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All signs are pointing to the body found today on the shore of Lake Hodges, as being that of missing San Diego County teen, Chelsea King, with the Chelsea King Search Center Facebook page posting this afternoon, “Chelsea’s body has been confirmed.”  She went missing after going for a solo jog on February 25th, and over 4,000 caring individuals had helped search for her. Tonight there was a previously planned candlelight vigil, once intended to bring attention to Chelsea and the search for her, but tonight it took on a whole new meaning for the thousands in attendance (including Chelsea’s family) with the heart-wrenching news of the day. SDNN posted a photo gallery from tonight’s vigil.

I can’t even imagine what Chelsea’s parents, her brother, and friends are going through, because I know how I’m feeling upon hearing the news. My heart goes out to everyone feeling the loss tonight. Rest in peace, Chelsea.

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From The Center

In Memory of Seaman August Provost

Last week a 29 year-old gay, African-American servicemember, Seaman August Provost, was brutally murdered at Camp Pendleton. Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s an extremely inspiring video of various religious, labor, and civil rights  leaders (including Eric Lee of SCLC) as well as those who worked so hard to put the powerful “Meet In the Middle 4 Equality” march and rally together (Robin McGehee) yesterday.  This video is from just prior to the 14 mile march from Selma, CA to the MITM4E rally in Fresno, CA.  Big thanks to Unite the Fight for these videos, as well as getting the live feed of the rally on ustream. Read the rest of this entry »

News just broke that the Supreme Court of California will file its decision on the constitutionality and validity of Proposition 8, this coming Tuesday, May 26th at 10:00 a.m.  Click here for the official court notice of filing, and here for “Day of Decision” rallies.

One can only hope that a just decision will be handed down, that love will prevail, and that equality will finally be extended to each and EVERY Californian regardless of who they choose to marry.

***Added after the Supreme Court of CA upheld Prop 8: Open letter to the GLBTQ community in California regarding Prop 8 (video)

The Yes on 8 campaign (California) has constantly been airing despicable television ads full of lies (click here to find out the truth about Prop 8), but to now find out that they have used images of children whose parents have NOT given their permission for their use in the Yes on 8 ad, shows just how disgusting the depths Yes on 8 will go to get their hateful proposition passed.  I have worked in the California school system and know full well the privacy issues involved with allowing the image of ANY child to be published without a parent’s consent.  Putting even that aside, common sense would dictate that anyone the least bit interested in children and families, as the Yes on 8 folks “claim” they are in their ads, would realize that you do NOT place a child’s image in the public eye WITHOUT consent! It will be interesting to see how this plays out and what legal action, if any, the parents can/will take.  I will let the following press release and video tell you the details. 

Outraged Parents of Children Featured in Latest Prop 8 TV Ad Demand that Commercial be Taken off the Air Immediately

Latest Campaign Gimmick Termed Exploitative and Shameless by Parents 

SACRAMENTO – The parents of the two children most prominently featured in the latest multi-million dollar Prop 8 political spot today termed those ads “distasteful and exploitative” and demanded that the ads be taken off the air immediately.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 26, 2008

Contact: Julia Spiess

Phone: 916-601-8282

julia@perrycom.com

Outraged Parents of Children Featured in Latest Prop 8 TV Ad Demand that Commercial be Taken off the Air Immediately

Latest Campaign Gimmick Termed Exploitative and Shameless by Parents

SACRAMENTO – The parents of the two children most prominently featured in the latest multi-million dollar Prop 8 political spot today termed those ads “distasteful and exploitative” and demanded that the ads be taken off the air immediately. Both sets of parents – Laura Hodder and Matt Alexander and Jen Press and James Moore, sent two hand-delivered letters this morning. The first letter is to the Prop 8 Campaign demanding the ad be removed from its television and its Web site where it is being used as a fund raising tool. The second letter to the San Francisco Chronicle asks them to intervene on their behalf. The Prop 8 campaign manipulated video that the Chronicle has posted on its Web site.

In their letter to the Prop 8 campaign, the parents wrote: “We are absolutely outraged that you have chosen, without permission, to shamelessly hijack the images of our innocent children to promote a cause that we in no way, shape or form support. It is even more maddening that you have willfully and calculatingly edited the images of our children, with menacing music in the background, in a way that is completely contrary to their nature and harmful to them.”

The footage manipulated by the Yes campaign, without authorization from either the parents or the Chronicle, was originally captured on Oct. 10 when the children took a field trip with their classmates and several parents to share the moment of their teacher’s wedding to her longtime partner. All parents were notified well in advance of the trip which was organized by some parents, and, in fact, two families chose to have their children not participate under California’s broad opt out law.

“I’m a school principal so I know something about education and parents’ rights,” said Matt Alexander whose son, Ben, is featured in the ad. “And the opt out law is something we readily apply all the time. So, let me join every other educator in the state and ask Prop 8 to also stop lying about the opt out law.”

“This field trip was about sharing a special moment with a teacher these kids love,” said Jen Press whose daughter, Lucy, is prominently featured in the political ad. “To turn around and distort images of our children is outrageous. We’re opposed to Prop 8, but irrespective of our position, it’s wrong to use any image of children without their parents’ permission. And we think every parent in California would agree with us.”

In the letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, the parents wrote, in part:

“Our children are being exploited and used as pawns to further a political cause…We ask that you intervene immediately on our behalf and issue a cease and desist letter to the Yes on 8 campaign. If the campaign does not remove the ad, we ask that you pursue legal action against them.”

Added Jen Press: “Prop 8 claims to be about families, but we’re here to say you can’t be for families by attacking our families. You can’t be for families and take these children’s innocent images and flash them not only on television statewide, but on your fund raising page. This must stop right now.”

Click here to read the letter to the San Francisco Chronicle.(pdf)

Thanks to VodPod, here’s NBC’s video of last night’s SNL send-up of the VP debate. Tina Fey did ANOTHER dead-on “winky-folksy-question avoiding-makes me want to gag” version of Sarah Palin, while SNL cast member Jason Sudeikis portrayed Sen. Joe Biden. Having Gwen Ifill “do” Gwen Ifill would have been sheer perfection, but I will say that Queen Latifah did a great job putting forth some “what the heck are you doing” looks toward Fey/Palin which I’m sure the majority of America was making while watching the actual debate last Thursday. (And I use the term “debate” loosely. ;))

SNL also did a skit regarding the bailout–I mean “rescue” plan–, and while it had some good moments (Fred Armisen as Barney Frank), it dragged on far too long.

Also, PLEASE make sure to REGISTER TO VOTE!! The deadline for my fellow Californians is 10/20, but in some places it’s today. Head over to Declare Yourself to find out information for your state.

Enjoy the SNL VP debate video!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Once again, I’m sending major thanks out to the Randi Rhodes MySpace page for posting this video of tonight’s SNL show featuring this fantastically nailed performance by Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton.  Best line of the skit (and there were many) was Poehler/Clinton saying, “In conclusion, I invite the media to grow a pair, and if you can’t I will lend you mine.”  (Heck, I’ll loan them mine if they’ll step up their pressure on getting to the truth. ;))  Enjoy the video!

***Added 9/14/08:  Well, it looks like NBC Universal pulled a copyright claim (yes, I know, it’s their right, their property, but…) on all the SNL videos that were posted to YouTube last night.  I hope those of you who headed over here to see it DID get to see it before they were pulled down.  Here’s the SNL web site link to the video where you get to sit through a commercial before watching the skit.  Upside is that it’s high quality and fairly large.  I think I’ve watched the skit about 10 times now, and find something new each time.  I don’t think Fey and Poehler could have possibly done a better job than they did, with their impeccable timing, nuanced looks, and overall out Palining and Clintoning the actual women! 😉 

And for those of you wondering what the heck flerg, flirg (or however you want to spell it) means, here’s what I found, but take it all with a grain of salt, or with… (shame on me ;)).

Again, enjoy the video!

I hope every woman in this country, whether they agree with Roe or they disagree with Roe, whether they themselves would make one decision or another, will come together and say: Prochoice means that the Government respects the individual, and isn’t that really what our country is all about?~Senator Barbara Boxer

Today is the 35th anniversary of one of the most important legal decisions for women in our country, and one well worth taking time to acknowledge. Unfortunately it’s quite easy to be lulled into a false sense of security that Roe v. Wade will always hold firm, but there are many people opposed to a woman’s constitutional right to privacy and to her right to make her own decisions regarding her health and safety. We must remain vigilant against the chipping away of women’s rights by anti-choice groups and their ability to work their viewpoints into our government and legal system. Happy Anniversary, women!

From Planned Parenthood:

35th Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade Decision

The 35th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, legalizing abortion nationwide, is one of the most powerful reminders that the struggle to protect women’s health and safety continues. Reproductive freedom is still a political target for extremists, and the battle isn’t just being waged over abortion, but over access to contraception and medically accurate sex education.The best way to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies is to make contraception accessible and affordable and provide young people with comprehensive sex education that helps them make responsible decisions about their reproductive health.

To commemorate 35 years since Roe, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Planned Parenthood’s advocacy and political arm, is launching a One Million Strong Campaign to mobilize people who care about women’s health and get one million people to the polls in 2008.

With One Million Strong, Planned Parenthood Action Fund will

  • make women’s health issues a campaign priority for all the candidates
  • and defeat ballot initiatives in communities across America

Visit the Planned Parenthood Action Fund website today to find out more about how you can become involved and join the campaign.

For more information background on Roe v. Wade and its impact over the past 35 years, refer to the links below:

Sunday’s the day, and on any given Sunday ANY team can win, so naysayers step aside and allow my San Diego Chargers to exhibit their skills, and play some serious, hard-hitting, play-making football against the New England Patriots. (Sorry, Junior Seau, as someone who pretty much grew up in Oceanside, too, I’ll always love #55, but gotta stay true to the Bolts. ;))

Despite our boys being banged up for the game (especially Rivers, Tomlinson, Gates), if they can all come together and rally as the cohesive unit they showed themselves to be in the game last week against the Indianapolis Colts, and have Jackson, Turner, Sproles, Cromartie, and Chambers step up to the plate, with Merriman and our defense putting the pressure on Brady, then there is no way anyone can guarantee who will win until the final seconds tick off the clock.

Regardless of the outcome, I’m very excited to see how far our team has come after massive changes with the coaching staff, and a very sluggish start. Here’s hoping that after the game is done on Sunday, San Diego Chargers fans everywhere will be prepping for one heck of a Super Bowl showdown. GO CHARGERS!!!!!

Still not really feeling the blogging bug, kiddos (despite there being so much to blog about from the continuing WGA strike to politics), but since it was one year ago today that I first took the plunge (blog was named “If I only knew then… “) into the blogging world I just HAD to pop on over to acknowledge the occasion. It’s been odd to look back on the previous 168 posts and be reminded of the events I blogged about and the feelings they invoked in me and in others. Goes without saying that the pet food recall is really what put this lil’ ole blog on the WordPress map last spring, which was surprising to me and something I definitely never envisioned. This blog has never been about trying to get readers or hits, but more about me just having a venue to express my thoughts, frustrations, happiness, and of course share pictures of my poochies, past and present. And especially this time of year, to lament AND CHEER my San Diego Chargers and their play-off experiences. Here’s hoping this year my boys take it all the way after having put it to the Tennessee Titans last Sunday, beating them 16-7. Since we already beat the Colts this year, I’m sure we can take care of them again this coming Sunday–GO CHARGERS!

So I’ll close with a “Happy Birthday” video from Concrete Blonde, which I suppose could be me; am still in my pj’s at 9AM…just substitute the cat for my pooch Rudy, and her dark hair for my blond…am sure I can dig up some champagne to toast in the event..but rest assured I would NOT release any balloon into the air since it causes harm to not only our environment, but to wildlife. (Hey, if you didn’t know that last part about me from reading this blog over the past year, you’ve got more reading to do! ;)) I’m sending out a HUGE thank you to all that have popped over to SoCal Muchacha to read a blog entry, agree or disagree with me in the comment section, and who also put out so much interesting reading on their own blogs. Happy blogging everyone!

Hard to believe that pockets of SoCal are continuing to deal with possible threats from still raging fires. Here in Murrieta (part of the Temecula Valley/Riverside County) we’ve got the San Diego County Poomacha fire about 15 miles to the south, and the arson-set Orange County Santiago fire northwest of us about 20 miles or so. Granted, we are not in any immediate danger, and for that we are eternally grateful, but continuing to see the enormous clouds of smoke from both fires is something that reminds you daily that even if they are that far away, it’s still too close for comfort.

View of the Poomacha fire from a hilltop in north Murrieta on 10/27/07 morning.

I’ve continued to trek up to a nearby north Murrieta hilltop to videotape the view west (where the now-contained Rosa/De Luz fire was), then down south (where the currently raging Poomacha fire is), and seeing the differences each day has been interesting. Click here for videos from three different days from the same area hilltop.

On Thursday, Rudy (that dog LOVES to go for car rides! :)) and I headed north on I-15 to see what the area was like with the Santiago fire about 20 miles northwest of us, still in Orange County, not yet dropping over the Santa Ana mountains into Riverside County. Just getting on the 15 and heading north from the Clinton Keith on-ramp (in Wildomar, just north of Murrieta), allowed you to see that the normally clear Santa Ana mountains were obscured by smoke, which quite honestly would normally lead one to believe that there was a heavy marine layer hanging over them. I snapped a few photos of the increasingly pink/orange color on the western horizon atop the mountains on the way north, then opted to only go as far as the exit (pictured below), where local favorite, Tom’s Farms, is located. The colors in the photos are quite accurate: very pink/orange/brown.

As I headed toward a dirt lot across from Tom’s Farms to let Rudy relieve that constantly full bladder of his, I could see a few fire trucks parked nearby, which always gives a jolt of reality to the entire situation.


After Rudy gave the area his “expert sniffer on the job” okay, and marked his new territory alongside a small dirt hill (to the right in the photo below, and also in the video), I popped him back in the auto and took out the camera. As had been the case a few days prior in Murrieta (although not the case on Wednesday and Thursday), the air so close to the fire was not smelling much like a fire at all, nor were ashes flying about. Again, those erratic winds, which were much calmer that day, quite often kept the polluted air at bay.

The video I took isn’t the best, but quite honestly it was hard to see what the camera viewfinder was focusing on, once it was immersed in the orange/pink smoke over the mountains. You can even hear the camera itself trying to adjust and focus in on what it was taping.

The yellow spot you can see in it is the very eerie smoke-covered sun doing it’s best to break through.

 

As we headed back onto the I-15 south we passed a small convoy of fire trucks headed in the same direction, and after I passed them I snapped this shot of them in my rear view mirror. Those fire fighters deserve more respect, love, and thanks than we could EVER possibly give them; truly amazing, dedicated individuals.

As of today, Saturday (10/27/07), the latest news is that the Santiago fire is continuing its trek, albeit a much slower one, through the Cleveland National Forest. As Rudy and I took another jaunt north to Tom’s Farms today, we saw the Martin Mars flying boat Canada sent to help us fight the fires (here’s a video someone else posted of it yesterday as it loaded up with water at Lake Elsinore), as it was heading south toward the Poomacha fire–thanks my Canuck friends! And more good news is that we did get a slight misting of rain this morning in Murrieta, as did other areas along the Santa Ana Mountain region, and one can only assume this HAS to help the fire fighting efforts. (THANKFULLY we just now (5PM PST) are getting some SERIOUS rainfall and I couldn’t be happier!)

This is a short video of what you can see of the Santiago fire from the Lake Elsinore Outlet mall, along with a photo below of the same.

Here are some interesting articles. Was extremely sad to read that two animals at the San Diego Wild Animal Park did perish, but happy to read others were born!

And last, here is an incredible video montage I found on YouTube yesterday. Take care, everyone, and please continue to keep the victims of the SoCal fires in your thoughts. I’m off to go revel in the rain!!!

I am SO excited that today former Vice President (and in my humble opinion the rightful winner of the 2000 election!) Al Gore has received, along with the United Nation’s panel on climate change, the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007! For those who have yet to see An Inconvenient Truth, PLEASE take the time to watch it, and for those who have seen it please go forth and spread the information presented so well in the movie.

I will post a list of resources later, but did want to post this email I just received. Again, congratulations Mr. Gore! (Now will you consider tossing your hat into the ring? ;))

Al Gore

Dear *****,

I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change–the world’s pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis–a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.

My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

Thank you,

Al Gore

Press release from the Norwegian Nobel Committee:

Nobel Prize® medal - registered trademark of the Nobel Foundation The Nobel Peace Prize 2007

The Norwegian Nobel Committee logotype

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2007

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.

Indications of changes in the earth’s future climate must be treated with the utmost seriousness, and with the precautionary principle uppermost in our minds. Extensive climate changes may alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind. They may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth’s resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world’s most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states.

Through the scientific reports it has issued over the past two decades, the IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over one hundred countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming. Whereas in the 1980s global warming seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the consequences still more apparent.

Al Gore has for a long time been one of the world’s leading environmentalist politicians. He became aware at an early stage of the climatic challenges the world is facing. His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change. He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.

By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC and Al Gore, the Norwegian Nobel Committee is seeking to contribute to a sharper focus on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world’s future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind. Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man’s control.

Oslo, 12 October 2007

Trailer for An Inconvenient Truth

Abuse refers to the use or treatment of something (a person, item, substance, concept, or vocabulary) that is seen as harmful. The term can be used for anything ranging from the misuse of a piece of equipment to the severe maltreatment of a person.-Wikipedia

Today is BlogCatalog’s latest blogging challenge, “Blogging Against Abuse“, which aims to have thousands of bloggers internet-wide take part in blogging about putting an end to abuse of any sort. I only found out about this event two days ago, and really had no idea exactly what type of abuse I would write about since so many, especially child abuse and animal abuse, are worthy of attention. I had decided that I would allow my readers to peruse Wikipedia’s offering under abuse, and hope that in having just a few of the various forms of abuse staring back at them from their computer monitor, they might realize that we all (more than likely) take part in one form of abuse or another; from the abuse we inflict upon ourselves with drugs or alcohol to abuse inflicted upon others such as physical abuse, elder abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, and animal abuse. Perhaps the one we think of less as an abuse is that of verbal abuse, however the sting and lasting effects of being lashed out at with hurtful, hateful, and harmful words can have as much of an impression as that of a physical blow.

While all of these forms of abuse are worthy of deep thought, discussion, and plans for constructive steps to be taken to end them, the one that is resonating most with me at this particular moment is the abuse of power. Mind you, all of the abuses I have already mentioned are abuses of power of some sort, but the one I am thinking of more specifically is the abuse of power in which government officials (elected or public safety) have been partaking far too long, far too often, and with far too many negative ramifications for innocent bystanders. Any reader of this blog knows my opinions on this horrific, no-end-in-sight war, my frustration with the non-action by our government before/during/after Hurricane Katrina, and my absolute and total disgust with George W. Bush and his cohorts in crime. George and his cronies are the epitome of the abuse of power and their ability to have duped the American public for so long, and to underhandedly mold the laws of our land to fit the shape and the ideal of what THEY think it should be, regardless of the will of the people, simply astounds me.

I just finished watching the movie Bobby, by Emilio Estevez, and it was Robert F. Kennedy’s brilliant speech, “On the Mindless Menace of Violence”, played over the last scenes of the movie, which gave me that mental and emotional push to choose abuse of power as my topic to blog about for this “Blogging Against Abuse” event. I am somewhat ashamed to say that I had never heard that particular speech before, but it is truly one of the most touching, insightful, and beautiful stringing together of words and mental imagery that I have ever come across. The connection between abuse of power (be it citizen-to-citizen or government official-to-citizen) and the violence RFK spoke of is obvious, and unfortunately one that continues today, and sadly one that will probably always remain in one form or another unless we all take the time to search inside ourselves to see if we are guilty of planting even the tiniest seed of abuse in any form, which could ultimately lead to the flowering of abuse of other sorts.

Please take a few moments to watch this video I found which contains the audio of Robert Kennedy giving his “On the Mindless Menace of Violence” speech over some gripping and heart wrenching images. They are truly words and images which are bound to give you pause for thought. And that pause for thought, my friends, is where change begins.

On the Mindless Menace of Violence

Robert F. Kennedy

City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
April 5, 1968

This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.

It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one – no matter where he lives or what he does – can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.

Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by an assassin’s bullet.

No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.

Whenever any American’s life is taken by another American unnecessarily – whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence – whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

“Among free men,” said Abraham Lincoln, “there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs.”

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.

Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man’s spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.

I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.

Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.

We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children’s future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.

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