New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Archive for the ‘Guest Author’

Love Crowds Out Fear

August 09, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Guest Author, Politics

On Trayvon Martin and the George Zimmerman Verdict

by Valerie Elverton Dixon

I waited. My tears waited…

In March 2012 when the story of Trayvon Martin’s murder became national news, I waited to comment. Like those who took to the streets in hoodies, I could not understand how George Zimmerman could shoot and kill an unarmed teenager who was simply walking home from the store, be taken into custody by the police, and then go home to sleep in his own bed the same night without being charged with a crime.  Zimmerman told the police that he acted in self defense, and that was enough. Trayvon Martin’s family had to hire a lawyer and the lawyers had to contact national civil rights leaders before a prosecutor brought charges. I did not comment.

Trayvon Martin’s parents said they had faith in the criminal justice system. They wanted a trial. The trial happened and a jury of six women found their son’s killer not guilty. When I learned of the verdict on Sunday morning, July 14, my delayed praying tears ended their wait. I wept. I grieved for Trayvon Martin and for all the teenagers whose lives are lost to gun violence, and I grieved for our criminal justice system and for our nation. (more…)

No Home Anywhere

July 05, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Guest Author

Muslim Women Search for Justice, Opportunity

by Rebecca Martin

While some say that American Muslim women are empowered because they are American, on the other side of the globe in Saudi islamic woman 350 Muslim Women: No Home AnywhereArabia, their sisters struggle with an issue that’s at the heart of their community: living with the rights already given to women in the Koran and by the teachings of Mohammed.

That’s why women here felt Islamic justice was finally coming home, when on April 13, Arwa Al-Hejaili became the first woman lawyer granted a license to train for court appearances. Would the guardianship rule — the unwritten law that requires Saudi women to seek permission from husbands, fathers, or brothers to travel, open a bank account, and apply for jobs — go next? (more…)

Pilgrimages

June 26, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Guest Author

Lessons Learned on Life’s Unfolding Journey

by Shinay Tredeau

A tourist can be spotted in a large crowd. Without saying a word, they boast loud cries of, “Look out world, I’m comin’!” A tourist travels with the intention to shop, eat, sleep late and see the world through a camera lens, or shielded behind dark sunglass shades.

A pilgrim comes humbly barefoot in search of answers to questions much bigger than their personal affairs. A pilgrim’s intention for travelling is to give back to the place that has birthed life, their own or the world’s. A pilgrim seeks refuge in the mundane: their heart is set on the other, not themselves. The pilgrim must lose everything before they can return “home.” A pilgrim is not swayed by the weather, the amount of money or food they have in their pockets; they maintain their journey because ultimately they understand that their journey is selfless. A pilgrim takes nothing in return for their efforts and offer continuous gestures of prayer and praise. (more…)

Between Torture and Resistance

June 13, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Guest Author, Politics

Review of New Book by Puerto Rican Independentista Oscar López Rivera

by Hans Bennett

“It is much easier not to struggle, to give up and take the path of the living dead. But if we want to live, we must struggle.” — Oscar López Rivera, 1991

May 29th marked 32 years since Puerto Rican activist Oscar López Rivera was arrested and later convicted of “seditious conspiracy,” a questionable charge that Archbishop Desmond Tutu has interpreted to mean “conspiring to free his people from the shackles of imperial injustice.”

Today, 70-year-old Oscar López Rivera, never accused of hurting anyone, remains in a cell at FCI Terre Haute, in Indiana. Supporters around the world continue to seek his release, most recently by asking US President Barack Obama for a commutation of his sentence. Similar pardons granted by President Truman in 1952, President Carter in 1979, and President Clinton in 1999, were the legal bases for the release of many other Puerto Rican political prisoners.

Since all of Oscar López Rivera’s original co-defendants have since won their release, he is famous in Puerto Rico as the longest-held Independentista political prisoner. (more…)

The Impossible Community

June 10, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Guest Author, John Clark, Politics

An Interview with John Clark on Communitarian Anarchism

by Alyce Santoro

To social ecologists, environmental issues are, at their core, socio-economic issues. The same sense of separateness that justifies our exploitation and domination of one another makes possible similar acts of violence against nature. As long as we remain oblivious to underlying flaws in our collective logic (i.e., that it is reasonable to endlessly consume non-renewable resources on a finite planet; that peaceful, just societies can emerge out of competitive, hierarchical frameworks) any responses we could devise will be insufficient to significantly alter our current course. A social ecological approach to “saving the environment” would require balancing relationships between humans and other humans, and between humans and all other phenomena. It sounds like a tall order…and it is. In light of the obvious destructive effects of systems within which we are obliged to strive for quantity of goods for one over quality of life for all, we are now faced with two choices: pull off the impossible, or perish. (more…)

The Color Maroon

April 29, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Guest Author, Politics

Lessons on Life, Liberation from Imprisoned Activist Russell Shoatz

Russell Maroon Shoatz is a former leader of the Black Panthers and the Black freedom movement, born in Philadelphia in 1943 and originally imprisoned in January 1972 for actions relating to his political involvement. With an extraordinary thirty-plus years spent in solitary confinement — including the past twenty-three years continuously — Maroon’s case is one of the most shocking examples of U.S. torture of political prisoners, and one of the most egregious examples of human rights violations regarding prison conditions anywhere in the world. His “Maroon” nickname is, in part, due to his continued resistance — which twice led him to escape confinement; it is also based on his continued political analysis, including recent writings on ecology and matriarchy that are found in his recently published book: Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz.

This interview was conducted via correspondence by Lisa Guenther, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. (more…)

Reassessing Assimilation

April 26, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Guest Author

Historical Conversations, Lost and Found

by Lori Walsh

What happens when a child is taken away from her family and thrown into a strange environment where the child does not understand any of the angry words spit out at them by would-be caretakers? What happens to children when they are forbidden to express the one and only part that they truly own, the only thing that connects them to their ancestors – their heritage and a sense of where they belong and who they are? Hundreds of thousands of Native American children were forced to attend Indian [sic] boarding schools where they were forbidden to speak their native languages. As a result Native American cultures have suffered grave harm and in some instances this has led to disappeared languages and extinct ways of life. However, a good people cannot be kept down for long and we are in the midst of decades-long and ever-widening resurgence of indigenous languages and heritage. (more…)