Teaching Tolerance

Remember Rosa Parks, a seamstress on her way home from work, who refused to get out of a "Whites Only" seat on a bus? She did not act on impulse. She educated herself. She knew the high price of being a black woman in a society that favored the rights of whites and judged her as inferior. She had self-respect; she knew she was not worthy of disrespect. 

Rosa Parks attended a 1955 workshop at Highlander four months before refusing to give up her bus seat, an act which ignited the Montgomery bus boycott."

Highlander Folk School

Rosa prepared herself for a movement waiting to happen. Energy built among the black community to take on racism, and Highlander was a place where working people were learning how to take on inequity in labor practices. Out of that movement, the labor movement, the black movement, and the feminist movement all sprang to life. There were sit-ins, boycotts, marches, all kinds of action of a trained community of dissenters taking on causes using non-violent means.

That is what we need now as we take on the tyranny of people who believe in some super-human power, or an Armegeddon, or a threat of heaven and hell, or an energy that uses its power to gain power over those who have no power. The reality is, power resides in the people, and the people have to realize that fact. People can join together in a common cause of human rights and dignity and survival. 

Our challenges have been about race, creed, nationality, religious believers, non-believers, corporations, military-industrial complex, and profits vs life forms.

Now we face the reality of an Earth in danger, caused by human thinking and action. We can no longer wait for faith, beliefs, prayers or man-made laws that discount, trivialize, and put-down, the challenges confronting us. Stone Age beliefs, Bronze Age Scriptures, or 16th century understanding cannot do the jobs that need to be done. 

This challenge requires hard science, clear thinking, recognition of evidence and changes in lifestyles of all human enterprise. 

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