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Tuesday, September 25 , 2001

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To activist or not

I went to a meeting last night that was called "Civil Rights and Terrorist Wrongs". It was a forum at the university and everyone said very interesting things and very important things and very right things, but it still felt like an exercise in wistfulness. I am glad to hear more and more people saying that we need to think before acting so I have some hope too. I feel like I need to do more but I don't know really know what.

One of the speakers was very interesting. He teaches linguistics and said the images we have of the WTC are destroying speech. We say that we are speechless or the whole idea is unimaginable or we don't know what to say. He said that as long as we don't say it will remain unimaginable. We need to speak of what happened and speak about why it happened and speak about what can be done to not allowing it to happen again but we need to stop saying that we don't know what to say about it.

A lot is being said but too much of it it is just an enervating rehash of what other people have said and who knows where they got it from. An occasional refreshing honesty and candor comes through and it's always wonderful to hear someone discuss the extremely complex background of the catastrophe without trying to simplify it for us dummies.

It's a fact that living conditions in Afghanistan and Palestine are apalling and it's the women and children who suffer the most. Much of this is because of the barbaric way they treat women but much of it is also how they have been treated by the world. Another point made last night was that the western world still looks at much of the world as colonials and treats them as dependents and until we treat them as equals there will be problems.

I personally think one of the best ways to keep us from getting so involved in the mideast is to become less dependent on their oil. If everyone in this country wants to show the mideast the real power we have should cut their driving down. One day a week for everyone would make a real dent in our dependence on oil. It would also improve everyone's health to get a little exercise.

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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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