Desmond Tutu (on Israel / Palestine etc.)
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
Never forget three types of people in your life:
Who helped you in your difficult times
Who left you in your difficult times
Who put you in difficult times
We know that it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness
It’s not the torturer who scares me; it’s not the hate, suffering or pain. Neither is it the rifle they might point at me, nor the ghastly shadows down the lane. No, it’s nothing of that that hurts me, what it is is the blind indifference, Yes, all these ordinary people who do not give a damn.
Danish poet Halfdan Rasmussen (in my humble translation)
THE FIRST revolutionary act is to call things by their true names.
Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet
“The Israel-Palestine crisis is the most urgent problem for the world to solve, if it remains unresolved you can give up on all other problems. This, this, this is the problem and it’s in our hands.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
From African philosophy of Ubuntu: “I am because of you, we are because of each other
“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
‘During times of universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.’
‘People ask me, “Why are we here?” We are here to complete the final step in the evolutionary process, the simple step that has eluded humanity for thousands of years: Treat everyone around you with human dignity.’
Philip S. Berg
‘Western civilisation? It would be a good thing.’
»An diesem Tag kam ich zu der Erkenntnis, dass kaum ein größerer Antagonismus denkbar ist als die Behauptung, dass militärische Disziplin notwendig sei zur Verteidigung der individuellen Freiheit. Nirgendwo ist ein Mensch weiter von seiner tieferen Bindung zu anderen Menschen, seinen Angehörigen und Freunden, entfernt als in militärischem Dienst. Nirgendwo ist er unfreier und darf er weniger seinen Gefühlen und Empfindungen nachgeben. Dennoch wird behauptet, dass Militärdienst notwendig sei zur Verteidigung von Freiheit, Familie, Volk und Vaterland. Welch ein Hohn!«
»Wenn ich überall im Land die Ehrenmahle für die Gefallenen sehe, die fürs Vaterland ihr Leben gaben, dann kann ich mich von der Vorstellung nicht lösen, dass sie auch da sind, um die Tatsache zu verschleiern, dass diese Männer einen jammervollen Tod für eine kriminelle Sache starben.«
“Pessimism is a luxury we can afford only in good times, in difficult times it easily represents a self-inflicted, self-fulfilling death sentence.”
Evelin Lindner http://www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/evelin.php & Jo L., Auschwitz survivor, 2004
yes, they all promise, but what is it all worth?
“Let us kill off youth – For the sake of truth – We who are old know what truth is – Truth is a bundle of vicious lies – Tied together and sterilized – A war-makers’ bait for unwise youth – To kill off each other – For the sake of – Truth”
Comment on War by Langston Hughes
About the ‘Great’ War:
Hazel , it’s not a question of winning or losing; it’s not that; it’s the appalling waste: thousands and thousands of ordinary men. They are not even soldiers at all: farmers, post office clerks, tradesmen, even school boys some of them. The are being slaughtered like cattle, and for what? For a few yards of land? These soldiers are fighting, winning and loosing patches of land not even big enough to bury their dead. There cannot be any argument, any dispute that is worth so many men’s lives, so much blood. There is something monstrous even mad about it all. It’s all boosted up by people not knowing what it’s really all about. All the letters I have written to relatives of my men… “He died like a man, instantly with no pain. His supreme sacrifice will not be in vain. I haven’t written a single letter which didn’t have one of those lines in it. And all the time it becomes clearer and clearer: they died for nothing, absolutely nothing.
(Captain James Bellamy in the TV fiction Upstairs and Downstairs)