Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ali Salem on Peace

In honor of X-Mas day, I give you some words from Ali Salem, an Egyptian playwright:

Peace will not come to you; you have to make it, you have to sculpt know, business deals lead to peace, not "enlightenment" from writers and intellectuals. [SF Chronicle, 12/19/08, A24]

I have a soft spot in my heart for writers, especially blacklisted ones. Mr. Salem has the right idea--words alone are not enough for peace. Individuals must work together. We forget that racism and lynchings in America were not resolved through American courts, which affirmed both Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson. From everything I've read, when white Americans had to serve with African-Americans in the military, only then did America's racial consciousness change. After all, it's hard to be racist when you spend time with someone and do productive and/or courageous activities together. On this day, I give thanks to human beings everywhere who make it possible for us to connect to other human beings all over the world. Thank you, eBay. Thank you, Doctors Without Borders. Thank you, Google. Thank you, Kiva. And most of all, thank you to the "people who do their jobs, raise their families and sacrifice so that we can gather here in peace."

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