The Holocaust, the slave trade, genocide in Rwanda, Croatia, Syria


I have two stories to tell you. They are not politically correct. They are however true stories. But I must tell them, because I walk my talk, and my talk is that there are bad people who get into power and that power turns them into ego-maniacs.

 

I love beauty, art, children, peace, music and photography. We can’t always just see the beauty. We need to be aware of the ugly and evil also. As my grandfather told me when I was nine…we can’t let it happen again. My grandfather was a Croatian immigrant who I loved and respected beyond words. He was the best man I have ever met in my sixty-five years. He wasn’t perfect, but he was bigger than life in my mind. He died when I was twenty two and I never forget anything he taught me.

 

Yesterday, I reblogged a superior post about black slavery. Many who are my age know that the KKK is an organization which hides behind white sheets and commits unspeakable crimes. I have known we must speak of them so these crimes won’t happen again. I had never, however, seen so much Black misery, torture, and sheer meanness in my life in once place. Some of the medical experiments I knew about from classes in nursing school. Blacks and convicts were used for many government experiments.

 

I had never heard about taking Black babies out to the swamps and bayous and using them for bait to catch alligators.  I was horrified and sickened physically.

 

Human slavery has existed since the dawn of civilizations. It is by no means a civilized act. War captives were often kept as slaves for the rest of their lives. Have you ever watched the movie The Gladiator, with Russell Crowe? Does the longevity of this practice mean it is acceptable? Absolutely not. Prostitution has been around at least as long as slavery and it is also wrong. But that is another blog.

 

Slavery is alive and well today, and going by the name Human Trafficking. This time Caucasian people, especially women and children, are being taken and sold into work slavery or sexual slavery. Caucasians are not the only people being kidnapped and sold. It changes but it remains the same. One human being owning the body, mind and soul of at least one other human being.

 

In America, in the slaveholding days, Caucasian people thumped their bibles and declared that God wanted Black people to be slaves. That they were created to be animals to work endlessly and to reproduce to make the Massa richer than he all ready was. So they filled their mouths with self-righteousness and beat, worked, starved and tortured their slaves. I think it made them feel like big men. Alpha men, in charge because all they could see was given to them by God.

 

So American slaves had to endure illiteracy, beatings, working in cotton, cane and tobacco fields from sun up to sun down. I can’t get the images out of my mind of thousands of men, women and children working under the Southern sun picking the crops.

 

I can’t stop seeing the pictures of men and women lynched for some perceived law they violated. Public executions, castrations, and many other tortures I will not discuss here.

 

But the Alligator babies is what kept me up all night. A baby, a human life thrown into the bayous as if it were a worm on a hook. Mothers were made to watch. The baby was thrown into the water and an alligator would practically swallow it whole. Then they would catch the alligator. Sick beyond belief.

 

In Europe, during the Holocaust, the Nazis would skeet shoot. They would throw Jewish babies high into the air and an officer would shoot at the baby. If he got the bullet into the belly button, it was considered a bullseye. These mothers were also made to watch. And many were shot after they did watch.

 

Jews were not the only victims of the irrational fear Hitler had of “others”. Other victims included Gypsies, the mentally and physically disabled, the Poles, and Communists. The Gypsies were thought of as dogs, so they were not even kept in the same barracks as the Jews. In the camps, there was regular dehumanization. Often prisoners had no clothes to wear. The Nazis took whatever possessions they managed to bring with them. Food was so very scarce. Many of the detainees looked like walking skeletons with skin over the bones. Sick prisoners were often thrown into graves they dug before they were even dead.

 

When Yugoslavia broke from the Soviet Union, Serbia, Croatia and other Baltic Countries could no longer understand how to live without Communism. My grandfather fled Croatia before the Communists came. Eastern Europe is now a ravaged area when Communism broke the spirits of the people. They have gone through intense genocide and each country tried to eliminate the other countries which made up Communist Yugoslavia. Croatia remains in such flux that the country takes a step forward and two steps back. They are working hard though, to create the country that they want to be proud citizens of.

 

Rwanda and other war-torn countries are a hot mess, as the kids say. Dictators come to power and kill the millions of citizens who followed the previous leader. Human trafficking happens in these countries too. Children are captured and made into soldiers and made to kill. Women and girls are sold as sex slaves. Many women and girls are just raped and/or gang raped. Remember rape has everything to do with power and control.

 

Once a female is raped, no one in her village or her home wants her. They are now dirty and are considered untouchable. Their villages turn their backs upon them. They are now as low as an animal.

 

This litany of woes of the human experience is sickening and devastating. The UN must, in short order, bring war criminals to justice as was done after the Holocaust. There must be justice for victims and an understanding that all crimes will be punished by the International Court at The Hague.

 

As people who live on this planet, and have not suffered these atrocities, we must demand justice for those who can no longer speak for themselves. We must not look away, because this evil cannot be allowed to continue. We must care. We must take care of ourselves emotionally but we must not look away. In America, having a President of color, whom I respect greatly, has really shown that racism is alive and well in the United States of America. We must address each incident of bigotry and hatred with justice and no tolerance of the evil which resides here.

 

Yes, I believe in speaking “politically correct” language. Not because it is fashionable, or because it offends to not do so, but because using the language so often derided as “politically correct” shows respect for those spoken to and about. Caucasians in power must deliver justice with an even hand. Our local governments and police forces must serve all of their citizens, not just the Caucasians. If an officer commits a crime, he or she must pay the penalty which should be swift.

 

So for Tamir Rice, Eric Gardner, Michael Brown and the hundreds of young black men who have been sacrificed to bigotry and racism, I say, I promise, we will not forget you and what you suffered.

 

Namaste,

The Rebel

 

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I have not shown pictures here that would be the most graphic. These from wars are bad enough but please understand these photographs are the easiest to handle. What do we do? If there is a racist bigot within you, excise it. Write to the UN in defense of those who are being used as weapons of war. Write and donate to UNICEF to help get children out of war torn countries. Treat the Black people you meet like you would treat anyone else. Get to know them. Enjoy them and let them get to know you. Stand up for Black Lives Matter. Don’t believe everything a government tells you. Think for yourself and question. If candidates talk about rounding up Muslims, this is racism and bigotry. Speak your truth and don’t vote for bigotry.

 

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British female internees, probably nurses, being held by Japanese in Singapore.

War and Conflict. World War Two. 1945. Singapore. British women civilian Internees queue up for their food at the camp mess area.

 

 

Rowanda Mass Grave. So many Tutsies are murdered they can't be bothered burying each one.

Rwanda Mass Grave. So many Tutsis are murdered they can’t be bothered burying each one.

 

 

American Senator John McCain in hospital after is years of being a POW during the Vietnam War

American Senator John McCain in hospital after is years of being a POW during the Vietnam War

 

Syrians are suffering from loss of family and needing to flee for their own safety

Syrians are suffering from loss of family and needing to flee for their own safety

Never, Ever Forget


HOlocaust Rememberance day

When I was a little girl of 9 years old, my Grandpa gave me a picture book called The Camps, showing scenes from the Holocaust and the concentration camps.  When I asked him why he gave me this book of black and white photographs, he told me the story of the Holocaust, and about the millions of people — mostly Jews, but also Poles, political prisoners, Gypsies and other “undesirables” from as far away as Brazil and America — who had been taken from their homes, stripped of all their possessions, and thrown into camps where, over the course of World War II, the Nazis killed over 6 Million people.

 

It didn’t matter whether they were rich or poor, or if they were a doctor or a shoeshine boy; if they were a mother or a grandmother, the Nazis herded them into train cars and took them to one of the 300 camps that the allies found when they liberated Germany from Nazi rule in 1945.

 

Grandpa told me that it was imperative that we always remember what Hitler and his followers had done, and what the German people let themselves be talked into, because if we ever forgot, it could happen again.

I’ve always remembered it, and I have visited more than one Holocaust museum here in the United States.

It’s not a fun day trip, like going to an art museum or a museum of natural history, but it’s important.  I can always hear Grandpa telling me “we must remember, so it cannot happen again”

Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is important that we not allow ourselves to be pushed into the herd; that we think for ourselves; that we analyze what politicians are saying and that we vote wisely — and that we do actually vote.

The allies took German people to the camps which the Allies had liberated, because it was the only way to prove to these German people that these camps actually existed, and that thousands were gassed to death in communal “showers” and thrown into mass graves, or that people were put into ovens like loaves of bread dough.  There are still those who do not believe it happened, but we have proof.

In 1985, 40 years after Allied Forces marched into Germany and liberated the Camps, Frontline ran a show about what the soldiers saw and found when they arrived.

The full Frontline show can be found here:  http://www.pbs.org/video/2365463766/

But there’s a longer piece, edited and filmed in part by Alfred Hitchcock, which you can watch, below, which shows the horrors that were found.  Horrors which we can never forget, or else we will allow them again.  Don’t turn away from the horror. It is real and it was genocide. Just like the other countries which have been devastated by genocide. We must not allow politicians to tell us what to think or to do. We must be strong enough to stand up and fight those who lack human compassion and the ability to love others. Intolerance must not be abided in any country. To the six million people who were imprisoned, beaten, starved, experimented on, I can only whisper,” Rest in Peace.”

 

 

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What Happens when you Teach Hate


Police: 7th-grader calls Muslim schoolmate ‘son of ISIS,’ threatens to shoot and kill him

 

December 14 at 2:30 PM

An Ohio middle-school student has been accused of threatening to shoot and kill a Muslim schoolmate, calling him a “terrorist” and a “towel head,” police said.

A seventh-grader at Morton Middle School in Vandalia, near Dayton, got into an argument with another student Dec. 7 on a school bus, asking the boy if he was going to bomb him and calling the student “son of ISIS,” according to a police report. The seventh-grader faces a 10-day suspension and possible expulsion, according to the school district. Police said he also faces charges of aggravated menacing and ethnic intimidation.

The seventh-grader was arrested and transported to a juvenile detention center.

“First and foremost in our minds is the safety and security of our students,” Vandalia-Butler City Schools Superintendent Brad Neavin said in a statement. “It is important for our students and their parents to understand we take them at their word when they make these threats. We will treat all threats seriously, taking immediate and decisive action to protect the safety and welfare of our students, staff and community.”

The seventh-grader told police that he got into an argument in a school bus last week with a sixth-grader, who is Muslim, because, he said, the student never wants to sit down and plays his music too loudly, according to the police report. The seventh-grader admitted to using racial slurs and telling the sixth-grader he was responsible for bringing down the Twin Towers during 9/11 because he was Muslim, according to the report.

Another student who said he witnessed the incident reported it to the school, which alerted authorities, the district said in a statement. A witness later told police that the seventh-grader said something about bringing a .40-caliber handgun to school the next day to end the argument, according to the police report, though the seventh-grader told police he did not remember saying anything about the gun.

When asked whether he might have said it out of anger, “he said he probably did,” according to the report.

“When I was finished with my interview,” Vandalia Police Det. Jennifer Chiles wrote in the report, “I asked him if he wanted to write an apology letter to [the other student], and he said he did.”

The seventh-grader wrote a letter telling him “he was sorry for what he did and sorry for scaring him.”

Ahmad Murab, the sixth-grader’s father, told The Washington Post that his son came home scared, saying: ” ‘I don’t want to go to school, I don’t want to go to school.’ ” The family, he said, found out from other students what had happened.

Murab said he considers the threat a hate crime but does not blame the older student for it. Instead, he said, he blames the news media and possibly the boy’s parents for shaping his world view.

“Call a criminal a criminal; don’t call a Muslim a terrorist,” Murab said. “It gets this seventh-grader to think all Muslims are bad. I don’t blame him. You put us in a dangerous situation.”

He added: “I don’t blame the other kid. How does he know about the world? Adults are telling him to call people those names.”

Murab said his children were born in the United States and don’t deserve to be singled out.

“This country has Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and people who don’t believe in anything,” he said. “The U.S. is a melting pot.”

He added: “I don’t want to get killed because of my name. … We work; we do everything good.”

U.S. Muslims have been on edge in recent weeks, saying they are living through an intensely painful moment and feeling growing anti-Muslim sentiment after the Islamic State attacks in Paris and the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings, carried out by a Muslim husband and wife. Last week, Donald Trump — the GOP presidential front-runner — called for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Murab said his son is fine and has returned to school.

It was unclear Monday whether the seventh-grader was still in custody. The juvenile justice center would not release information because he is a minor.

When The Post called a number listed for the seventh-grader’s mother, she claimed she didn’t know anything about the accusations.

Vandalia-Butler City Schools said in a statement that an expulsion hearing will be set for a later date; police said a court hearing will also be scheduled.

People need to stop hating. Religion should not divide us. Dress should not divide us. Teach the children compassion,  gentleness and kindness. 
Stop the hating.

Namaste, 
Barbara, the Idealisticrebel


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This is what you can do

This is what you can do


			

Religion: The View from the Coming Generation


I found this video on viralthread.com, and found it fascinating to see what was, to me, a different view of religion being expressed by children.

These children are Indian and Pakistani, but I wonder how different the views of American, British or European children would really be.

I’m sharing this post with you because we need to listen to the children, because, right now, they are pure and uncorrupted; and because we need to realize how the division between us brings about hatred and, often, wars.

 

I really would love to hear your comments on this one.  I think the opinions of these children is worth a good, honest discussion between us, the people who care about peace in the world.

Namaste,

Barbara

 

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Our Individual Paths to Peace


When we begin our journeys in this life, I don’t think we really have a concept of peace. As children and teens, we are looking for other things in our lives. Without peace, life can seem dull, cruel and worthless. As we find our peace within, we see more and more of what is really happening in our lives. With inner peace, we can survive more easily the hits the world sends our way.

 

So we are on our path and we decide we need inner peace. Well, then what? There is an inner landscape within us that is a source of peace if we but spend time there. Our peace takes choices: Do we hate or forgive? Do we judge others or accept them as they are? Do we look at others and think they are less than we are? Why would we do that? Because their skin color is different, they are less educated, because their clothes seem strange? We can’t look at others in a peaceful manner unless we are filled with peace ourselves.

 

What happens when others believe differently than we do? Do we fight? Do we make a judgement? No, we reach into our inner peace and spread some around us. We spread peace and everything becomes lighter. We spread peace and hope rises up like a beacon in the darkness. We spread peace and we become calmer and easier to deal with.

 

When we can live in peace, we look around us and see some very rare gifts we might have missed otherwise. I do not believe there is just one way to find inner peace. For myself, as I looked around at the world I saw dichotomies of peace and hate. Every time I did not choose hate, I found a little more peace within me. Every time I did not judge others harshly, my life grew more comfortable and peaceful.

 

Every time I helped someone else with a problem, a problem in my own life grew smaller and I felt better. Every time I committed a random act of kindness, one would unexpectedly return to me. Time after time, year after year, I got more comfortable with this huge cushion of peace in my life. When someone was mean, cruel or nasty, I found that I just sunk deeper into the cushion of peace that had formed around me.

 

Does this mean nothing ever hurts me or upsets me? No, it doesn’t, but it gets easier feel the inner peace than the hurt feelings. It is easier to reach out to others in kindness than anger. The peace we carry within is like a pebble we throw into a pond: as it ripples out in ever widening circles, it touches more and more people. Their inner peace flows outward to us and we become stronger in our own peace. It is a cycle in the wheel of life. The inner peace flows outward and touches those who need it. The cycle never stops.

 

 

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Gerber Daisy, grown and painted by Barbara Mattio. Acrylic paint on canvas, 2009

Gerber Daisy, grown and painted by Barbara Mattio. Acrylic paint on canvas, copyright 2009

Let’s Get Together and Be All Right


 

 

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I believe this song is familiar to at least half of us. I love to listen to it while having a bad day. We, the citizens of the world have had a bad week. Mass murders in Nairobi and in Paris. More people were killed in Nairobi and my heart cries for them and their families. May they all RIP and may their families find comfort and freedom.

 

In Paris, we also had murders. We had a crazy horrible breach of Charlie Hebdo offices and twelve people were dead. Both events left the world shaken and stunned. This is the bad part, the painful part.

 

The good part is the love shared by the people around all of the victims. It is the love we, the rest of the people in the world feel for all those effected. The good part is also people drawing together to support each other.

 

We are, after all, one human species. Where we are different is cosmetic. We do not all look alike, but that makes us more interesting. We worship god/goddess in different ways. But there is only one god/goddess. We walk different paths but they lead to the same place–to Divinity. Some people don’t walk a path to Divinity and that is fine also.

 

 

We have the same basic needs as human beings. We need sleep, good health, exercise, food and hydration to live our lives here on this one planet with one body. This is it. This is as good as it gets. Sometimes, it is really awful and sometimes life can be the sweetest most beautiful experience we will ever have.

 

Do we react by adding to the hatred? Do we allow anger and injustice to destroy our lives? We only get one life here on this one planet. It is sad to waste this life on hating and anger.

 

Change can only come on the wings on love, acceptance, freedom from fear and injustice. Change comes to us who have open arms and will embrace it. Change comes to those of us that want kindness, gentleness, passion, thoughtfulness in our lives. Change comes when those who are exhibiting free speech, understand some may be put off. I see and hear things that are off-putting to me. I bet most of you have had the same experience. People make fun of everything. To have free speech, you can’t control what is said around you.

 

The camaraderie from the pain of recent events have brought us together, but we don’t stay together. We came together after 9-11, but even with thousands of lives lost, we didn’t stay together.

 

So One World, One Life, One love is the award for seeing not the differences between us but seeing how we need each other, how we can work together to make the world a better place. We can fight poverty, illiteracy, crime, illness together. Everyone wins when we work together.

 

Open your heart and keep it open. Forgive, reach out in love, be a friend, be understanding, show compassion and kindness. Know that change is coming and it starts with each of us.

 

There is no God, but that which is God.

Namaste

 

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  Give our One World a Chance.           

Bob Marley quote

Bob Marley quote

 

 

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Bob Marley quote

Bob Marley quote   

The War Against Women Happens Online, Too


CyberBullying

 

In full disclosure, this blog was initially inspired by something I saw online about GamerGate.  I don’t know anything about GamerGate, except that its supporters and detractors cannot seem to even agree on what it does.  For my purposes, and from my point of view, GamerGate doesn’t really matter.

 

What matters is that there have been hateful, vicious and clearly misogynist threats left on the Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, and websites of women.  Some of these women are in the gaming industries, but some are not.  Many are women just like you and me, like  your mothers and sisters.  Some play games, some are just making comments in support of other women.  Many are being threatened.

 

I’ve seen a lot of arguing back and forth about whether these threatening trolls are involved with the #GamerGate movement; whether or not #GamerGate started to threaten a specific woman; and whether or not those #GamerGate supporters who do not engage in this behavior are guilty by association.

 

In my opinion, all this talk about #GamerGate is a smoke screen, blocking the real issue — that hatred and violence against women, that abuse in general, is on the rise across the Internet.  This reflects the rise in hatred and violence against women which is now found in the “real world” as well.  Online, as it were, imitating “real life”.

 

People need to realize that abuse takes many forms, and sometimes that form is online.  Threatening to rape, strangle, beat or kill a woman is a serious threat, in all cases, whether delivered by a note-wrapped rock through a window, on a Twitter feed, or in person.
NO ONE should have to be threatened this way, no one should have to live in fear.

 

There are those people, I am sure, who think that if a threat is made online, it’s not made in the “real world” and therefore can do no harm.   The number of young people who have committed suicide in this country and abroad as a result ob CyberBullying should serve to prove that isn’t the case, but there are those who still believe that if you say it online, it just doesn’t count.

 

What these people fail to realize is that we live in an increasingly online world, where our information is stored online and much of it — including, in many cases, addresses and phone numbers — are easily available with a short search online.

 

Whether or not someone who is cowardly enough to make these sorts of threats would go to those lengths to find the person they are threatening; whether the person making the threat is geographically close enough to follow through with these threats is not really relevant.

 

What is relevant is that the threat is made, and it has a profound psychological impact on the recipient.  In many cases, one online threat will prompt additional threats from other people, increasing the terror and humiliation the victim feels.

 

Whatever the “cause” behind the threats, these threats are nothing more than CyberBullying, which is illegal.

 

CyberBullying is not restricted to kids harassing each other over something in school.  It is any time anyone posts any threat, for whatever reason, and it is, in every case, wrong and inexcusable.

 

NO ONE EVER DESERVES TO BE THREATENED.   Certainly, no one deserves to be threatened because she’s female, doing something that some men feel is something that has been traditionally a male occupation or hobby.

 

Regardless of what you think about Gamers, or GamerGate or Gaming Journalism, surely we should all be able to understand that.

 

StandAgainstCyberBullying