Peacekeepers Called to the Circle –
Blessing Ceremony for Mother Earth
by Steven McFadden
Copyright 2004 -
While dwelling amid the high mountains along the North American Continental Divide, Bennie LeBeau of the Eastern Shoshone tribe began to experience a torrent of dreams and visions, especially in 1999. The visions directed him to set in motion the plans for a massive Medicine Wheel Ceremony.
Over the last year Bennie LeBeau has become aware of many profoundly distressing changes in the land and the animals at Yellowstone National Park. These changes are becoming even more ominous right now, he says, and they have have prodded him into direct action to bring his vision alive.
The huge Medicine Wheel Ceremony that Bennie envisions is intended to be a mass spiritual event involving people of all colors and spiritual traditions. The ceremony is set to take place at High Noon on Saturday, May 8, 2004 at more than 20 sacred sites in the American West, and at many other sacred sites elsewhere around the world, including Australia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and the Middle East.
The Grand Teton peaks in Wyoming -- The Four Grandmothers Standing Tall -- will serve as the center of this Medicine Wheel. The perimeter will extend out in a hoop 600 miles or more in radius, enveloping the long spine of the Rocky Mountains. Simultaneous prayer ceremonies at other sacred sites around world will help to re-activate and re-attune the web of subtle energy pathways that wrap around planet earth.
(To see images of the Medicine Wheel and the mountains go to http://www.chiron-communications.com/communique%209-2.html
or http://www.Teton-rainbows.com/ )
"All nations, all peoples are invited to participate," Bennie says, adding, "all nations, all peoples are needed to work together on this -- the black, white, yellow, and red nations of Mother Earth."
A Medicine Wheel is an ancient spiritual tool with a history of widespread use all over Turtle Island (North America). Stones are set to mark the Four Directions of North, South, East and West, and also of other major points. In this manner, if done with knowledge and respect, a sacred space is defined. Within that space, the people can direct thoughts, feelings and actions toward a unified idea. The Medicine Wheel also helps people to be grounded physically, to properly orient to the Four Directions, and thus to have a clear sense of where they are. That foundation of stability gives a reliable base for high spiritual work.
"The Earth is drastically out of balance now," Bennie LeBeau says. "This Medicine Wheel ceremony will strive to re-set the basic tone -- or vibrational pattern -- of the West, and by extension help to re-attune the whole of the earth."
Message for the Peacekeepers
I met Bennie LeBeau in Placitas, New Mexico on February 9, 2004. He had driven down from Wyoming to meet with some members of group called the Spiritual Elders of Mother Earth, a network of indigenous people from 21 different tribes in North, Central, and South America.
The elders began coming together as a group in 1999 in response to the global crises of environment and culture. Their traditional teachings have long warned that such crises would arise.
The elders say they understand from their traditions that part of their original instructions as human beings was to serve as particular keepers of the Earth. They were given basic responsibility to care for the Earth, as you would care for your mother.
Their nations, they say, were also instructed that one day they would have to step forward in a time of extreme crisis to show a pathway of respect for the Earth and all the creations who share life upon her. The native people would need to educate other people in how to respect and restore balance to our common foundation -- the Earth.
Bennie LeBeau was born on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming in 1950, and is an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone tribe. He served in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam in the early 1970s. In the years after his military service, he supported himself mainly through outfitting, taking people out fishing and hunting in the mountains.
Bennie told me that he began to have visions when he was in his late 20's, while guiding hunters along the Continental Divide that weaves North and South along the Rocky Mountain spine. Bennie went to the local Medicine People to ask for help in understanding, but they were unable to offer interpretations. So Bennie lived with the visions.
Bennie told me that he eventually came to understand on his own what his dreams and visions meant: "The land is out of balance. The bio-electric energy of the earth is being profoundly scrambled and disturbed by mines, electric transmission lines, railroads, highways, damming of the rivers, and also from development of factories, trucks, cars and so forth. War is adding to this."
"It's time to do something important, to reconnect the energy. So many sacred sites are not kept, not tended. But this is what is needed, for things are out of balance, out of harmony. It's extreme now, and it's time to come together around this, the old ways and the new ways. Every human being has a stake in this, no matter their color or their spiritual tradition."
Talking with the Elders
To bring this massive, multi-tradition Medicine Wheel ceremony about, Bennie has been inspired to travel and talk with representatives of the indigenous Nations near the waters and mountains of his vision, and also with other cultures. He began his journey in January, 2004. "I am to ask for assistance in re-activating these sacred sites," he explained. "We must all do our parts as humans to bring about harmony."
On Feb. 10, 2004 -- the day after I met with him -- Bennie journeyed west to the Turquoise Mountain (Mount Taylor near Grants, New Mexico). This is one of the sacred mountains that mark the Four Corners area of Turtle Island (North America). Turquoise Mountain is a massive dormant volcano, towering more than a mile above a vast desert plateau.
With Leon Secatero of the Canoncito Navajo, a Grandelder for the Spiritual Elders of Mother Earth, and Red Eagle from the Cherokee Nation, Bennie visited with the traditional keepers of Turquoise Mountain: Navajo Grandfather Martin Martinez and his wife, Grandmother Janíce.
Bennie told them of his dreams and visions, and also of his plan. Grandfather Martin, who is in his 90s, was pleased to hear it. He told Bennie that his visions were in harmony with the Navajo teachings and prophecies that he keeps. He also mentioned that his wife, Janíce, had a vision four years ago of a multi-tradition ceremony to be held near a holy spring on Turquoise Mountain. She wanted to realize her vision.
As it happens, in the context of the 600-mile radius of the Medicine Wheel of Bennie LeBeau's vision, the Turquoise Mountain of New Mexico is in the South position, the South Mountain.
In the Medicine Wheel teachings of Turtle Island the South is a direction sometimes represented by Mouse. Mouse is so small and defenseless against the rest of the world that he must rely on trust and instinct to live. Much larger forces of Spirit are at work in the world, and Mouse understands how humble creature he is in relation to all this. But good and surprising things can happen when trust inspires Mouse to make a bold move.
"This was prophesied a long time ago," Grandfather Martinez told Bennie and the other elders. "I am glad you have come and taken responsibility to be a messenger."
"The mountain is the pillar, our helper," Grandfather Martinez said. "It listens to us when we are in harmony with the stones, trees, clouds, waters, and stars. This is the wholeness that keeps life together. We will communicate with the mountain."
Grandfather Martin gave Bennie his blessings to go forward and make his Medicine Wheel Ceremony a reality. He said it was a good mission and that now is the time.
All the elders traveled up onto the flank of Turquoise Mountain after their meeting. There by a sacred spring they made ceremony together to prepare for May 8. Grandfather Martinez also initiated the drum that Bennie had made for himself, a drum laced with symbols representing the Medicine Wheel ceremony.
Grandfather Martinez shared with his guests some of the Navajo lore about Turquoise Mountain -- the South Mountain of the four sacred mountains of the Navajo, known to them as "Tsoodzil", the Blue Bead Mountain. (Turquoise Mountain is sacred to several other native groups as well; all have been invited to the May 8 ceremony).
Grandfather Martinez said there were giants on the mountains in the old days, and they were the guardians. Some were good, and some were not. The giants have gone, but their energies are still around, and a lot of it is negative energy. The negative energies and entities are coming back strong now, and it is affecting the people.
"We need to do ceremonies continually to strengthen and cleanse and empower," Grandfather Martinez said. "It is very important to do this now. The ceremonies help to keep the negative forces at bay."
Grandmother Janíce told the circle of elders that the ceremony would put in place another set of vibrations. "The ceremony will happen at a time in the spring when all the plants are surging with new life," she said. "If we come together in respect with the plants, she said, we can use this energy to help bring about the intention of the ceremony."
Grandfather Martinez spoke of the Medicine Wheel ceremony as a universal wake up call. The mountain ranges have sovereignty over lines of energy that radiate around the entire earth. Thus, he said, the ceremonies we do encircling the Rocky Mountains will radiate out to other points.
Grandfather noted that many people and groups do things individually, their rituals or ceremonies. "That's okay," he said, "but right now Mother Earth and all the living things upon her have need of something more -- something where all the people are together and of one heart, one mind."
The May 8 ceremony that the elders have envisioned for the South Mountain, Turquoise Mountain, is to be a Blessing Way. That is how it will happen. Drums and singers from many nations will pass the song from sunrise on May 8 until sunset, and some may choose to sing in the night. "We will also be calling all our ancestors to be with us in this ceremony," Leon Secatero said, "that we may all reconnect with our ancestors."
There will be a particular emphasis when High Noon comes to the Four Grandmothers Standing Tall (the Grand Tetons in Wyoming). That is when ceremonies in the entire Medicine Wheel will also be putting a focus on being of one mind and heart, expressing their gratitude for Creation by elevating the level of vibration to its peak at High Noon.
For the elders of Turquoise Mountain in the South, the ceremony will also mark the starting time of an effort to establish a permanent public park on part of thier ancestral lands, so that people can go there to pray and make ceremony when they feel called. They also envision a healing center
While Bennie initially saw the massive Medicine Wheel ceremony-taking place over a 600-mile radius, reaching out from the center point of the Four Grandmothers, Grandfather Martinez saw it more globally. They came to agree that everyone who chooses to participate, at whatever holy sites are accessible to them anywhere in the world, would be invited and welcomed.
One Heart, One Mind, One Circle
The call for people of all nations, races, and traditions to participate in this massive Medicine Wheel ceremony comes at a time of widespread military conflict, and of profound environmental damage to the earth, the wind, fire and the water. It is also a time of intense culture war. The same kinds of passionate forces that bitterly pit religion against religion, race against race, and political party against political party, are also at work in Indian Country. There are many factions.
Not everyone endorses the idea of White, Red, Black, Brown, Yellow and Rainbow peoples coming to participate together in ceremony.
But the intention of the Medicine Wheel Ceremony on May 8, 2004 is for something all people can hold in common without dispute: the realization that a healthy earth is necessary to our survival, and to the survival of our children and grandchildren.
In responding to his visions and by calling for this ceremony, Bennie LeBeau is forcing the issue. Will Native peoples open their ceremonies and share their teachings? There are lots of strong viewpoints on whether this is a good thing.
Bennie says the indigenous tribes will have to open up and teach. He is well aware that not all tribal groups will welcome this. "Some tribes will open, some will not," he told me. "Each will make their own decision. This is going out to the world. There is no set ceremony. People may follow their own hearts and traditions. They know their holy places and their Medicines. But we must all do it together. There is no one person who is in charge. It is up to the people."
"The old traditions alone will not work to meet this current challenge," Bennie said. "Things have changed. We need to take the best of the old and add it to what is emerging. This is the medicine that we -- and our Mother Earth -- need now."
Bennie says that the big mess the world is in now is the very reason why the ceremonies were preserved for so many generations, against such overwhelming persecution. "This is why the ancestors suffered and sacrificed, to save the songs and dances that set a tone of harmony in the relationship between the human beings and the earth, for the universe which provides our essential sustenance of food, water, and shelter."
The May 8 Medicine Wheel ceremony is intended to bring the people together through a unified vision on one day, and to be guided by Native American neighbors and relatives, who have a millennia-old tradition of ceremonies to respect and maintain the balance of life on Earth.
About this diversity of viewpoints, Grandfather Martinez said, "Our gratitude will answer all the questions. We will be energized by this ceremony, making connections with all our relatives, all our cultures. All cultures must be valued and welcomed, not one left out."
The Massive Scope of the Medicine Wheel
The boundaries of the May 8, 2004 Medicine Wheel Ceremony that Bennie LeBeau has envisioned reach in a huge circle, touching on major sacred mountain peaks and bodies of water. He has interpreted his vision as "The Magnificent 19 + 1 = 20."
The planned Medicine Wheel ceremony covers an area with a radius of some 600 miles. The Grand Tetons in Wyoming -- The Four Grandmothers Standing Tall -- are at the center of the wheel, and 19 major mountains and waterways mark the perimeter of the wheel. The idea is to have ceremonies happen simultaneously around the whole wheel, while centered on The Four Grandmothers Standing Tall, and stabilized in time and space by the traditional Four Directions.
The ceremonial points around the perimeter of the Medicine Wheel are located in close proximity to these sacred sites:
. Sullivan Lake, North
• Saskatchewan River
• Qu'appelle River
• Souris River
• James River
• Missouri River
• Platte River
• Arkansas River
• Cimarron River
• Colorado River or (Lake Mead)
• Lake Tahoe
• Okanagan Lake
• Turquoise Mountain (Mt. Taylor, NM)
• Mt. Humphrey (Flagstaff, AZ)
• Mt. Whitney
• Mt. Shasta
• Three Sisters
• Mt. Rainier
• Lake Louise
As Bennie LeBeau explains it, "the intent of the ceremony is to place back into balance those lands, mountains and bodies of water that are now out-of-balance due to reckless development. We will use our drums, songs and dances to re-vitalize these sacred sites. Working together with one another as the ancestors once did, we will re-attune these sacred sites. Our ceremony will become an important tool to teach all people the importance of our Mother Earth."
According to Bennie, it is important to understand the relationship of the energy lines that link place to place on earth, and also the earth with the heavens. These energy pathways are like the nervous system of the human body and its wiring system, he said. The ley lines make up a matrix, or a network of energy for the body of the earth, and they can be adjusted the way a human body can be adjusted with acupuncture.
Bennie said that right now bad vibrations have built up to massive levels, and are stressing out the Earth Mother as well as many of her people. One clear evidence of this distress that is of particular concern to him is seismic activity in and around Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, a homeland of his Eastern Shoshone tribe.
Geologists call Yellowstone a super volcano, because of the massive calderas of molten fire that exist beneath the park. Over 10,000 geysers -- including "Old Faithful" -- boil up from the depths of the earth.
Yellowstone has more geothermal activity in one concentrated region than all the other geothermal sites on the planet put together.
Bennie LeBeau says that recent eruptions, 200-degree ground temperatures, bulging magma, 84-degree water temperatures, and a massive, unexplained die off of elk tell him that something big is happening at Yellowstone right now. The earth is profoundly disturbed.
He notes the following: in July, 2003 Yellowstone Park rangers closed the entire Norris Geyser Basin because of bulges in the land and excessively high temperatures. Ground temperatures on that bulge have reached 200 degrees. It became a dead zone for fish, trees, flowers, and grasses.
Some geologists have speculated that if the massive caldera we know as Yellowstone were to erupt, every living thing within six hundred miles could be affected with devastating consequences.
The long-term effects of such an eruption would be even more severe. Thousands of cubic kilometers of ash would shoot into the atmosphere and block light from the sun, making global temperatures collapse, just as in the case of a nuclear winter.
Park officials disagree with this assessment of the situation. Franklin C. Walker, Assistant Superintendent of the National Park Service, addressed these concerns in a Dec. 12, 2003 letter to the chairperson of Eastern Shoshone Tribe "From the perspective of geologists, the Yellowstone volcano is not preparing to catastrophically erupt. No indication of increased volcanic activity is evident."
Yet since then three earthquakes have rattled the ground at Yellowstone: A 5.3 mg quake was reported on Feb. 6, 2004, a 3.5 mg. quake hit a week later on Sunday, Feb. 15, and then Saturday Feb. 21 a 3.2 mg. quake struck.
Further, as reported by the Associated Press on March 12, 2004 the elk herds in and near Yellowstone Park are suffering a massive and mysterious die off. Since Feb. 22, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has discovered about 300 dead and dying elk. This mass die off is unprecedented and unexplained.
Of note, Yellowstone Park is also the site of a legalized and on-going Buffalo slaughter. The Buffalo are killed to prevent them from becoming "too numerous." In native teachings, Buffalo are considered to be healers of the earth. The places where their hooves touch the prairie are especially fertile.
Now -- early in our new milennium -- at Yellowstone the herded rhythm of buffalo hooves is being replaced by the throb of snowmobile engines, and the unceasing pulse of invisible waves from a 100-foot high cell-phone tower that has just been erected. The new tower overshadows Old Faithful and the entire Yellowstone historic district.
Bennie sees all of this as distinctly ominous. He is determined to do something about it. He says one important, helpful, and peaceful way to respond to the whole mess -- Yellowstone and the global megacrisis -- is with ceremony. He says his visions have shown him that ceremonies can serve the earth in a way similar to the way acupuncture serves the human body.
If the abuse of the earth continues, Bennie believes, things may get so far out of balance that Yellowstone will roar loud enough for everyone on the planet to hear the cry of pain.
The collective songs, dances, meditations and prayers of the Medicine Wheel ceremony set for May 8 will be directed to the Earth with the intention of respect, gratitude, and healing.
Protocol of the Medicine Wheel
As Bennie envisions the Medicine Wheel ceremony, the Eastern Shoshone from the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming, and others from the area who choose to participate, will gather at the center of the wheel, in Grand Teton National Park on May 8. They will combine their songs, chants and drums within the Grand Tetons.
At the same time other tribal nations, groups, and cultures near the other 19 sacred sites around the perimeter of the Medicine Wheel will use their songs, chants and drumming to vibrate and bless those areas.
This vast Medicine Wheel around the Rocky Mountains of North America will be in relation to, and supported by other ceremonies at sacred sites in North America and around the world -- whever people choose to gather together in respectful ceremony.
Turquoise Mountain -- the South Mountain on the Medicine Wheel -- has already committed to ceremony under the guidance of Grandfather Martin Martinez and Grandmother Janice, and many other elders and Medicine People from nearby Pueblos. But there are many other points on the Medicine Wheel yet to organized for ceremony on May 8.
"This is to be a joint effort," Bennie said. "I call to all my relatives to come forward now, and help to make this Medicine Wheel Ceremony happen in a good way using their own protocols, and joining together in one mind, one heart at high noon on May 8, and to remember the Four Grandmothers Standing Tall in the center. We must be in the highest form of sacred thought while in prayer. We must work in a straightforward manner. There should be no disagreements as to who is right and who is wrong, for the mountains and rivers of this Medicine Wheel have already had enough of this."
"The vision showed that this undertaking would be a joint effort working together in peace. We shall bring back peace of mind to our hearts, to our spirits, and to our homelands. We will release the bondage of negative thoughts and prejudice for the betterment of all living things."
In a Beautiful Manner
Bennie says that he has been attempting to gain permission for the ceremony to be allowed in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Park. As of mid-March, 2004, he does not yet have formal permission from the park administrators. He is hoping people will write respectfully to the Grand Teton National Park Service to support his idea for permits and campgrounds.
"We need to do this dance," Bennie said. "We need to fulfill this vision, and I cannot do it alone. It needs to be done by all the people, all colors, all faiths. They will come together from all directions."
No one need change any religious or spiritual beliefs to participate, Bennie said. There is only one central, non-controversial thought form that participants will be activating with their meditations, songs and dances: respect and gratitude for Creation.
>From his many dreams and visions, Bennie has developed a sense of what kind of impact the Medicine Wheel ceremony can have: "When the sacred mountains and waterways have been set back into good order and harmony, Mother Nature will be re-orchestrated in beauty. We will see a significant change in the attitudes of all those living inside and outside the wheel."
"After the ceremony the Indigenous Nations, groups and cultures that have participated in the manifesting of this vision will work together. This will awaken and re-integrate the ancient teachings of the Indigenous Nations as brothers and sisters."
"Together we can do this in a beautiful way. Together, we can bring balance and harmony back to the land. It needs to happen now. So be it."
In closing, Bennie articulated a point that he, Grandfather Martinez, Grandmother Janíce, and the Spiritual Elders of Mother Earth agree upon: "The human race is depending on us for we are the keepers of the earth and its sacred wisdom. As the Hopi teaching instructs us, 'We are the ones we have been waiting for.'"
PS: I found this contact information for Benny...
Bennie E. LeBeau, Eastern Shoshone
Wind River Indian Reservation
Ft. Washakie, Wyoming
2331 Oak Lane • Riverton, Wyoming
Kerry and Black America:
Just Another Stupid White Man
By JUSTIN FELUX
March 20 / 21, 2004
John Kerry says he wants to be America's second "black president," but sadly, his record on issues of racial justice makes him look more yellow than black. This could spell trouble for the Democrats. In a recent editorial, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile said, "There is no question that the Democratic Party cannot win without the support of African American voters in 2004." The black vote could make or break the Democrats in critical battleground states such as Michigan and Ohio. Black voters have been fiercely loyal to the Democratic Party for the past several decades. Realizing that black voters have essentially nowhere else to go, Democrats have started taking the black vote for granted. While it is unlikely that black voters will switch to the Republican side, turnout among black voters may decrease if they feel the Democratic candidate doesn't understand their problems. Bill Clinton made middle class white voters his primary target during his first campaign and black voter turnout dropped considerably.
Before he dropped out of the race and endorsed Kerry, General Wesley Clark had been very critical of statements Kerry once made about affirmative action. Kerry's response was essentially to say, "I have been endorsed by [black Congressman] Jim Clyburn." Kerry's website features pictures taken at a cocktail party he attended with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Being endorsed by Jim Clyburn and going to cocktail parties with black members of Congress are fine things, but does Kerry really believe any of this will inspire black voters to rally to his cause? It seems unlikely. Kerry isn't half the panderer Bill Clinton was. Hell, he wasn't even Jim Clyburn's first pick! Clyburn originally endorsed Dick Gephardt and threw his support rather unenthusiastically to Kerry after Gephardt dropped out of the race.
The aforementioned criticisms by General Clark stemmed from a speech given by Kerry at Yale in 1992. In the speech, Kerry waged a full-frontal assault on racial justice, arguing that affirmative action and welfare created a "culture of dependency" among blacks. He argued that the government should focus on "law and order," "self-reliance," and "individual responsibility" rather than affirmative action as a solution to ending racial inequality. He seemed particularly concerned with the feelings and opinions of white people. He said, "We cannot hope to make further racial progress when whites believe that it is they and not blacks that suffer most from racial discrimination." He sympathized with white people "who feel alienated or abandoned by their government, that we simply don't care about them." In addition to hanging white America out to dry, the government has created a tangled mass of affirmative action laws in which there "exists a reality of reverse discrimination that actually engenders racism." In order to further advance civil rights, Kerry argues, we must regain white support and try to understand "the anger of taxpayers who work hard to support their families and then find themselves supporting generations of welfare families as well."
Apparently Kerry saw no irony in giving this speech on an elite college campus before an audience which undoubtedly consisted of rich white kids for the most part. Yale's faculty is 2.8% black and 1.9% Hispanic. Fortunately, it seems Yale has not been corrupted by the wave of "reverse discrimination" that is sweeping the nation. Nor did Kerry seem to recognize any irony in the fact while he lectures poor black people about "self-reliance," Kerry has essentially never had to do anything for himself. Kerry was born into an obscenely rich family that would go on yachting trips with the Kennedys. Since he became a politician his bank accounts have been generously stocked by corporate lobbyists. He has also married some of the richest women in the world, including his current wife, Teresa Heinz. It's hard to imagine how such a person could even have a concept of "self-reliance." John Kerry preaching to poor people about self-reliance seems rather like a blind person trying to teach people about the colors of the rainbow.
Irony aside, Kerry makes some pretty outrageous claims here. Some have suggested Kerry's speech was a political ploy designed to make himself appear more "moderate." This would not be surprising. The Democratic Party has a long and sad history of selling out its most vulnerable constituencies for the sake of attracting white middle class voters. Single mothers, blacks, immigrants, union members, and poor people are all very familiar with this kind of cynical political "pragmatism" often practiced by white liberals. However, I'm willing to assume that Kerry really meant the things he said in his speech. If that is the case, then he is utterly clueless about the reality of racism in America. In fact, he buys into a worldview that is so explicitly right-wing it ought to cast doubt on his ability to tackle other social problems not related to race.
Kerry's speech represents a dramatic capitulation to the "white backlash" against the gains made by people of color during the civil rights era. Race relations in America have been characterized by periods of progress and backlash. After the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, America had an opportunity to atone for the racial injustices of its past. For a while, things seemed to be on the right track. During Reconstruction the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was passed along with a series of constitutional amendments designed to guarantee blacks equal rights under the law. Some of the South's first public schools were built during this time. Blacks made unprecedented gains in employment. Hiram Revels became the first black member of the U.S. Senate.
However, as blacks made gains, the white majority became more and more nervous. That nervousness eventually culminated in a full-fledged backlash against racial progress. This period is often referred to as the "nadir" of American race relations. Southerners called it the "Redemption." Membership in the Ku Klux Klan soared to over 3 million at one point. The courts began to chip away at the foundation of civil rights with decisions such as Plessy v. Ferguson. Blacks in the South were forced to work as sharecroppers, making them anchored to the land with little or no prospects for social mobility. Blacks in the North were excluded from the new industrial economy and labor unions. Within a few short years white supremacy had been restored in both the North and the South. The white backlash turned back the clock on almost all the gains made by blacks during Reconstruction.
A similar backlash befell the country after the civil rights era. After years of black insurgency, the movement won the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Affirmative Action was never developed as a coherent policy. It evolved through a series of executive orders, administrative decisions, and court rulings. At a time when many in the movement were talking about a revolution and radically redistributing wealth and power in the country, affirmative action was seen as a very moderate and reformist policy. The fact that it is now seen as such a controversial issue indicates how successful the white backlash and the right-wing's exploitation of it has been. As it was after the first backlash, the courts have been chipping away at the gains made by the civil rights movement. The focus and blame for racial inequality has shifted from white racism to blacks themselves. We have even seen a return of the pseudo-scientific racism that inspired the eugenics movement with the publication and subsequent success of The Bell Curve.
In the typical cowardly tradition of white liberalism, Kerry has in large part bought into the notion that blacks themselves are responsible for their misery. While he agrees that white racism still exists, he only makes a fleeting mention of it before going on to attack black people. As part of his solution, Kerry says we must focus on "law and order," and has called for a large increase in the number of police officers on the beat. In reality, crime is a symptom of racial inequality, not a cause of it. The first candidate to make "law and order" a major campaign issue was Richard Nixon. The "law and order" message was in response to a series of ghetto uprisings that started in Detroit in 1967 and spread across the country like wildfire. The "law and order" theme was an integral part of the infamous and misleadingly-named "Southern Strategy," which played upon the racial fears of the white majority to win elections.
In other words, when a politician talks about being "tough on crime," what he's really saying is "If you vote for me, I'll put all those scary black people in jail where you won't have to worry about them anymore." Kerry says "we cannot equate fear of crime with racism," but that is precisely what it is in many cases. Violent crime is usually associated with images of black males on TV news at night. Never mind that white people are much more likely to be attacked by another white person. Never mind that "white-collar" crime costs the country far more than all the robberies and petty thefts combined. While most white folks think of cops as "our" upstanding "Boys in Blue" whose primary goal is to keep "us" safe, to black people, cops are blackshirt thugs that keep them relegated to a colonized status in their own country. The word "order" can have very different connotations depending on which side of that "order" you're on. The only street that could use a few extra cops in America is Wall Street, but don't expect Kerry to do anything beyond a few token reforms to beef up law enforcement there.
Another response to the "race riots" of the late 1960s was the Kerner Report, which famously stated that "our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white_separate and unequal." Far from blaming black criminality, the report said that "white racism is essentially responsible for the explosive mixture which has been accumulating in our cities since the end o World War II." As a remedy the report suggested more vigorous enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and extending affirmative action. It also called for numerous reforms in housing, education, and welfare. Nixon denounced the report, saying it was too divisive: "What we need is more talk about reconciliation, more about how we're going to work together." Kerry made similar remarks when he said "we must rebuild the consensus that brought us the civil rights movement in the first place." In other words, the overriding concern of white liberals is to avoid racial conflict rather than achieve racial justice. Martin Luther King Jr. eloquently denounced this kind of behavior in his famous letter from a Birmingham jail:
"I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, 'I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action'; who paternalistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advised the Negro to wait until a 'more convenient season.' Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will".
In addition to the mistake of placing "order" and "harmony" over equity and justice, Kerry makes the mistake of treating racism as an attitude or a psychological abberration of some kind when he says, "The truth is that affirmative action has kept America thinking in racial terms." Actually, racism has kept America thinking in racial terms; not that people "thinking in racial terms" is of any significance in the first place. The matters of importance are the deep-seated inequalities embedded in the institutions of American society, not the "terms" that people are thinking in. People who adhere to this naive conception of racism seem to believe that if black and white people get together, hold hands, and sing "Kumbaya," all of our racial problems will disappear. It's easy to understand why treating racism as an attitude has so much appeal to white folks. It takes the focus away from the vast array of privileges that we enjoy as a result of the color of our skin. As Dr. King pointed out in that same letter, "History is the long and tragic story of the fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily."
So excuse me if I don't shed any tears for the white people who feel like their government has "abandoned" them. In reality, no group has received more support and subsidy from the government than white people. After World War II white people took billions of dollars in loans from the government and used it to buy homes in the suburbs. Those loans were essentially off limits to black people, and now that generation of white folks is handing down trillions of dollars in government-created wealth to their white progeny_and that is just one striking example. Yet when the government steps in to help people of color, whites recoil in horror, crying "reverse discrimination." This isn't new. Right after the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson complained that the 1866 Civil Rights Act was "made to operate in favor of the colored race and against the white race." In 1883, Supreme Court justice Joseph Bradley said it was "time for the Negro to seize being the special favorite of the laws and instead assume his place amongst all others in society." This was only a few short years after chattel slavery had been abolished.
Kerry criticizes the "culture of dependency" he says exists in black America, echoing the fears of Reconstruction critics who claimed blacks were becoming "permanent wards of the state," as was the popular phrase of the time. Presumably, he is talking about the number of black people on welfare, even though most welfare recipients are white. Kerry voted for Clinton's vicious welfare reform bill in another of his cynical attempts to appear "moderate." The "generations of welfare families" that Kerry talks about are a virtual nonentity. Even before welfare reform, over 80% of all welfare recipients stayed on the program for 5 years or less. There are "generations of welfare families" that taxpayers ought to be concerned about, but their names aren't Tamika and Latoya; their names are Rockefeller and Morgan. White-owned corporations have been sucking away at the public trough much longer and much harder than black single mothers ever have or ever will, but again, don't expect Kerry to do anything serious about it.
The lowest point in Kerry's speech is when he stereotypes urban communities as having "a violent, drug-ridden, rat-infested reality," without ever mentioning how those conditions came to be. He apparently chalks it up to the inability of black people to obey the law and stay off welfare. He doesn't mention the fact that while the government was subsidizing "white flight" to the suburbs, it was denying those loans to black people. He doesn't mention the rampant "redlining" of black communities or racist lending practices by banks that saddled black people with crippling debt. He doesn't mention the process of "urban renewal," and how it displaced black residents and tore apart their communities to make way for strip malls and highways designed to make it easier for white folks to make it to the city from their new suburban homes. He doesn't mention the rampant racial discrimination that goes on to this day in the housing and banking industries that make it nearly impossible for people of color to get out of the "ghetto" even if they want to. As a result of these practices, whites with only $13,000 in annual income are more likely to own their own home than blacks who make $48,000 a year.
Then again, the fact that black people are less likely to get those loans means that white people are more likely to get them, which brings us back to the question of white privilege. During the civil rights era, white people were dragged kicking and screaming down the road of racial progress by the black protest movement. There was no "consensus" between whites and blacks that allowed for progress to be made, as Kerry claims, and there never has been. White people vigorously defend and justify their privileges just as any privileged group would. Kerry's capitulation to the white backlash and endorsement of "blaming the victim" type explanations for racial inequity indicate that he would not hesitate to turn back the clock on racial justice if the political climate pushed him in that direction. While his campaign platform says some promising things about supporting affirmative action and low-cost housing initiatives, it is unclear from his record and past statements that he understands why those things are necessary, how necessary they are, or how sincere he is in saying he supports them. Remember, this is the same Kerry who criticizes the Iraq war, the Patriot act, and numerous other things he actually supported in the past.
If Kerry needs proof that affirmative action is not "reverse discrimination" and is actually a measure designed to level a playing field that is tipped heavily in favor of whites, here is a short (and by no means exhaustive) list of studies for him to consider:
- A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research indicated that after sending out 1,300 dummy resumes, black-sounding names were 50 percent less likely to get a callback than white-sounding names with comparable resumes.
- Devah Pager, a sociologist at Northwestern University, conducted a study in Milwaukee which showed whites with a criminal record were more likely to be hired for a job than similarly qualified blacks with no criminal record.
- A recent study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition showed that subprime lending activity typically increases in neighborhoods with greater numbers of blacks, even when other factors such as income, creditworthiness and housing are constant.
- According to a study by the Russell Sage Foundation, blacks are 36-44 percent less likely to be hired in white suburbs even if they search for work longer and more aggressively and are equally qualified to their white counterparts.
- Estimates by the Urban Institute indicate that blacks lose over $120 billion in wages due to labor market discrimination every year.
- The Wall Street Journal has reported that almost 70 percent of whites with poor credit are still able to receive a mortgage loan whereas only 16 percent of blacks with equally poor credit could do the same.
These are the facts that Kerry should be talking about; not the fact that a bunch of over-privileged white people feel neglected by their government. Those of us with white skin are in no position to be complaining about racial exclusion. We are all stockholders in a corporation called white supremacy, and we profit from that investment on a daily basis. We don't have to worry about being racially profiled by the cops on the way to work and we don't have to worry about being denied a promotion because of our skin color once we get there. Kerry's overriding concern for harmony between the races echoes claims by Southern segregationists that desegregation would only harm black people by "increasing racial tension." Similar arguments were made by advocates of slavery.
In other words, it doesn't matter how much lip service Kerry gives to his alleged devotion to improving the conditions of black people. Bill Clinton pandered to blacks more than any president in American history and ended up doing virtually nothing for them once in office. Black voters need to hold Kerry's feet to the fire and force him to make a strong commitment both to affirmative action and other measures that are necessary to promote racial justice.
Justin Felux can be contacted at: email@example.com.
Swami's 2003 State of the Universe Address
By Swami Beyondananda
Hello everybody -- it is great to be here ... and you know what? We really have no choice. Because no matter where we are, we are always here. And it is always now. In fact, there's even a book called The Power of Now. I haven't had time to read it yet, but I hope to get to
it in a later now.
Meanwhile, back in this now, the issue facing the United States, and indeed the world is, will George Bush give in to his Big Iraq Attack and order up a war? Latest reports say that a war to force a regime change in Iraq will cost $200 billion. It is puzzling to me why some of those fiscal fitness fanatics in the Republican Party haven't tried to find a cheaper way to do it. Maybe if they offered the Iraqis half -- $100 billion -- they could do it themselves. Then we'd still have $100 billion left to spend on regime change in this country.
Because -- and I have to be blunt here -- the folks we have in charge are fossils fueled by fossil fuels. And in the reptilian brain, problems aren't solved, they're attacked. Like the War on Poverty. Remember that? I'm happy to report that it's finally over. The poor people have all urrendered. And take the War on Drugs -- please! How many billions have they spent? My solution is cheaper and more effective ... improve reality!
Now we have the War on Terrorism. We're going to terrorize those terrorists into giving up terrorism if it's the last thing we do! And it just might be. The good news is -- and I have it on the Highest Authority -- there will indeed be peace on Earth. Whether we humans are around to enjoy it, that is up to us.
No wonder there is so much fear, uncertainty and confusion on the planet. I'll tell you how bad it's gotten. You've heard of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle? Well, they're not even sure about THAT anymore. And so, more and more people are turning to the mystics for answers.
I have often said there are two kinds of mystics, the optimystics and the pessimystics. Now pessimystics seem to be more in touch with "reality," but optimystics are happier and live longer for some reason. The pessimystics have been crying, "The sky is falling, the sky is
falling!" The optimystics say, "No. It just looks that way because we are ascending."
Now, for those people who read the news -- not to mention those unfortunate enough to BE in the news -- last year was not an easy year to keep an optimystic attitude with so much pessimystic evidence. Call me a hopeless "hopium" addict, but I choose to accentuate the positive. For example, you can say we human beings have moved further down the path of self-destruction. Or you could say the Earth is ridding itself of a virulent parasite.
You can despair over continuing war, disease and starvation, or you can go, "Hey, population control the good, old fashioned way -- without birth control or abortion." Who says "compassionate conservative" is an oxymoron?
You can worry about the government taking liberties with our liberties or you can say, "Life has become simpler! They've boiled the Bill of Rights down to just one: You have the right to remain silent."
So I am not going to dwell on the negative. As my guru Harry Cohen Baba used to say, "Life is like photography ... we use the negative to develop." So let us look at the bright side.
Like technological advances, for example. Forty years ago President John F. Kennedy promised to have a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Well, we have far exceeded that. Thanks to the so-called Patriot Act, George Bush can have a man on Uranus by the end of the week!
George Bush was responsible for a great spiritual advance last year, as well. He upgraded the Golden Rule for the new millennium. It's now the Gold Rule: "Doodoo unto others before they can doodoo unto you."
And -- say what you will -- President Bush has made great strides on behalf of minority representation. Never before have we had a President who was looking out for a smaller minority.
Now this is the State of the Universe Address, and seen from that higher perspective, things look great! I am happy to report that the Universe continued to expand in 2002, and in fact, they actually had to let the Photon Belt out a another notch. An expanding Universe means
more jobs too, so we can expect a steady influx of aliens looking for work. Yep, the Universe just keeps purring in perfection, ever-changing as usual. The planets continue to harmoniously spin in their orbits, and except for the occasional case of asteroids, they just calmly go about their business.
Meanwhile, back here on earth, things are a bit more problematical. We still haven't fully recovered from that vicious dogma attack of 911. But as an optimystic, I believe you can indeed teach an old dogma new tricks, simply by changing the emPHAsis to another sylLABle. Instead of focusing only on emergency measures, why not take emerge 'n SEE measures?
When we emerge from our fearful hiding places and see from the cosmic comic perspective, we realize that beneath all the stress and distress and sadness in life there is a deep well of joy. Each time we let laughter bubble up from the well, we experience deep wellness. Levity helps us overcome gravity, especially when we shine the light of laughter on those poorly-lit corridors of power.
Do you know what the leading cause of terrorism is? It's seriousness. I'm serious. Think about it. Those people have no sense of humor. Otherwise how could they believe they will get to heaven by putting other people through hell? Here is my vision: A suicide bomber arrives at the Gates of Heaven, and God clops him over the head and says, "SCHMUCK! What'd you do that for? 72 virgins? YOU get one 72-year-old virgin, and his name starts with Ayatollah!"
But if Americans are willing to revive the Iraqi Horror Picture Show just to feed our out-of-control oil habit, how are we that different? How many innocents will be put through hell, just to preserve our little corner of relative heaven? There is no real peace without harmony and balance, only the vicious cycle of injustice. Peons get tired of getting peed on, right? You get pissed on, and pretty soon you're gonna get pissed off. This causes the hot spots to flare, and pretty soon you have an uprising, which usually results in a downfall. All these uprisings and downfalls can be wearing on the body politic.
Fortunately, we do have a choice. One of my favorite stories recently is about a Native American grandfather talking to his young grandson. He tells the boy he has two wolves inside of him struggling with each other. The first is the wolf of peace, love and kindness. The other wolf is fear, greed and hatred. "Which wolf will win, grandfather?" asks the young boy. "Whichever one I feed," is the reply.
Every day -- every moment -- we have the choice to feed the wolf of love or the wolf of fear. It is interesting that we are called humanKIND. What better time than now to find out, can mankind treat man kindly?
I have a dream ... I call it tell-a-vision. I say, if you're dissatisfied with the current programming, you can turn off your TV and tell a vision instead. Here is my vision: Remember the Manhattan Project during World War II? It took less than four years for a group of scientists to develop the first weapon of mass destruction. My vision is, we can do even better for an even worthier goal. We could call it the Manhelpin' Project, and its purpose would be to develop the first weapon of mass construction instead.
Think about it. What if we used that $200 billion set to detonate in Iraq, and put it toward becoming the worldwide leader in renewable, clean, sustainable energy sources? Now there's some real power. Create something so plentiful you don't have to pay an army to protect your share. A healthy income, a healthy outcome ... what could possibly make more sense? Boy, talk about feeding two birds with one scone!
The choice is up to us. If we want an alternative, we must feed the "alter native" economy ... anything that alters us natives for the better. The world we live in is a byproduct of the products we buy, is it not? What if we only choose to buy products with healthy byproducts? Think about this: There are at least 45 million Americans who consciously want to feed the wolf of peace. If each of us switched just $100 into the alter native economy, that would be $4.5 billion!
Last year, we launched a blisskrieg and declared "all out peace." I'm happy to report it is already working. More people are letting their inner peace out, and these outbreaks of peace are actually causing esteem to rise! And we all know that rising esteem is good for the atmosphere. As esteem rises, more people on the planet will be able to be all that they can be -- without joining the army. And when more of us put our energy into love and laughter instead of criticizing and condemning, we will have Uncritical Mass ... and we will bring about Nonjudgment Day, and along with it, Disarmaggedon. Now you might be wondering, what will Nonjudgment Day look like? Let me tell another vision.
I have been to the heights of levity, and I have seen people all over the world dancing together in the universal dance of fool realization ... The Hokey Pokey. I want you to hold this vision with me: all of the world leaders at the United Nations beginning their sessions with the Hokey Pokey. What if Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat put their whole selves in in? That would be commitment. And then pulled their whole selves out. That is detachment. Then they turn themselves around, which is transformation. And that, my friends, is what it is all about!
So, how can you help raise the laugh force on the planet enough to bring about Nonjudgment Day? You can take a vow of levity, and laugh more. Support everyone's right to laugh by joining the Right To Laugh Party ... "One big party, everyone is invited. All for fun, and fun for all."
Commit random acts of comedy. Practice Fun Shui and leave the world a funnier place. Anything to elicit a moment of of fool-realization with a spark of laughter. Because only when we lovingly laugh at our foolishness, can we seriously change things for the better . May you
wake up laughing and leave laughter in your wake ... and may the Farce be with you!
© Copyright 2003 by Steve Bhaerman
Subject: FW: An important message from Dr. Jose Arguelles
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 18:33:03 +0800
Greetings Planetary Kin:
I wanted to invite all of you to join in some truly amazing events happening
in the very near future, aligned with the powerful time of Equinox: March
20th-21st (Solar Moon 14-15; Blue Magnetic Monkey-Yellow Lunar Human).
Gregorian March 20th has been named the Global Day of Action, in response
to the one year anniversary of the United State's launching its pre-emptive
attack of war upon Iraq. On this day, there will be rallies and marches for
peace all across the world.
Please JOIN us, and please PASS THIS MESSAGE ALONG!
On this same day there will be a Baghdad Peace Vigil occuring at the heart
of the warzone, where several planetary spiritual elders, including our very
own Dr. Jose Arguelles (founder of the 13 Moon Dreamspell Calendar system
and the World 13 Moon Calendar Change Peace Movement)will be gathering with
sacred intention. The main sponsor of this peace vigil is James Twyman and
the Beloved Community.
Dr. Arguelles sent me the following report to share with you:
Baghdad Peace Vigil
On Solar Moon Silio 14, Blue Magnetic Monkey, White Spectral Wizard Year
(Gregorian: Saturday, March 20, 2004), a small, spiritually diverse group
will conduct a Peace Vigil at the National Theater in Baghdad, Iraq.
Indigenous elders from Siberia, Kenya and the Lakota Nation, North America,
will be joined by representatives of the Iraq Muslim and Christian communities
for this unique peace event to be held on the first anniversary of the launching of
the last war on Iraq. While the elders will do ceremony and offer prayers from
their respective traditions, the vigil will also include a calling to peace of each of
the nations of the world represented by its flag. The Banner of Peace will be
present on the stage during the event.
The intention is to create a highly focused ceremony to demonstrate
that peace is, above all, a supremely spiritual concern, and that until
we admit this and allow spiritual truth to enter into the conduct of
peacemaking, there will not be true peace on Earth. By doing this
ceremony in the heart of Baghdad, where, in the ³war on terrorism,² the
regime of Saddam Hussein has been replaced by an interim American
military government, the peace group wishes to send a signal to the rest
of the world: If we want peace, we must start it where it is needed the
Baghdad is not only the focus of the present global conflict, it is in
the heart of the Islamic world. Home to a large population of Shi¹ite
Muslims, the Islamic history of Iraq goes back to the time of the second
Imam and his assassination in the Holy City of Karabala. Another century
later and it was the time of the great Caliph Haroun al-Rashid (800 AD),
whose legacy was to transform Baghdad into the literary capitol of the
world. But far before Islam, this land between the Euphrates and the
Tigris Rivers was known as Mesopotamia, land between the rivers, site of
the beginnings of the modern civilized world over 5000 years ago. The
first historical city Uruk ( = Iraq) was in Iraq and so was the fabled
All of the tragedy of history as we know it can be traced back to
Babylon - war, taxes, the course of empire, which is the course of
civilized history itself. From Babylon to Baghdad, from start to finish
lies the alpha and omega of history - a span five thousand years in
diameter, where beginning and end are back to back on the wheel of time.
The events now occurring in Baghdad are the last act of history, which,
by Mayan Prophecy, has its final curtain coming down on December 21,
2012. In this fact lies a more prophetic and synchronic aspect for the
peace vigil in Baghdad.
The day of the ceremony on the 260-day wizard's count is Blue Magnetic
Monkey, the very center of the Tzolkin. It is the Magnetic Monkey, Kin
131, which initiates an inverse polarity switch so that the second half of the
Tzolkin, or sacred count, is in every way a mirror reversal of the first half.
By noting this point, there is yet a deeper intention of the Baghadad Peace Vigil:
In a visionary anticipation of 2012, to absolutely reverse the process of history.
This is why, when the Indigenous spiritual leaders conduct their ceremony at
the National Theater in Baghdad, a ritual cap will be placed on any further
development of history. The people represented by these spiritual elders are
the people bypassed and marginalized by history, and for that reason it is
appropriate at the end of the cycle, for the Indigenous people to officiate the
closing of history.
When we survey the panorama of history from Babylon to present day
Baghdad, we see a gathering cloud of increasingly sophisticated and deadly
forms of warfare. The world now totters at the brink. Nuclear arms proliferation
continues to be the specter haunting all of modern civilization. The war on
terrorism only exacerbates this point.
Therefore, to reverse the cycle of history is to raise the Banner of Peace and
deposit the guns in the planetary recycling bin; it is to beat the missiles into
plowshares, and to develop techniques of higher consciousness and matter
conquering mind techniques to dissolve the radioactivity back into the void
plenum where it will be recharged and transmuted into free energy.
And this is why, when this small band of planetary elders takes its ceremony
to the stage of the National Theater in Baghdad, it wishes the world to join it
in a meditation and prayer for peace that is so powerful in its intention that long
afterwards it might be said that here was the turning point, here a descent of
spiritual power, here a return of principles of spiritual peace universally awakening
in the hearts and minds of ALL humans everywhere.
UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE -
DIRECTORY OF SYNCHRONIZED EVENTS HAPPENING
ON MARCH 20th -
PLEASE CHECK FOR SOMETHING IN YOUR LOCAL AREA!
GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION - EFFORTS OF PEACE CANDIDATE KUCINICH
Many of you are aware that March 20th marks the one-year anniversary
of the pre-emptive war in Iraq. A number of leading peace groups and
coalitions have recognized this day as a Global Day of Action to protest
against the invasion, occupation and corporate control of Iraq. Rallies and
marches will bring millions of people into the streets in cities around the world,
to rally for peace and protest the effects of the Bush Administration's policies
at home and abroad.
Dennis Kucinich is the only national political leader who represents the peace
movement. Before the war began Dennis Kucinich saw through the lies that
fueled the Bush Administration's climate of fear and violence. He led the
opposition to the war in Congress, and he remains one of the most credible
voices within the Democratic Party when speaking about the need to bring
our troops home. His position - US out, UN in - remains the only credible
alternative to thencurrent reality.
For these reasons, and for others, Dennis Kucinich has been invited to speak
at one of the largest March 20th rallies, in New York City. Supporters of the
Kucinich Campaign will be on hand there, and all over the country, to bring
home the message: US out, UN in.
Please locate peace activities taking place in your part of the country, and work
with the Kucinich Campaign to make them a success.
Look for events in your area at:
National Movements Coordinator
Kucinich for President
8000 DRUMS - MARCH 21 at 12 noon Mexico time
EIGHT THOUSAND SACRED DRUMS
FOR THE HEALING OF THE MOTHER EARTH
AND ENSURE LIFE AND PEACE WORLDWIDE
(please read on to find out how to synchronize from your own home!)
CALL TO: The Indigenous First Nations, Peoples, Communities and
Organizations of the World and all Humankind According to a Prophecy
Revealed at the Otomí Ceremonial Center by the Otomí Elder Sages to the
Indigenous Peoples and all Humankind and a Vision of our Venerable
Ancestors, the day when the Sounds of Eight Thousand Sacred Drums join
together will be the beginning of a true Healing of Mother Earth, of All the
Species and of the Human Family which is now in total disequilibrium in
order to be able to live together on the road to Sacred Peace, in harmonious
union with the Universe, Mother Nature, the Community, the Family and our
It is time to re-unify ourselves and rediscover for ourselves all the Seeds
of the Four Directions in order to reactivate cosmic energy, heal historical
wounds and heal our Mother Earth by respecting life and the liberty and
dignity of our Peoples.
The Otomí Nation, through the Council of the Elders and the Guardians of the
Otomí Tradition, the Dänguu Mfädi ³Mähki ´Ñuu² (Grand House of Otomí
Knowledge), and the International Indigenous University invite
(a) Indigenous Keepers of the Ancestral, Ceremonial and Medicinal Sound
of the Sacred Drums;
(b) Councils of Elders, Sages and Leaders of all Indigenous Nations, Peoples
(c) Indigenous Guides, Guardians and Spiritual Leaders, and
(d) All Traditions of Humankind to come together at
the Grand Indigenous Ceremony of the
EIGHT THOUSAND SACRED DRUMS
FOR THE HEALING THE MOTHER EARTH
AND ENSURE LIFE AND PEACE
which will be held at the
Otomí Ceremonial Center in Temoaya, State of México,
Otomí Nation, Mexico, and at Ceremonial Centers
and Sacred Indigenous Sites around the world
at 12 noon (mexico time) on March 21, 2004.
§ Sealing and healing the wounded vertices of Mother Earth is urgent.
§ Identifying and activating the Indigenous Energy Centers at Sacred Places
is our duty.
§ Planting and strengthening consciousness of Love and Respect for our
Mother Earth is everyone¹s work.
§ The indigenous ancestral recommendation to create and practice the Grand
Culture of Peace and Life is fundamental.
§ Recognition of the use of the energy and healing properties of our sacred
instruments is a principle and goal of our Indigenous Mission.
All Indigenous Peoples, Native Nations, Communities and Organizations that
would like to participate in this Grand Ancestral Cosmic Ceremony are asked
to notify us as soon as possible to set up contacts and facilitate communication
Call 01 (722) 2 91 07 48 or 01 (722) 7 73 2240 or e-mail us at:
The main event at the Grand Indigenous Ceremony will be held at the Otomí
Ceremonial Center in Temoaya, State of México, Otomí Nation, at 12 noon
local Mexican time on March 21, 2004, when the Elder Sages, Spiritual Guides
and Guardians of the sacred Otomí and Indigenous Drums will appear and play
their Sacred Drums to the Four Directions of Mother Earth, thereby attaining
unity in diversity and communally receiving the Healing Energy of the Great
Spirit and the Cosmos.
It will be a marvelous blessing to all of us who are able to come together
at this Celebration of Peace and Dignity in honor of Our Ancestors.
In order to take part in this Indigenous Ceremony, bring your Sacred Drums,
your Native Nation, Indigenous People or Community; bring the Sacred Drum
from your Ceremonial Cultural or Educational Center or the Sacred Drum of
your Family, Group, Council, Collective or Association; you may also bring
the drum of your heart.
To take part, it is imperative that you contact us quickly, register and let us
know how many Sacred Drums will be taking part in the Grand Ceremony
of 8,000 Sacred Drums to Cure Mother Earth and Ensure Life and Peace.
We ask you to register as soon as possible.
Taking Part from your Home Countries:
Another way of participating in this Indigenous Ceremony is to meet with
your Sacred Drums and the drum of your heart at some Sacred Place in any
region or country on the planet.
If you do this, we still ask that you inform us as soon as possible, register
your drums and let us know how many people will be taking part from their
home areas so that we can make the connection and know how many drums
are contributing to the Sound of the 8,000 Sacred Drums.
Your Offering for the Earth, Peace and Life:
We are appealing to the generosity of your heart to help humankind. This
Grand Indigenous Ceremony of Cosmic Harmony will lift up our prayers. We
would also be grateful for your donations and offerings to Dänguu Mfädi
³Mähki ¹Ñuu² (the Grand House of Otomí Knowledge) and the International
Indigenous University; your collaboration will help support this sacred work
guided by the Great Spirit, with the blessing of our Elders, to further the
revival of our Ancestral Wisdom.
¡Ra zö ga ihmu! Welcome, everyone!
DA MUNTS¹I YA MÄ
HNINIHU COUNCIL OF THE ELDERS
AND THE GUARDIANS OF THE OTOMÍ NATION
Happy Spring Time to those in the Northern Hemisphere;
Happy Autumn Time to those in the Southern Hemisphere!
An interesting note is that during these focus days, astrologically speaking,
both the Sun and the Moon will be in ARIES - which represents the
Warrior energy. Therefore, we are being invited to counter-balance the
false, destructive, fear-based warrior energy with the genuine, constructive
Shambhalla Warrior energy, connected with the tender rawness of our hearts,
using our fiery determination and our intelligence in service to our Oneness.
May the waves of love generated thru these efforts multiply with Divine
force to redeem and rebalance all the destruction and devastations of war.
We Shall Prevail! Oh Yum Hunab Ku Evam Maya E Ma Ho!!!
In Lak'ech: Mayan Code of Honor: I am Another Yourself!
By Bob Dart / Palm Beach Post-Cox News Service
Monday, March 8, 2004
WASHINGTON -- In the spring semester of their junior years at Yale University, John Kerry and George W. Bush were tapped on the shoulder and abruptly asked: "Skull and Bones, accept or reject?"
Both answered, "Accept."
Kerry was initiated into this most famous and mysterious of Yale's secret societies in 1965. Bush entered Skull and Bones in 1967, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Thus was set up the first presidential election between Bonesmen nearly four decades hence.
This development was perhaps inevitable. For generations, 15 Yale seniors -- frequently future leaders of government, business, media, arts and other professions -- have gathered in secrecy in the Tomb, the windowless home of their select society on the Yale campus.
Often after graduation, their bonds have strengthened inside a Bones network entwined throughout American culture.
"The only agenda of Skull and Bones is to get its members into positions of power and then to have those members hire others to positions of prominence. The organization has an enormous superiority complex that partly fuels their secrecy," said Alexandra Robbins, author of Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power.
"I think the problem here is that, frankly, I don't believe that the people who represent our country, especially the president of the United States, should be allowed to have an allegiance to any secret group. Secrecy overshadows democracy," said Robbins, a 1998 Yale graduate who belonged to Scroll and Key, another secret society.
"They stopped talking to me after my book was published," she said, describing the spirit of secrecy that still permeates the societies.
Such secrets seem safe with Bush and Kerry, the likely Democratic nominee for president.
In separate episodes of the NBC program Meet the Press, host Tim Russert asked Bush and Kerry about their memberships in Skull and Bones.
"It's so secret we can't talk about it," answered the president.
"I wish there were something secret I could manifest there," Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, replied warily when Russert asked if he would divulge rituals of the Tomb.
"What's so staggering about the fact that both presidential candidates are members of Skull and Bones is that this is a tiny organization with perhaps only 800 living members," said Robbins. "This isn't an organization in which a member can simply get an interview at some Joe Schmo law firm. This is an organization where members can call up presidents, Supreme Court justices, and Cabinet members, and ask for jobs, power, money, or connections."
In researching her book, Robbins interviewed more than 100 members of Skull and Bones. She inquired about which candidate the secret society would rather have in the White House.
"I asked many Bonesmen that question," she recalled. "The sincere answer to me was, 'We don't care -- it's a win-win situation.' "
Of course, Bush and Kerry are only the latest Bonesmen to star on the national stage. President George H.W. Bush, the incumbent's father, was also a member of Skull and Bones, as were former President William Howard Taft; former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart; former Sens. Prescott Bush, David Boren, James Buckley, John Heinz and John Chafee; Time magazine founder Henry Luce; writers Archibald MacLeish, John Hersey, William F. Buckley Jr. and his son, Christopher Buckley; historian David McCullough; Washington power brokers Averell Harriman and McGeorge Bundy; anti-Vietnam War activist the Rev. William Sloane Coffin: Morgan Stanley founder Harold Stanley, and a wealth of other well-connected notables.
"I think Skull and Bones has had slightly more success than the Mafia in the sense that the leaders of the five families are all doing 100 years in jail, and the leaders of the Skull and Bones families are doing four and eight years in the White House," author and Yale graduate Ron Rosenbaum said on the CBS News program 60 Minutes.
Ritual and reverence
With roots stretching to 1832, Skull and Bones is the oldest of Yale's secret senior societies. There are others, however, that also meet on Thursday and Sunday evenings in their own "Tombs." Among them are Scroll and Key, Book and Snake, Wolf's Head and Berzelius.
Each chooses 15 or 16 new juniors as members on "tap night" in April. As seniors, they will spend countless hours together in their Tombs and form lifelong relationships. With varying input from alumni, each class chooses -- "taps" -- its successors.
In Secrets of the Tomb, Robbins revealed much of the ritual and reverence of Skull and Bones:
New members are assigned secret names. Some are traditional: "Long Devil" is the tallest member. "Boaz" (for Beelzebub) goes to a varsity football captain. The new member with the least sexual experience is dubbed "Gog." The most sexually experienced member becomes "Magog."
The elder George Bush was nicknamed "Magog," Robbins reported. George W. Bush was called "Temporary" because he was not assigned a name and didn't choose one. The author didn't know Kerry's secret name but "Long Devil" might be a good bet.
Kerry's Bonesman class of 1966 included Alan Cross, now a physician and director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Federal Express founder Fredrick W. Smith; and William Warren Pershing, grandson of Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, an infantry officer who died in Vietnam.
Among Bush's diverse group of Bonesmen, who graduated in 1968, were Olympic gold medalist Don Schollander; future Harvard Medical School surgeon Gregory Gallico; Jordanian Muhammed Saleh; Donald Etra, an Orthodox Jew; and Roy Austin, then African-American captain of Yale's soccer team and now U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago.
As president, George W. Bush has appointed other Bonesmen to his administration, including Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William H. Donaldson and Assistant Attorney General Robert McCallum.
Most of Yale's secret societies set aside long sessions in which members tell their life stories in deep, intimate detail.
The lore of Skull and Bones, which began accepting women members in 1992, describes additional meetings in which each member gives explicit accounts of his or her sexual history. This is known as a "CB" or "Connubial Bliss" account.
"There was nothing perverse or surreal or prurient -- just an open exchange," a Bonesman told Robbins.
Alumni gather annually
Skull and Bones is a "dry" society. No alcohol is consumed inside its Tomb. Members dine together at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays in the Firefly Room, where light comes through fixtures shaped like skulls and beverages are served in skull-shaped cups.
There are also plenty of actual skulls and bones, both human and animal, inside the Skull and Bones Tomb. Initiation puts new members in coffins.
"The preoccupation with bones, mortality, with coffins, lying in coffins, standing around coffins, all this sort of thing I think is designed to give them the sense that, and it's very true, life is short," said Rosenbaum. "You can spend it, if you have a privileged background, enjoying yourself, contributing nothing, or you can spend it making a contribution."
During their senior years, members often hang out in the Tombs, which are closed to outsiders. The Skull and Bones building is described as more comfortable than plush, and the society is financed through an endowment and contributions by alumni. There are no dues.
Meetings are held behind a locked iron door in the Inner Temple, or Room 322. The number is hallowed in Skull and Bones history. In its beginnings, the society was known as the Eulogian Club and honored Eulogia, the goddess of eloquence. She "took her place in the pantheon upon the death of the orator Demosthenes in 322 B.C.," reported Robbins.
Inside their tomb, Bonesman refer to outsiders as "barbarians."
Alumni are expected to return to the Tomb for events. And members from over the years gather at least annually on Deer Island, which is owned by Skull and Bones and located just north of Alexandria Bay, N.Y.
"Bones likes to bring back its prominent alumni, especially, because the visits remind younger members of the illustrious footsteps in which they are expected to follow," said Robbins, "and that the bizarre traditions in which they participate are traditions that famous men have been following for nearly 200 years."
Article from: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/content/auto/epaper/editions/monday/news_04b4cf2d058740920061.html
Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth?
By WILLIE NELSON
There's so many things going on in the world
How much oil is one human life worth
And what ever happened to peace on earth
We believe everything that they tell us
They're gonna' kill us
So we gotta' kill them first
But I remember a commandment
Thou shall not kill
How much is that soldier's life worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
So I guess it's just
Do unto others before they do it to you
Let's just kill em' all and let God sort em' out
Is this what God wants us to do
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
Now you probably won't hear this on your radio
Probably not on your local TV
But if there's a time, and if you're ever so inclined
You can always hear it from me
How much is one picker's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
But don't confuse caring for weakness
You can't put that label on me
The truth is my weapon of mass protection
And I believe truth sets you free
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
Willie wrote this song on Christmas, 2003.
Performed it for the first time at the
“Kucinich for President”
fund raising concert in Austin, Texas
on Jan. 3, 2004
China Issues a Human-Rights Report About the US
People's Daily (China), March 2, 2004 (Beijing Time)
Full text of Human Rights Record of the US in 2003
China issued the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003
Monday, March 1, 2004 in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights
Practices for 2003 issued by the US on Feb. 25. The Human Rights Record
is the fifth Chinese report in response to the annual country reports on
human rights by the United States.
Following is the full text of the Human Rights Record of the United
States in 2003, released by the Information office of China's State
The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003
By the Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic
March 1, 2004
On February 25, 2004, the State Department of the United States released
its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2003 (called the
"reports" thereafter). As in previous years, the United States once
again acted as "the world human rights police" by distorting and
censuring in the "reports" the human rights situations in more than 190
countries and regions across the world, including China. And just as
usual, the United States once again "omitted" its own long-standing
malpractice and problems of human rights in the "reports". Therefore, we
have to, as before, help the United States keep its human rights record.
I. On Life, Freedom and Personal Safety
The United States has long been in a violent, crime-ridden society with
a severe infringement of the people's rights by law enforcement
departments and with a lack of guarantee for the life of people, their
freedom and personal safety.
The United States is a country plagued most seriously by violence and
crimes. According to the statistical figures released in June 2003 by
the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a total of 11.9 million
criminal cases were reported in 2002 in the United States, including
homicides, rapes, robbery and theft. Of these cases, 19,940 cases were
reported in Detroit, where 2,073 people committed crimes in every
100,000 people. In Baltimore, where 2,055 people committed crimes in
every 100,000 people. With regard to personal offenses, cases of murders
and rapes rose by 0.8 percent, and 4.0 percent, respectively, over
2002 (see The Sun, USA on June 18, 2003).
On Sept. 15, 2003, US Surgeon General Richard Carmona admitted at a
workshop that the United States has always ranked first in the world in
terms of homicide incidence. In August 2003, the US Department of
Justice acknowledged in a report that a total of 15,586 homicide cases
occurred around the country in 2000, as against 15,980 in 2001, and
16,110 in 2002, indicating a rising trend year by year (see the edition
of USA Today on Aug. 25, 2003).
In a report released by the FBI in December 2003, the FBI said the
overall incidence of offenses in the U.S. somewhat dropped, whereas the
number of people murdered across the country grew by 1.1 percent during
the first half of 2003 (see the edition of USA Today published on Dec.
From January to August of 2003, 166 homicides were reported in
Washington D.C., up 5.1 percent year on year. In Chicago, which is known
as America's "homicide capital", there were 648 homicides in 2002,
compared with 599 in 2003, or an average of 22.2 people victimized in
every 100,000 residents (AP dispatch from Chicago on Jan. 1, 2004). In
New York, the number of people murdered in 2003 amounted to 596 (AP
dispatch from Chicago on Jan. 2, 2004). In California, the number of
murder cases for 2002 went up 11 percent. The US Justice Policy
Institute held that the existing legal system could not ensure the
safety and health of community residents.
The United States ranked first in private ownership of guns, resulting
in drastic rise in gun-related crimes. According to a survey of crime
victims, 350,000 criminal cases involving the use of guns were reported
in the United States in 2002, and guns were used in 63 percent of the
15,980 killings in 2001. On Aug. 27, 2003, a jobless man carrying a gun
broke into a car part supplying company, killing seven of his former
colleagues. Statistical figures from US National Center for Health
Statistics showed that 56.5 percent of Americans who committed suicides
in 2000 with the use of guns, involving 16,586 people (see Gun Violence,
Related Facts. www.jointogether.org).
Improper management of firearms led to the frequent occurrence of
juvenile offenses involving the use of guns. At least 18 people in
American public schools were reportedly killed in violence with 50 others
wounded in mid Aug. of 2003. According to data from US Center for
Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 percent of the murderers in
campus shootings in the United States used guns owned by their families
or friends, while over 80 percent of the guns used by students for
suicides came from their families or friends (Most Guns Used in School
Shootings from Family, Friends, www.jointogether.org).
Unrestrained evil social forces and widespread drug abuse endangered the
people's life and safety. According to a report released by US National
Youth Gang Center, there were altogether 21,500 sinister gangs in the
United States in 2002 with a combined membership of 731,000. In April
2003, an innocent woman was killed in a gang shootout in New York.
Police had to impose a state of citywide emergency in the summer of 2003
due to frequent gang-related violence (see the edition of USA Today on
Dec. 16, 2003).
Drug-related crimes have been on the rise, with new characteristics
involving a growing number of gangs, intensified violence and
trans-national smuggling and collaboration with terrorist groups. The
rate of crimes induced by drug abuse has risen year by year. Relevant
data released by the US Department of Justice showed that over half of
the inmates in federal jails have something to do with drug-related
crimes (see Washington Post on July 28, 2003).
According to the outcome of a survey released by Washington D.C. Mayor
Anthony A. Williams, 60,000 people out of the 600,000 population in
Washington used drugs and indulged in excessive drinking, causing an
annual economic loss of 1.2 billion US dollars. Half of those people
arrested on charges of violence in Washington D.C. took drugs (see
Washington Post on Dec. 2, 2003).
In recent years, the number of AIDS patients has also increased partly
due to the widespread drug abuse. Statistical figures released by the US
Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that the number of
people diagnosed as AIDS carriers across the United States in 2002 rose
by 2.2 percent over the previous year to reach 42,136 (see Washington
Post on July 28, 2003).
The infringement of lawful rights constitutes a malignant obstinate
disease of American society. Random assaults committed by the police
resulted in the frequent occurrence of tragedies with heavy casualties.
The New York City Police was reported for several willful shooting cases
when chasing suspects in January 2003. Four people were killed by the
police in the city from Jan. 1 to 5 last year. In Dec. 2003, a black man
named Nathaniel Jones was beaten to death by six policemen in
Cincinnati, causing a great uproar against police brutality across the
According to an AP report, a woman in the city of Detroit had one of her
fingers cut off and another finger injured by the police simply for a
dispute with them in a parking lot. The report said the police also
boxed her ears and tore her hair.
The United States issued the Patriot Act in name of land security and
anti-terrorism after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, and many substantial
contents of this act encroached upon rights and freedom of citizens,
especially the people of ethnic minorities. Under the authority of the
Patriot Act, the government departments are empowered to wiretap phone
calls of citizens, trace their online records, read their private mails
and e-mails. The FBI is even allowed to keep a watch on people's reading
habits. They check the booklists of what people borrow from libraries,
so as to judge whether they have been influenced by terrorism. A
resolution passed by Cambridge, Massachusetts, explicitly noted that the
civil rights of the American people are being jeopardized by the Patriot
Act and, therefore, the Sun in Aug. 2003 set forth an appeal for
"freedom to read" (see the Sun on Aug. 18, 2003).
The United States claim itself as a paradise for free people but the
ratio of inmates in the United States has remained the highest in the
world. The number of inmates in the country exceeded 2.1 million in
2002, a year-on-year rise of 2.6 percent, according to the statistical
figures released by the Department of Justice in July 2003. The jails
nationwide receive 700 new inmates every week in the U.S. where 701 out
of every 100,000 people are in prison (see Washington Post on July 28,
Inmates have received inhumane treatment in the overloaded jails. An
International Herald Tribune story said the states of Virginia, North
Carolina, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas and Arizona had lowered the food supply
standards of inmates so as to curb the huge government budget deficit.
They reduced the calorie of each meal in jail and cut three meals a day
to two on weekends and holidays. According to a report by Amnesty
International, more than 700,000 inmates were held in high security
prisons and there they are compelled to stay in wards for 23 hours a day
and even longer, subjected to ruthless and inhuman treatment and
humiliation. Last year, at least three inmates were hit to death by
prison guards with guns of high voltage electric prods (2003 Report:
United States of America, Amnesty International, www.amnestyusa.org).
Sexual harassment and encroachment are common in jails in the United
States. A report issued by Human Rights Watch in Sept. 2003 said that one
in five male inmates in the country had faced forced sexual contact in
custody and one in 10 has been raped. For women inmates, they are
objects of sexual assault of jail guards, and one fourth of the women
inmates are sexually assaulted in a few jails (see Editorial, Doing
Something about Prison Rape, http:// www.hrw.org, 26/09/2003).
Nine girls in a juvenile delinquent center of the state of Alabama
accused the guards of assaulting and raping them and compelling them to
have forced abortion. They also said male guards watched girls take baths
and unclothe themselves for so-called frisk. They had to have sex with
male guards in the hope for better treatment, for instance, to get a can
of cola or food.
According to another Human Rights Watch report, one in six US inmates
suffer various kinds of mental illnesses. Many of them suffer from
schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and serious depression. The proportion
of inmates with mental illness in the prison population is over three
times higher than in the general population (see United States: Mentally
Ill Mistreated in Prison, www.hrw.org/2003/10/US102203.htm). The total
population of these patients has reached as high as 200,000 to 300,000.
"Prisons have become the nation's primary mental health facilities,"
said Human Rights Watch. The prisoners with mental illness are likely to
be picked on, physically or sexually abused and manipulated by other
inmates. For example, a female inmate named Georgia, who is both
mentally ill and retarded, has been raped repeatedly in an exchange for
small items such as cigarettes and coffee.
II. On Political Rights and Freedom
The presidential election, often symbolized as US democracy, in fact is
the game and competition for the rich people. Presidential candidates
have to raise money far and wide for their expensive campaign costs and
most of the donors are big companies and millionaires. President George
W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney had raised as high as 113 million
US dollars in their 2000 presidential campaign, a record in US history,
and the fund-raising is expected to reach 200 million US dollars for
this year's re-election campaign (see Britain's Independent newspaper on
Statistical figures from the Center for Responsive Politics showed that
Lockheed Martin Corp., the country's biggest arms dealer, has been the
biggest political donor. The company had donated 10.6 million US dollars
for political campaigns in the United States from 1999 to 2000 and has
been the main donor to the Committee on Armed Services of the House of
Representatives as well as one of the top ten donors to the Committee on
Appropriations of the House.
The so-called "freedom of press" in the United States has also been
brought under intensive criticism. According to an investigative report
of the Sonoma State University in the United States, freedom of press,
speech and expression of opinion in the United States is amid a crisis.
An increasing number of US media organizations are getting involved in
false reporting or cheating scandals. On June 5, 2003, two chief editors
of the New York Times resigned after their role in a plagiarism scandal
was exposed. John Barrie, head of Plagiarism.org in Oakland, California,
claimed that "every newspaper in this country is not doing due
diligence" and "everybody's got this problem".
Meanwhile, the US government has exercised an extremely tight control
over news media, which went to the extreme during the 2003 U.S.-led war
against Iraq. During the war, the US government had tried every means to
prevent the press from getting timely and true information and had
wielded its hegemony to override the journalistic principle of "faithful
and unbiased reporting". Peter Arnett, a veteran reporter with the US
National Broadcasting Company (NBC), was fired simply because he voiced
some of his personal views on the Iraq war. News coverage by
international media in Iraq also often fell prey to US restrictions and
crackdown. Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has accused US
troops in Iraq of frequent "obstruction of journalists trying to do
their jobs in Iraq" and described the number of attacks on press freedom
there as "alarming" (see Reuters story on Oct. 20, 2003).
In January 2004, the U.S.-installed Iraqi Interim Governing Council
issued an order to ban the Al-Qaida-based Al-Jazeera TV station from
covering any activity of the Council's members between January 28 and
February 27. A book named "Black List", co-written by 15 American
reporters, has warned that America's press freedom is facing danger. In
an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, Kristina Borjesson,
one of the book's authors and a former reporter with the CBS (Columbia
Broadcasting System) and CNN (Cable News Network), said that US
authorities had controlled all information to be spread by the media
while journalists had degenerated into the government's stenographers
(see French newspaper Le Figaro on May 8, 2003).
The US has also time and again launched attacks on news media
organizations and journalists in Iraq. In one of such attacks on April
8, 2003, the US troops bombed the Baghdad branch of an Arab TV station
and killed one cameraman on the spot.
III. On Living Conditions of US Laborers
Although the United States is the world's No. one developed nation, the
US government has to date refused to ratify the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It is apathetic to the rights
and interests of ordinary workers in economic, social and cultural
aspects, leading to serious problems such as poverty, hunger and
The disparity between the rich and the poor keeps widening in the United
States. A 2003 report by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under
the US Congress acknowledged that the gap between the rich and the poor
in the country today is wider than anytime in nearly 70 years, with the
wealth of the country's richest one percent of population exceeding the
overall possessions of the needy, who account for 40 percent of the
total population. In 2000, the rich people's wealth makes up 15.5
percent of the country's overall national income, as against 7.5 percent
in 1979 (according to BBC report on Sept. 25, 2003).
A report by the US Federal Reserve also showed that between 1998 and
2001, the wealth gap between the country's richest and poorest had
widened by 70 percent (see Britain's Guardian report on Jan. 24, 2003).
Certain policies of the US government, instead of helping narrowing the
country's wealth gap, have aggravated the rich-poor disparity and led to
an unfair distribution of wealth. According to a report by the US
Environmental Working Group in 2003, the agricultural policy of the US
government has ensured 70 percent of the government subsidies go to ranch
owners, resulting in a yawning income gap between ranch owners and
ordinary farmers and pushing many farmers to the verge of bankruptcy
(ABC report on Oct.9, 2003).
The population living in need and hunger in the United States has been
on a steady rise. According to statistics from the 2003 economic report
of the US Census Bureau, the impoverished population in the United
States had been increasing for two consecutive years, reaching 34.6
million, or 12.1 percent of the total population, in 2002, up 1.7
million over the previous year. The country's poverty ratio in 2002 had
risen by 0.4 percentage points over the previous year. Among the
impoverished population, the number of extremely needy people had risen
to 14.1 million from the previous 13.4 million, and the proportion of
children in need had gone up to 16.7 percent in 2002 from 16.3 percent
in 2001.Since 2001, the number of needy families in the United States
has been growing at 6 percent a year, and there are now 7.3 million
impoverished families in the country, which means 31 million people are
facing the threat of hunger. In the 25 leading metropolises of the
United States, the number of people who need emergency food aid has
increased by 19 percent on average, while the number of people who live
on charity food coupons, or those who have to queue up for free food
distributions, has surged to 22million (see Spain's El Mundo on May 19,
In October 2003, the US Department of Agriculture released a report,
which showed that in 2002 there were 12 million American families
worrying about their food expenditures and 3.8 million families with
members who actually suffered from hunger. On December 18, 2003, an
annual survey report released at the US Conference of Mayors showed that
in the 25 cities surveyed, the number of people seeking emergency food
aid in 2003 had increased by 17 percent on average over 2002. Moreover,
87 percent of the surveyed cities believed that the number of such
people would continue to rise in 2004.
The homeless population continues to rise. According to information
released by the US National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, more
than 3 million people were homeless in the United States in 2002
(Homeless and Poverty in America, www.nlchp.org). Washington D.C. has
the highest rate of homelessness of any city in the United States, with
an estimated 20,000 people having experienced homelessness and nearly
400 families having applied for emergency shelters in 2002 (A snapshot
of Homelessness in the Metropolitan, www.naeh.org). In April of 2002
alone, 38,476 people in New York spent their nights in aid centers,
including 16,685 children. According to a survey released by the US
Conference of Mayors in December 2003, requests for emergency shelter
assistance rose by an average of 13 percent in the past year; 88 percent
of the cities surveyed predicted that the situation would be even worse
Recently, the US Christian Science Monitor reminded the United States
that it should regard "a home for every American" as the most
rudimentary human right. Chicago Coalition for the Homeless said the
government was unable to provide the basic subsistence guarantee for
people, and that the local government had violated international human
rights law by forcibly taking over 8,000 local residential houses in
There is a lack of work safety. According to US laws, only the accidents
of industrial injuries resulting from "intended" violation of safety
rules by the employers are eligible to be submitted to the judicial
authorities. Even when alarming cases occur, the employers are seldom
confirmed as "intended" and rarely face public prosecution. The New York
Times quoted a surveyed report of the US Occupational Safety & Health
Administration as saying that in 20 years from 1982 to 2002, there were
1,242 cases involving the death of workers caused by the employers'
"intended" violation of safety rules, yet 93 percent of the cases were
not brought to the court. In these two decades, there was a total of
2,197 accidents caused by employers' violation of safety rules and
resulted in death of the workers in the United States, and the combined
prison terms for employers involved were less than 30 years.
The situation of health insurance worsened. According to a report
released by the US Census Bureau in September 2003, the number of
Americans without health insurance climbed by 5.7 percent over 2001, to
reach 43.6 million in 2002, the largest single increase in a decade.
Overall, 15.2 percent of the Americans were uninsured in 2002 (see
Washington Post on Sept. 30,2003).
Based on a survey, the ratio of employees uninsured in big US companies
rose from seven percent to 11 percent during the 1987-2001 period (see
Wall Street Journal on Oct. 22, 2003). More and more people cannot
afford medical treatment. In Nebraska, 250,000 single mothers lost free
medical care they previously enjoyed, and in Arizona, approximately
60,000 children were no longer covered by free medical care (see Spain's
El Mundo on May 19, 2003).
IV. On Racial Discrimination
Forty years have elapsed since late civil rights leader Martin Luther
King made the famous speech "I Have a Dream", yet the equal rights
pursued by the American blacks and minority ethnic groups remained an
unattainable dream today.
Racial discrimination in the United States has a long history with
age-old malpractice. It has been permeated into every aspect of
society. According to an investigative report released by the United
Nations, the blacks and colored people received twice or three times
more severe penalties than the whites for the crimes of the same kind;
the number of black people who received death penalty for killing white
people was four times that of the white people for killing black people.
In state prisons nationwide, about 47 percent of the inmates were black
people, and the 16 percent were people of Latin American ancestry. The
blacks accounted for 13 percent of the total US population, yet 35
percent of the people arrested for drug abuse crimes were blacks and 53
percent of the people that were convicted for drug abuse crimes were
At present, more than 750,000 black inmates were in US jails, or over 35
percent of the total number of inmates in the country; approximately 2
million black people were disciplined or put under various forms of
surveillance; 22 percent of black males in the 30-34 age group had jail
records, while the white inmates only make up three percent; 36 of 1,000
black females have possibilities of being jailed in their lives, while
only five of 1,000 white females have such a possibility.
The poverty rate and joblessness rate of the US blacks remained high.
According to statistics of the US Department of Labor, the white
people's unemployment rate in the U.S. was 5.2 percent in November 2003,
while the rate was as high as 10.2 percent for the blacks, almost twice
that of the whites (Employment Status of the Civilian Population by
Race, Sex, and Age, www.bls.gov/news.release/empgit.to2.htm,
According to statistics of the US Census Bureau, poverty rate among the
blacks reached 24.1 percent in 2002, up 1.4 percentage points over the
22.7 percent rate in the previous year; 20.2 percent of the blacks were
without health insurance; average annual income of median black families
was 40 percent less than the ordinary median US families (see USA Today
on Oct. 3, 2003).
Racial discrimination exists on the US real estate market, too. In 2002,
the US federal government received a total of 25,246 discrimination
accusations on housing market, 72 percent of which were from the
families of black people, disabled people or those families with
children, according to a report released by the National Fair Housing
Alliance in April 2003. Discrimination over the birth place nationality
of house purchasers rose from 10 percent in 2001 to 12 percent in 2002
(see the Sun newspaper, USA on Aug. 17, 2003). Black people usually
spend more money than white people on housing purchase, but their houses
are not as good as those of white people and they have to accept loans
with higher interests. The market value of houses bought by black people
with same amount of money is only 82 percent of those of white people,
and houses with high mortgage interest rate in black people communities
are five times more than those in white people communities, the Sun
newspaper quoted the US Department of Housing and Urban Development as
saying in on July 3, 2003.
Apartheid recurs at school. More than one third of American students of
the African origin are studying in schools where over 90 percent of
students are non-white people, according to an investigation made by
Harvard University in 2004. Since 1988, many schools abandoned the
compulsory racial integration in class due to a series of court verdicts
and changes in federal policies. According to a verdict passed in 1991
by the Supreme Court, the resumption of community schools was allowed
and it was no longer mandatory to carry black students from other
communities by school bus, which led to the disappearance of black
students in white people's schools. Meanwhile, wealthy white people in
some southern areas withdrew from publicly-owned school systems and sent
their kids to private schools where most students were white. Racial
differentiation in US middle and elementary schools is serious, noted a
commentary of the New York Times on Jan. 21, 2003. Those black students
in schools where most are white students often feel unwelcome,
discriminated or even scared (The New York Times on Jan.21, 2003).
Less proportion of colored races can go to universities than white
people. According to a report issued by the America Council on Education
in Oct. 2003, 40 percent of black people and 34 percent of
Hispanic-Americans of the age group from 18 to 24 can go to university,
while 46 percent of white people can go to university
According to the census result in March 2003, the income of black people
with bachelor degree was 24.5 percent lower than white people with same
degree, that of black people with master degree 21.2 percent lower than
white people with same degree, and that of black people with doctoral
degree 28.1 percent lower than white people (see USA Today on Sept. 9,
The US discrimination toward immigrants tends to become serious. After
the Sept. 11 incident, the US congress adopted anti-terrorism act
containing items infringing on human rights. The act permits the arrest
of immigrants with indefinite duration, checks on all secret files,
inspection in public and private occasions, wiretapping of phone
conversations and secret investigations. In June 2003, US
Procurator-General Glenn Fine revealed in his investigative report that
after the Sept. 11 incident, US authorities detained 762 foreign
immigrants for an average of about three months in excuse of violation
of immigrant law, but later investigation showed they had nothing to do
with the Sept. 11 incident (see Washington Post on June 3, 2003).
In the Operation Landmark launched in Chicago from Dec. 2002 toMay 2003,
the backgrounds of some staff working in public places such as airports
and high-rises were surveyed secretly, with some immigrants being
detained and deported without criminal acts, and the government refused
to publicize any details of this special policy toward immigrants and
information about the detainment and deportation of immigrants.
According to the report, this kind of "secret policing" activity in
excuse of national security infringedon the civil rights and freedom of
millions of immigrants in the United States (see Los Angeles Times on
May 29, 2003).
Another report shows that 1,200 immigrants were detained in the United
States with no indictment, and at least 484 people are still in custody.
To date, the US government still refuses to reveal the identity of these
people (see a report by Britain's Independent newspaper on June 26,
Immigrant children are maltreated. According to a report from the
Amnesty International, at least 5,000 children going to the United
States to find relatives, or avoid abuses and mistreatment, wars and
recruiting by domestic rebels were put into custody in the United
States. These children were jailed together with adult inmates, and were
abused in ways of frisk by being unclothed, handcuffed and flogged.
These children aged one to ten years from all over the world were often
imprisoned for months, or even for years. A kid jailed in a detention
center in Pennsylvania was beaten up for minor faults such as saying
"Can I use the toilet" instead of "May I use the toilet." Staffs in a
detention house in Texas will take back blankets and mattress and switch
off air-conditioners just because children make faults (Reuters dispatch
from Miami on June 18, 2003). The United States reportedly jailed a
number of prisoners regarded as illegal fighters, three of whom were 13
to 15 years of age (see Britain's Guardian newspaper on April 24, 2003).
V. On Conditions of Women, Children and Elderly People
Little can be spoken of the human rights record in the US in view of
protecting the rights of women, children, elderly people and other
special disadvantageous social groups.
American women cannot enjoy the equal rights with men to take part in
government and political affairs. Statistics from the Center for
American Women in Politics indicated that in 2003, women hold 59, or
13.6 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives, and 14, or 14
percent of the seats in the Senate. Despite an increase in the number of
women seated in state legislatures in 2003, they made up only 22.3
percent of the total 7,382 state legislators in the US. (Women in
Elected Office 2003 Fact Sheet Summaries,
Women are not entitled to equal treatment with regard to employment and
income. American women are still largely pigeonholed in "pink collar"
jobs, such as secretaries, saleswomen and restaurant attendants,
according to a report released by the American Association of University
of Women in May, 2003
Statistics from the US Department of Labor indicated that in 2002, the
average weekly income for women aged 16 and above were 530 US dollars,
or 77.9 percent of the 680 dollars for their male counterparts. Analysis
by the department noted that there were twice as many as women whose
earnings were below the Federal minimum wage, compared with men. Among
the whites and Hispanics, women are more likely than men to become low
income earners (Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of
There has been serious domestic and sexual violence against women.
According to figures released by the White House in October2003, a total
of 700,000 incidents of domestic violence were reported in the U.S. in
2001. One-third of women murdered each year are murdered by their
current or former husbands or partners (National Domestic Violence
Awareness Month, 2003, by George W. Bush, www.whitehouse.gov).
According to a survey conducted by the US National Coalition Against
Domestic Violence, 92 percent of American women cite domestic and sexual
violence as one of their top worries. One out of every three women
experiences at least one physical assault during adulthood, and only one
out of every seven cases of domestic violence, however, drew the
attention of the police. A report by the US military on sexual
harassment scandals in the US Air Force Academy showed that 109 out of
the 579 female cadets, or almost 20 percent, that were interviewed said
they had been sexually harassed and assaulted in different ways and to
The protection of children provided in the U.S. is far below the
international standards. The United States is one of the only two
countries in the world that have not ratified the Convention on the
Rights of the Child. Since 1980s, all the states in the U.S. have
lowered the age of criminal culpability against juvenile offenders, and
in some states, juvenile offenders aged 10 even stood on trial in courts
According to the Department of Justice, 27 out of the 50 US states have
set minimum age of criminal culpability. Most states such as California
set the age at 14, states like Colorado at 12 and two states including
Kansas at 10. In states where there is no minimum age of criminal
culpability, judges can decide to try juvenile offenders in juvenile
courts or transfer them to ordinary criminal courts according to the
seriousness of the crimes. In 2002, a 15-year-old student, who killed
two of his classmates in a shooting rampage, was sentenced to 50 years
in prison. In the same year, Brian Robertson, an 18-year-old student in
a high school in Oklahoma was arrested for his writing a novel with
"extraordinary violent" plots on a school computer and if convicted, he
faces up to 10 years in prison.
The US is the country that has handed most of the death penalties to
juvenile offenders and carried out the executions in the world.
According to a report released by the Amnesty International on Jan. 21,
two-thirds of the documented executions of juvenile offenders in the
world occurred in the US in the past decade and more. Since 1990, there
have been a total of 34 documented executions of juvenile offenders
worldwide, and 19 of them happened in the US (an AP dispatch from London
on Jan. 2, 2004).
While many countries around the world are abolishing executions of
minors, some politicians in the U.S. are asking to lower the minimum age
for death penalty, and the Federal Supreme Court has even set the age at
16. Up to date, there are 80 such juvenile inmates on the death row
waiting to be executed (a Prensa Latina from Havana on Aug. 4, 2003).
Among the developed nations, the United States ranks the first in terms
of the number of children living under the poverty line and the last in
the life expectancy of its children (Britain's Guardian newspaper on
Nov. 3, 2003). According to statistics released by the US Census Bureau
in September 2003, 10.4 percent of all US minors lived in poverty by the
definition of income in 2002 (Poverty: 2002 Highlights, www.census.gov),
up to 13 million people (Britain's Guardian newspaper on Nov. 3, 2003).
Of all the children, 11.6 percent could not afford health insurance. Of
the millions of homeless population in the United States, kids account
for a considerable proportion. The US Conference of Mayors said in its
2003 annual report that of all homeless families, 40 percent were
families with children, and among all the families applying for food
subsidies, 59 percent of them had at least one kid. And according to the
United Nations Children's Fund, of the 27 well-off nations in the world,
the United States ranks the first in the number of deaths of its
children as a result of violence and negligence (see Reuters dispatch
from Geneva on Sept. 18, 2003).
The under-aged population are under threat in terms of physical and
mental health. According to statistics from the US Federal Government,
of all the kids under the age of 18, 10 percent suffer from
psychological illness to varying extent, some to the point of committing
crimes. But only one fifth of them have been provided with medical
treatment (see the edition of USA Today on Oct. 26, 2003). Violent acts
plaguing the US public media are bringing adverse impact to the minors.
Statistics show that before coming of age at 18, kids and youngsters
could be exposed to at least 40,000 murder scenes and 200,000 other acts
of violence in various public media (an AP dispatch on Feb. 5, 2004).
They are so accustomed to fist fights, bloody killings that some have
been worshipping for violence, which gives rise to more malignant acts
of violence in the country accordingly.
Children are often the victims of sexual assault. In recent years, more
and more scandals have come to light that children were harassed,
molested and raped by priests in the U.S.. In June 2003, USA Today
reported that in the past 18 months, of all the 46,000 clergymen in the
United States, around 425 were dismissed by churches for crime
allegations involved, including the crime of sexual assault against
children (edition of USA Today on June 17, 2003). According to other
reports, at least 1,000 people were arrested in the United States for
accused acts of eroticism targeting at kids since June 2003. Of all the
arrested, 400 were charged with the crime of making and spreading erotic
materials relating to children via the Internet.
The senior citizens are prejudiced against and mistreated, which led to
a higher rate of suicides among them. In the United States, people aged
over 65 account for 13 percent of the national population, and of all
the people who committed suicide, the senior population make up 19
percent. According to a report of the Christian Science Monitor, of
every 100,000 people between the age of 15 to 24, 10.3 such people killed
themselves in 1999, and the number rose to 15.9 for the elderly people
above the age of 65, which was nearly 50 percent higher than the
national average level. All the numbers boiled down to the fact that more
than 6,000 senior citizens committed suicide in the United States in
VI. On Infringement upon Human Rights of Other Nations
In recent years, the United States has been practicing unilateralism in
the international arena, indulging itself in military aggression around
the world, brutal violation of sovereign rights of other nations. Its
image has been tarnished by numerous misdeeds of human rights
infringement in other countries.
The United States tops the world in terms of military expenditure, and
is the largest exporter of arms. Its military spendings for the 2004
fiscal year reaches 400.5 billion US dollars, exceeding the total amount
of defense budgets of all other countries in the world in summation. The
New York Times reported on September 25, 2003, that the United States
export of conventional arms accounted for 45.5 percent of the world's
arms trade volume in 2002, ranking the first in the world. And according
to a Capitol report, the United States sold 8.6 billion US dollars worth
of conventional arms to the developing nations, or 48.6 percent of all
the arms procured by the developing world in 2002.
The United States has been active in sabre-rattling and launching wars.
It is the No. One in terms of gross violation of other countries'
sovereign rights and other people's human rights.The United States has
resorted to the use of force against other countries 40 times since
1990s. Well-known US journalist and writer William Blum said in his
recent book "Rouge State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower" that
since 1945, the United States has attempted to overthrow more than 40
foreign governments, suppressed over 30 national movements, in which
millions of people have lost their precious lives and many more people
been plunged into misery and despair.
In March 2003, without authorization by the United Nations, the United
States unilaterally waged a large-scale war on Iraq based on its claim
that the Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In its wanton
and indiscriminate bombing of Iraq, many bombs of the US army were
dropped on residential areas, shopping malls and civilian vehicles.
According to an article carried by Britain's Independent newspaper in
January 2004 titled "George W. Bush and the real state of the Union," in
the war on Iraq by then, more than 16,000 Iraqis had been killed, of
which 10,000 were civilians (see the edition of Britain's Independent on
Jan. 20, 2004). On April 2, 2003, the US armed forces attacked a Baghdad
maternity hospital installed by the Red Crescent, a local market and
other adjacent buildings for civilian use, claiming a lot of human lives
and injured at least 25 people. Five cars were bombed and drivers were
burned to death inside their cars (see the edition of San Diego
Union-Tribune, U.S. on Aug. 5, 2003).
Based on a report by Britain's Independent newspaper on Feb. 8, 2004,
more than 13,000 civilians, many of them women and children, have been
killed so far by the US army and its allied forces in the Afghanistan
and Iraq wars in the wake of Sept. 11 incident in 2001, "making the
continuing conflicts the most deadly wars for non-combatants waged by
the West since the Vietnam War more than 30 years ago." Zbigniew
Brzezinski, national security adviser to former US President Jimmy
Carter in the 1970s, said "it is a serious matter when the world's
Number One superpower undertakes a war claiming a causus belli that
turns out to have been false." (Washington Post on Feb. 2, 2004).
Depleted uranium (DU) shells and cluster bombs were used recklessly
during wars in violation of international laws. In December 2003, the
Human Rights Watch disclosed in a report that the 13,000 cluster bombs
US troops used in Iraq contained nearly 2 million bomblets, which have
caused causalities of over 1,000 people. The "dub" cluster bombs that
did not blast on the spot continued to menace the lives of innocent
people. The US troops also used large quantities of depleted uranium
shells during their military operations in Iraq. The quantity and
residue of pollutants from these bombs far exceeded those of the Gulf
War in 1991. Through a spokesman for the Central Command, the Pentagon
acknowledged that ammunition containing depleted uranium was used during
the Iraq war. Indeed, Doug Rokke, ex-director of the Pentagon's depleted
uranium project, former professor of environmental science and onetime
US army colonel, said after the Iraq War that the willful use of DU
bombs to contaminate any other nation and bring harm to the people and
their environment is a crime against humanity (see Spain's Uprising
newspaper on June 2, 2003).
Another investigation report said that in the Iraqi capital Baghdad
alone, numerous places were found to have the amount of radioactive
materials that exceeded the normal level by 1,000 times. The US troops
also used "Mark-77" napalm, a kind of bomb banned by the United Nations,
in Iraq, which negatively impacted on environment there. On July 7,
2003, Dato'Param Cumaraswamy of the United Nations Commission on Human
Rights, openly voiced his shock at the fact that the US Government did
not abide by international human rights rules and humanism in its
counter-terrorism military actions. (United Nations Rights Expert
"Alarmed" over United States Implementation of Military Order, United
Nations Press Release, July 7, 2003, www.un.org)
The United States put behind bars 3,000 Taliban and Al-Qaida inmates in
Afghanistan, 680 alleged die-hard Al-Qaida elements from 40-odd
countries in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, and an undefined number of
prisoners in the US army base on Diego Garcia island in the India Ocean
leased from Britain. All these prisoners locked up by the U.S. were not
indicted officially (Britain's Independent newspaper on June 26, 2004).
The New York Times quoted a high-ranking official from the US Department
of Defense on February 13,2003 as saying that the United States planned
to jail most of the prisoners currently in Guantanamo for a long time or
indefinitely. The US Government said the detainees in Guantanamo were
not "prisoners of war" and therefore not subjected to the protection of
the Geneva Conventions.
"The main concern for us is the US authorities ... have effectively
placed them beyond the law," said Amanda Williamson, spokeswoman for the
Washington office of the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red
Cross. (Overseas Chinese newspaper in U.S., Oct. 11, 2003). A report
entitled People the Law Forgot, carried on the British Guardian in Dec.
2003, depictedthe plight of the 600-odd foreigners detained by the US in
Guantanamo Bay. These people had been detained in Guantanamo Bay since
January 2002, where they were tortured both mentally and physically
(Britain's Guardian newspaper on Dec. 3, 2003). The detainees were given
only one minute a week for taking shower and only through a hunger
strike did they win the weekly five-minute shower time and the weekly
ten-minute break for physical exercises. At a clandestine interrogation
center of the US troops in Bagram of Afghanistan, prisoners were even
more tortured. They were forced to stand or kneel down for hours in
varied awkward positions while wearing hoods over their heads or colored
glasses. Exposed to strong light 24 hours a day, they could not go to
sleep(Britain's Independent newspaper on June 26, 2003).
The US is the nation with the most troops stationed overseas, about
364,000 troops in over 130 countries and regions. The violations of
human rights against local people frequently occurred. In 2003, the US
military authority received 88 reports about "misbehavior" of its
overseas troops. On May 25, 2003, a soldier of the US Marine Corps in
Okinawa of Japan wounded and raped a 19-year-old Japanese girl. The
soldier was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. In the past
dozen years, such cases occurred frequently in Okinawa and up to 100 US
soldiers have been reported of committing crimes. On February 7, 2004,
Australian police detained three soldiers of the US Marine Corps
suspected of committing sexual harassment of two Australian women. In
September 2003, three officers and soldiers from the US Kitty Hawk
aircraft carrier robbed and seriously wounded a taxi driver in
Kanagawa-Ken of Japan. The three officers and soldiers were sentenced to
four years in prison. In October 2002, a female engineer in Baghdad of
Iraq was handcuffed and made to stand in the scorching sun for one hour
because she refused to be sniffed at by police dogs as she was taking a
copy of Alcoran with her. The case sparked large-scale protest and
demonstration in Iraq.
For a long time, the US State Department has been publishing "Country
Reports on Human Rights Practices" every year. It presumes to be the
"Judge of Human Rights in the World" and, regardless of the differences
and disparities among different countries in politics, economy, history,
culture and social development and strong opposition from other
countries, denounces other countries unreasonably for their human rights
status in compliance with its own ideology, value and human rights
model. Meanwhile, it has turned a blind eye to its own human rights
problems. This fully exposed the dual standards of the U.S. on human
rights and its hegemonism. The human rights record of the U.S. is
absolutely not in accord with its position as a world power, which
constitutes a strong irony against its self-granted title of a big power
in human rights. The United States should take its own human rights
problems seriously, reflect on its erroneous position and behavior on
human rights, and stop its unpopular interference with other countries'
internal affairs under the pretext of promoting human rights.