATIONS SPEAKER AT UNCA
Mogens Lykketoft, President of the United Nations General Assembly, will give a talk “The United Nations at 70: Reflections of the Past and Prospects for the Future”.  Time is 11 AM and location is the Reuter Center at UNC Asheville. His talk is free and open to the public. Lykketoft of Denmark was elected unanimously in September to serve a one-year term leading the General Assembly, the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the U.N., and the only one in which all 193 member nations have equal representation. The issues facing the U.N. this year include the Syrian refugee crisis, climate change and sustainable development, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Denmark, Lykketoft has been a leading figure in the Social Democratic Party, serving as Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, and from 2011-2015, as Speaker of the Danish Folketing (parliament). He is an economist by training and a veteran parliamentarian and government minister. Lykketoft comes to UNC Asheville at the invitation of the university’s Carol Belk Distinguished Professor Mark Gibney, a leader in the field of international human rights law, who is also the Raoul Wallenberg Visiting Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden. For more information, call 828.250.3870.

11/16/15 ASHEVILLE/BUNCOMBE HOUSING SUMMIT
A dynamic conversation about how public and private sectors can work together to meet our housing needs. Hosted by Asheville City Council. Time is 2 to 5 PM. Location is the US Cellular Center Banquet Hall. Keynote speaker is Laura Clark, executive director of Renaissance West Community Initiative. Panel discussions will follow on challenges and opportunities in affordable housing development. Reception to follow. Please RSVP by email to kmorrow@ashevillenc.gov.

11/16/15 FILM AT MARS HILL UNIVERSITY
Screening of “The Homestretch” a documentary about homelessness in Chicago. Showing of the film is sponsored by CAB and the Center for Community Engagement at the university. The public is welcome. This event is part of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week at MHU, Nov. 14-21. Time is 7 to 8 PM and location is Belk Auditorium at Mars Hill University. 

11/17/15 WNC 4 PEACE MEETING
Location is the North Asheville Community Center at 37 E. Larchmont Street in north Asheville. Time is 6 PM. Contact Craig at herbzone@gmail.com for more information. 

11/17/15 PISGAH LEGAL SERVICES AMBASSADOR TRAINING
We will be hosting our next Ambassador Training on Tuesday, Nov. 17th from 11:45 AM to 1 PM to provide our board members, volunteers and supporters with an overview of key information about Pisgah Legal Services' programs, plans and fundraising. Lunch will be served. This will be held at 62 Charlotte Street in Asheville. Ambassador trainings are also a wonderful opportunity for Pisgah Legal staff to hear your insights on how we communicate our messages to the community. We appreciate your participation. Please RSVP to Lindsay at lindsay@pisgahlegal.org or 210.3405 to let us know if you plan to attend and if you would like lunch. 

11/17/15 DEALING WITH HOMELESSNESS IN BUNCOMBE COUNTY
Are you homeless or formerly homeless? Are you worried you might become homeless? If so, please join us to talk about the best ways to help people avoid homelessness, get out of homelessness, and stay safe while they are homeless. Asheville and Buncombe County are beginning to draft a new plan that will set priorities for how the local government and service agencies deal with homelessness. This plan will affect things like which programs get funded, what kind of help is available, and who gets that help. This meeting will happen at AHOPE at 19 North Ann Street in downtown Asheville. Time is 1 PM. Call AHOPE at 828-252-8883 for more information.

11/17/15 FILM AND PANEL DISCUSSION AT MARS HILL UNIVERSITY
NASA (Native American Student Association) will show the film "Smoke Signals" which was a popular film showing Native American people in a non-stereotypical way but sending up the stereotypes often experienced by the people themselves. NASA will continue the conversation in a panel discussion after the film that started during the screening of the film “Reel Injun” in October. This is likely to be a fun and informative event just before Thanksgiving week allowing students to think about the changing narrative of Native People in the US. Time is 7 to 9 PM. Location on campus was not listed on website, so contact alaysiabh@gmail.com for more information. 

11/18/15 GREEN DRINKS
Dive into The Magical World of Moss Gardening with Mossin’ Annie Martin. She is aWestern North Carolina native, educator, landscape designer and farmer. Her presentation will identify recommended species, teach basic propagation and design and install a moss garden – in 45 minute presentation. Check out her website and the latest Mountain Xpress article about her. Mosses are a gardener’s dream. These emerald beauties thrive where nothing else grows and provide year-round delights in all planting zones. Time is 5:30 and location is Twin Leaf Brewery at 144 Coxe Avenue in Asheville. Entrance is the big garage door on Banks Avenue.

11/18/15 NC WARN’S CLIMATE ROADSHOW
The Alliance for Energy Democracy, along with the Earth Team at First Congregational Church of Asheville, Creation Care Alliance of WNC and Transition Asheville will present NC WARN’s Climate Roadshow. Jim Warren, Executive Director of NC WARN will explain their Emergency Climate Response Campaign.  Jim and other NCWARN staff will engage you in a presentation and discussion on this new campaign, updated climate science, and what we can do about it. Participants will leave with more knowledge, hope and sense of power so that they can take effective action against Duke Energy on their climate change indifference. Time is 7 to 9 PM and location is the First Congregational Church Asheville at 20 Oak Street in Asheville. Free and open to the public. Please contact Richard at firepeople@main.nc.us for more information.

11/18/15 CREATION CARE ALLIANCE EVENT
Join Rev. Milly Morrow, Canon for Missional Formation and Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri, Director of The Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina (CCA) for food, coffee and conversation about youth ministry and creation care. CCA is looking for ways to support youth ministries in WNC and to create collaborative opportunities for youth to integrate their faith life with creation care. There are no strings attached to this event, it is not a fundraiser, nor a pitch for a curriculum. We are hoping to provide space for prayerful conversation about how we work with young people in a time of great ecological and social challenge. Time is 10 to 11:30 AM and location is Kairos West Community Center at 742 Haywood Road in west Asheville. This is a facebook event.

11/18/15 PROGRAM AT MARS HILL UNIVERSITY
Performer Charlie King presents “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Turn Me Around,” a history of the civil rights movement of African Americans from 1955 to 1967. The program will highlight people such as Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker. This is sponsored by the Social Work Department at Mars Hill University. It will be held from 7:30 to 9 PM at Broyhill Chapel at Mars Hill University.

11/19/15 HOMEWARD BOUND OF WNC TOUR
“Welcome Home Tour” is a tour of Asheville organizations that serve the homeless population. Registration required, free to attend. Time is 11 AM. Call 258-1695 for more information and for instructions on how to register.

11/19/15 WORKSHOP AND LECTURE AT UNCA
Workshop and lecture by Patty Stonefish of Arming Sisters, a non-profit focusing on raising awareness of violence against Native women. Free. Held in the Highsmith Union at UNCA. Time is 8 PM. 

11/19/15 PISGAH LEGAL EVENT
Give Thanks with Pisgah Legal Services and Ehrmann Law Office, P. A. Join us as we celebrate and give thanks with cocktails and inventive and inspiring bites by Table's critically acclaimed chef Jacob Sessoms. This will be held at the Historic Gudger House at 89 Montford Avenue in Asheville. Time is 5:30 to 7 PM. To RSVP contact Betsy Ellis at betsy@pisgahlegal.org or 828.210.3444.

11/19/15 HEALTH CARE SUPPER IN MARION
Join the Health Access Coalition for a Health Care Supper in Marion. As the Affordable Care Act is being implemented in our state, North Carolina lawmakers have blocked the Medicaid program from being expanded. This means that 500,000 working adults remain uninsured in 2015. Join the NC Justice Center's Health Access Coalition for an upcoming conversation event in Marion to discuss the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, how Medicaid expansion would help your community, the online marketplace for purchasing insurance and eligibility for tax credits for individuals and small businesses, including Special Enrollment Period. The event will be held on Thursday, November 19, at the Marion Community Building, located at 191 N. Main Street in Marion. Dinner will be at 5:30 PM, followed by the meeting from 6 to 7:30 PM. Call or email today to reserve a place for you and a friend - Nicole Dozier at nicole@ncjustice.org or (919) 856-2146.

11/19/15 PERSPECTIVES ON POVERTY PANEL DISCUSSION
This is an Asheville Interfaith Conversation, presented by Jubilee! Perspectives on Poverty Panel discussion followed by light refreshments will be held on Thursday, November 19, from 7 to 9 PM. Location is Jubilee! Community Church at 46 Wall Street in Asheville. This panel will feature Mohamed Taha, Imam, Islamic Center of Asheville; James Lee III, Assoc. Min., St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church & Partner, Kairos West; Howard Hanger, Founder, Jubilee Community Church; and Amy Cantrell, Co-founder, Be Loved Community. Asheville Interfaith Conversations welcomes people of all faiths and no faith. The goal is not to solve world problems but to create a respectful event where we can enjoy the rich tapestry of viewpoints, beliefs, and practices found in our community. Questions, please contact Vicki at 252-5335.

11/20/15 EVENT AT MALAPROPS
In Jimmy Guignard's sobering “Pedaling the Sacrifice Zone: Teaching, Writing, and Living Above the Marcellus Shale”, the author, a professor at Pennsylvania's Mansfield University, takes readers on a cycling tour “through the fraught landscape of his family's life in the *sacrifice zone*” of the Marcellus Shale, ground zero of the natural gas industry and fracking. Location is Malaprop’s on Haywood Street in Asheville. Time is 7 PM. Call Malaprops for more information.

11/20/15 WNC PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MEETING
The next WNC PSR monthly meeting will be at a private home near the VA Hospital. Brown bag lunch at noon with meeting from 12 noon to 2 PM. Everyone is welcome. For more information contact Dr. Terry Clark, Chair, 633-0892 or Dr. Lew Patrie, 299-1242.

11/20/15 CREATION CARE ALLIANCE CONCERT & FUNDRAISER
First Christian Church presents an evening of great acoustic music with The Warren Wilson College Old-Time and Bluegrass Bands. This is a benefit for the Creation Care Alliance. Concert is free, contributions are encouraged. All contributions go directly to Creation Care Alliance. Time is 7 PM and location is First Christian Church at 201 Blue Ridge Road in Black Mountain. Contact Creation Care at creationcare@mountaintrue.org for more information.

11/20/15 FILM SHOWING AT FIRESTORM CAFE & BOOKS
There’s one single industry that’s destroying the planet more than any other. It’s the leading cause of species extinction, ocean “Dead Zones”, water pollution, desertification, deforestation and habitat loss. Asheville Green Grannies presents the powerful movie “Cowspiracy” on Friday, November 20, 2015 at 6:30 PM at Firestorm Café & Books at 610 Haywood Road in Asheville. Free and open to the public. Contact Cathy at cathyfholt@gmail.com for more information.

11/20/15 to 11/22/15 SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS WATCH PROTEST AT FORT BENNING GEORGIA

11/21/15 REMEMBERING TONY BING
Remembering Tony Bing and his endeavors for a just peace in Israel/Palestine. Memorial address will be by Max Carter. Max will speak about his mentor, Tony, and his lively pursuit of peace and justice in Israel/Palestine, challenging us to continue Tony Bing’s exemplary practice of nonviolent peace-building activism. Special tributes from Hashim Badr, Carol Rogoff-Hallstrom, and James Aydelotte. Those gathered will also share stories of Tony Bing. Time is 3 to 5 PM and location is Lenoir-Rhyne University at 36 Montford Avenue in Asheville, on the second floor above the visitor’s center. The memorial is offered with deep gratitude for Tony’s leadership by Just Peace for Israel/Palestine. Please contact jpip.wnc@gmail.com or call 828-319-7652 for more information. 

11/21/15 UNCHAIN ASHEVILLE EVENT
We are organizing an event to raise awareness surrounding the issues and threats small, local, independent businesses in Asheville are currently facing. Our goal is to raise awareness as well as educate the consumer on the street about the value of supporting local businesses. We will be gathering for at our localist celebration at the Asheville Music Hall at 10 AM on November 21. The event happens to coincide with the Asheville Holiday Parade and the location is along the route. After the parade ends, we will have a “jazz funeral processional” style march around the block, passing by the chain locations. We will keep all of our marching on the sidewalks to keep this a free-speech event, eliminating the need to make this a permitted event. In order to find out about training sessions for this event, or if you have any questions about this campaign, contact our director, Franzi Charen, at ashevillegrown@gmail.com.

11/21/15 GREEN GRANNIES SING FOR THE CLIMATE
Green Grannies Sing for the Climate at Pritchard Park at 4 PM. Google "Singfortheclimate" and come out and sing with us! This happens on the third Saturday of every month. 

11/21/15 AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT IN ASHEVILLE
The Renaissance Asheville Hotel is proud to partner with the AIDS Memorial Quilt and the Western North Carolina Aids Project to host this year’s display, November 21 through December 2, 2015. Activist Cleve Jones began The AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1987. The first 1,920 panels were displayed in the nation’s capital during the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1987, to highlight the scale of the epidemic. By 2007, the Quilt included more than 46,000 panels representing over 80,000 people, and it continues to grow. It is a memorial to those lost to AIDS, a tool for preventing new HIV infections, and the world’s largest ongoing community art project. This is free and open to the public.

11/21/15 TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
This year, our Asheville observance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance will be held at Pritchard Park. We will be meeting at the Civic Center at 6:30 and marching to the park, where the event will begin at 7 PM. Hot beverages will be provided at the event, and we will be gathering at Kairos West afterwards for recuperation and optional discussions concerning resiliency, with local gender specialists on hand to provide support. If you would like to participate in set up / tear down, or prepare a reading for the event, please message Brynn Estelle or the Tranzmission facebook page. This is a Facebook event.

11/22/15 COMMUNITY DIALOGUE ON RAPE CULTURE

This will be a open and safe space for discussion and conversation on the abuse and rape culture we live in. Byron Ballard will lead the discussion. We will also cover this issue within the pagan community. All cash donations will be handed over to OUR VOICE. Please bring non-perishable food items for The Mother Grove Goddess Temple. Please bring women's sanitary products for The Asheville Period Project. Time is 2 to 4 PM and location is Raven and Crone at 555 Merrimon Avenue in Asheville. This is a facebook event. 

11/22/15 BENEFIT FOR ‘KIDS 4 PEACE’ IN ASHEVILLE
Join award winning whimsical re-percussionist Billy Jonas and the Billy Jonas Band on Sunday, November 22, at 7 PM at the Altamont Theatre at 18 Church Street in Asheville for the release celebration of their new recording ‘habayta (Homeward) New Jewish Songs of Joy and Spirit’. Jonas has appeared at numerous synagogues, Jewish summer camps, community centers and Jewish Day Schools throughout the US. About Kids4Peace: Founded in Jerusalem in 2002, Kids4Peace is an interfaith community of more than 1,800 Israeli, Palestinian and North American youth, families and educators working together for a better future. Through a network of local chapters and international camps, they provide a six-year, year-round educational program for Jewish, Christian & Muslim youth. Activities focus on interfaith dialogue, community-building, leadership development, and nonviolent action. Tickets are $36 and include reception and food. For further information and tickets call 617-501-1983.

11/27/25 JUST PEACE IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE
This meeting will be at 3:15 PM at Brooks-Howell Home on Merrimon Avenue in Asheville. Meet in the media room. Contact Suchi at suchi1025@bellsouth.net for more information.

11/29/15 GREEN GRANNIES LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
And on Sunday evening, November 29, 350.org and the Green Grannies are hosting "Light up the Night: A Vigil for the Paris Climate Talks," gathering at 5 PM in Grove Park, on N. Charlotte St., across from St. Mary's Episcopal Church - hope you can join us!

12/01/15 WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL LECTURE SERIES
“DEAS (ISIS) and PKK – The Regional Struggle for Hegemony: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar," with Ali Demirdas, a member of the international studies faculty at the College of Charleston and a Ph.D. candidate at University of South Carolina. The lectures are sponsored by the WNC chapter of the World Affairs Council, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNC Asheville, and the university's Department of Political Science. Admission to World Affairs Council presentations at UNC Asheville is $10 for the public; free to members of the World Affairs Council and UNC Asheville students. For more information call 828.251.6140.

12/02/15 WORLD AIDS DAY CELEBRATION IN ASHEVILLE
On Tuesday, December 2, from 7 to 9 PM, World Aids Day will be celebrated, with a fantastic evening of music and poetry focused on remembering the past, celebrating successes, and hope for the future. Location is the Renaissance Hotel in Asheville where the AIDS Memorial Quilt is on display. No further information.

12/03/15 CREATION CARE ALLIANCE MEETING
Creation Care Alliance General Meeting. Time is 5:30 to 7 PM. Location is the First Baptist Church of Asheville at 5 Oak Street in downtown Asheville. Contact Creation Care at creationcare@mountaintrue.org for more information.

12/05/15 CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY MEETING
Citizens Climate Lobby meets the first Saturday of each month at Kairos West Community Center, 742 Haywood Road in west Asheville. We are advocating for a Carbon Fee & Dividend, which would impose a fee on fossil fuels at point entry; this fee will be refunded to individuals and families. There is bipartisan support in Congress as this will create jobs and help grow the economy, boosting renewables. Time is 12:30 to 3 PM.  Location is Kairos West Community Center at 742 Haywood Road in west Asheville. For more information contact asheville@citizensclimatelobby.org.

12/05/15 FUNDRAISER FOR BIBLIOWORKS
All proceeds funds libraries and literary programs in Bolivia. There will be music by Cecil Bothwell, food, beer, cider and a silent auction. Cost is $15 at the door, $12 advance, for admission.  This will be held at 67 Biltmore Avenue, across from the French Broad Food Coop. Time is 7 to 9:30 PM. For more information, call 350-0744.

12/06/15 PILGRIMAGE FOR THE PARIS CLIMATE TALKS
People’s Pilgrimage for the Paris Climate Talks will be at 2 PM. Meet at the pavilion at Carrier Park on Amboy Road. It will be a two mile walk starting at the Carrier Park pavilion and ending at French Broad River Park, with stops along the way for music, poetry and prayer. Bring banners and signs. Come at 1 PM to make signs. Some materials will be provided. Sponsored by the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina. For more information, contact Jane at 828-772-0379 or janelaping@sbcglobal.net. 

12/10/15 JUST ECONOMICS ANNUAL CELEBRATION
Just Economics Annual Celebration. Free, food and entertainment provided, all are welcome. Time is 6 to 9 PM and location is Jubilee! in downtown Asheville. Just Economics works to educate, advocate, and organize for a just and sustainable local economy that works for all in Western North Carolina.  We see ourselves not as people of privilege advocating on behalf of low-income people but rather, people of privilege and low-income people advocating together for a better economic community.  We welcome participation in our work from all members of our community. We are currently focused on living wage jobs, accessible transportation, and affordable housing.

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ONGOING EVENTS
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TUESDAY
Veterans for Peace have a weekly vigil at 4:30 PM at Pack Square, Vance Monument
Standing up for Racial Justice at Firestorm Cafe & Books at 10 AM

WEDNESDAY
Haywood Peace Vigilers have a weekly vigil at 4 PM at Haywood County Courthouse in Waynesville

FRIDAY
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the City Hall in Hendersonville
Women in Black have a monthly vigil at 5 PM at Vance Monument in Asheville (first Friday only)

SATURDAY
Transylvanians for Peace and WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility have a weekly vigil at noon in front of the courthouse in Brevard. Call 884-3435 to confirm. 
Third Saturdays – Asheville’s Green Grannies invites the public to “sing for the climate” at Pritchard Park at 5 PM.

SUNDAY
Youth OUTright meeting from 4 to 6 PM at First Congregational United Church of Christ at 20 Oak Street in Asheville. Ages 14 - 23 only.

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ACTIONS AND READINGS
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Outrage at Paris attacks masks our racism
14 NOVEMBER 2015
by Jonathan Cook
An article in the Australian publication New Matilda gets to the real point about last night’s attacks in Paris – one that no one wants to talk about. What westerners feel right now is a powerful and very selective outrage that identifies with the suffering of people “like us”. We mourn the deaths in Paris while not even noticing those killed in Lebanon a day earlier and almost certainly by the same fanatics that launched the attacks in France.

Lots of westerners like to dismiss such observations as “whataboutery”. It is natural, they say, to care more about people we know and who are similar to us. That knee-jerk reaction may be comforting, but it is precisely the problem.

After all, what drives our selective outrage if not selective compassion? But our selective compassion is what got us into this mess in the first place. As Europeans we have always viewed ourselves as fully human, but seen those in the Middle East and much of the rest of the world as slightly less than human, and not quite as deserving of our sympathy. It is such feelings that allowed Europe to colonise, abuse and exploit brown people.

The historic racism that we Europeans are all too ready now to acknowledge, and that we understand fed western colonialism, is not a thing of the past. It still thrives deep in our souls. Where once we felt the white man’s burden, we now feel his outrage. Both depend on the same arrogance, and the same ascription of lesser human qualities to those we see as different from us.
We are still trying to civilise brown people. We still think we have the right to change them, bend them to our will, improve them by force. We still want to lecture them, condemn them, threaten them, overturn their elections, arm their oppressive leaders, plunder their resources.

And after we have destroyed their societies, we expect to be able to shut our borders to them as they make desperate journeys to find some peace, some safety away from the war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and elsewhere we either created directly or supported with our money and arms.

Our racism has not changed. It is alive and creating new justifications for our selective compassion every day.

What has changed is that technological advances have made weapons of death and destruction ever easier and cheaper to acquire. Those we once oppressed with impunity and far from our homes, out of sight, can now find us and give us a taste of our own medicine.

If we want to stop the attacks, and avoid turning our own societies into the oppressive dictatorships we have supported across much of the rest of the globe, then we need to stop interfering, pillaging, manipulating and abusing. And we have to start by refusing to allow ourselves to identify more with the victims in Paris than those in Beirut. If we were really as civilised as we believe, we would understand that both are equally deserving of our compassion.

ARTICLE LINK:
https://newmatilda.com/2015/11/14/paris-attacks-highlight-western-vulnerability-and-our-selective-grief-and-outrage/


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The following is not to trivialize the deaths in Paris. After my evening with friends, I spent hours driving, grieving and thinking. But, I have to say this....
The people of the western world are all of a sudden paying attention and saying their hearts are with Paris... But, what of the other attacks in other countries?? The same people are behind those attacks.
These are the big ones of just the last few months:
Sept. 3: An attack in Sana'a, Yemen left 32 dead and 92 wounded
Sept. 3: An attack in Kerawa, Cameroon left over 10 dead and over 100 wounded
Sept. 4: An attack in Al-Suwayda, Syria left 26 people dead and 50 wounded
Sept. 14: An attack in Al-Hasakah, Syria left over 20 people dead and over 70 wounded
Sept. 24: An attack in Maiduguri, Nigeria left 145 people dead and over 150 wounded
Oct. 5: An attack in Baghdad, Iraq left 57 people dead and an uknown number wounded
Oct. 10: An attack in Ankara, Turkey left 102 people dead and 508 wounded
Oct. 10: An attack in N'Djamena, Chad left 38 people dead and 51 wounded
Oct. 14: An attack Maiduguri, Nigeria left all of the 42 people attacked dead
Oct. 23: An attack in Yola, Nigeria left 27 people dead and 96 injured
Oct. 31: An attack in Sinai, Egypt left all of the 224 people dead
Nov. 12(The day before the attacks in Paris): An attack in Beirut, Labanon left 43 people dead and 240 wounded
These attacks are happening CONSTANTLY in the middle east. We cannot seperate them from us. They are all human beings. Their lives matter just as much. That is what the Syrians are fleeing from.
And if you blame these attacks on Islam and not on extremists, you do not understand that all of the attacks I just listed were against other Muslims, NOT anyone else. Islamaphobia is ignorant. - Ace Andrew Amis

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