Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade
International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is a United Nations international observance designated in 2007 to be marked on 25 March every year. The day honours and remembers those who suffered and died as a consequence of the transatlantic slave trade, which has been called “the worst violation of human rights in history”, in which over 400 years more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims.
It was first observed in 2008 with the theme “Breaking the Silence, Lest We Forget”. The theme of 2015 is “Women and Slavery”. The International Day also “aims at raising awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today”.
With 2015 marking the start of the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent, a permanent memorial has been unveiled at the UN headquarters in New York, entitled “The Ark of Return” and designed by Haitian-American architect Rodney Leon, who also designed the African Burial Ground National Monument.
(As you can see I’m posting this late, I wrote most of it in time but didn’t get round to posting.)
Why is it that slavery is still in existence, why is it that only parts of the world have made some progress after thousands of years but constantly need reminding of it and other issues?
In every generation a handful of people acknowledge and address the suffering around them, the harsh reality is that even in the countries where those people have had success in changing attitudes the majority of people resist ‘activists’ i.e a range of people who do things like campaign, teach or change their lifestyles significantly to be the change they want to see. The majority of people criticise or ignore and wave makers/people who actively try to change a situation are the troublemakers. Human and animal rights that have taken ages to win are generally still seen as bothersome and attempts continue to revoke them.
Before the issue of Black slavery finally came to a head in the US there was a lot of conflict in the Black communities, in hindsight we can see that those who wanted better conditions or full freedom came up against resistance from many of their own people who had the ‘keep your head down and make the best of it’, and ‘you’ll make it worse’ philosophy hoping that if they were good workers they’d get better treatment. That is basically asking your victimizer to help you, for mercy, whilst they see you as dumb, without feeling, without soul. It takes a long time for individual examples to become a movement, it takes success and often sacrifice before people join the cause after the way has been paved. If it happens the post-problem is staying righteous, educated and being wise; I don’t agree with the ethos that people need struggle to learn, that you need wrong to have right, evil to have good, unhappiness to value happiness etc but I do see that with successive generations after a big change we forget and start to undo the rights and freedoms ancestors fought for. I think people are people, no matter the colour, beliefs, location etc the personality types and behaviours are the same so discernment is always lacking – just as much as we get complacent and ungrateful for things, we stand up for outdated customs that would be better left in the grave.
Humans are a dependent species, we depend on each other and other animals for everything and technology to make it all easier so what we end up with is perpetuating cheap and slave labour abroad, underpaid overworked labour at home, displacing people in wars, refusing them refuge (ironically it’s been some of the poorest countries in the world that have taken the most refugees and asylum seekers over the decades), claiming some people have a right to be in a country because they conquered it last and closing the doors to Johny Come Lately, making business and living fairer here harder with so much red tape and more expensive so all those even cheaper people elsewhere look more appealing – as long as they’re working for us over there, we can’t stand the sight of them taking our jobs/homes/women here.
People can put up with a lot, from having their babies thrown overboard in the forced migration to having been bred in the first place. People often turn to heroes and god/s to be saved, redeemed, whether en mass for those who qualify or individually but it’s not ok. It’s not ok to be caged or to think of the cage as all there is. Victims and victimizers and those in between enabling the situation were praying to the same god/s. Some figures were proud servants who respected their masters and were favourably/benevolently patronised, some in their own way tried to make it better for those around them, I don’t begrudge them admiration but as we can see it wasn’t enough. In history it takes a few really strong people or a few charismatic people and a lot of exposure/funding to get a gathering/trend going – we like leaders and trailblazers, the problem is we don’t really seem to care what they stand for as long as they do it well until we get bored of them or they step out of whatever line we finally can’t take and it’s someone else’s turn.
Sex slavery is still alive and well i.e. trafficking, prostitution and porn in domestic and sex tourism. We have a bubble thinking most porn actors are ‘stars’ and prostitutes are mostly glamorous, fun, and easy earners. How many children think/exclaim ‘I want to be a prostitute when I grow up!’ Everybody can sell and buy right, as long as they own what they’re selling and we’re willing to buy so why shouldn’t kids aspire to easy street especially with celebrity culture? Your kids, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, cousins, best friends have the right to aspire to porn greatness and their images being masturbated to by millions of adoring fans… Yeah alot of people don’t really want that for them or theirs do they 😉 People get into those areas mostly because they have few options, as a temporary situation not a career choice but they don’t always get out let alone unscarred (high incident of rape and violence against prostitutes – people seem to think it goes along with the territory, just because you’ve paid for it you can have it any way you want and you’re dealing with a thing/service/toy not a person). Plus whilst they’re not branded with a mark anymore the regret/shame of prostitution and porn is mostly leveled at those performing not at those saying ‘you’re down and out, what else have you got, here’s an opportunity’, not at the camera people/staging/producers, not at the magazine owners, the club/brothel owners – no they’re looked up to, lauded, people want to be like them. Even pimps who can be both smooth talkers and thugs get paid for not doing the sex giving part i.e what they’d not want people they actually respect doing, though the buying/being given is fine. Even parents/’guardians’ sell or expose their kids, in some industries (a step ‘up’ from stage parenting) and countries it’s commonplace, people who want to buy want an eclectic mix of looks and ‘types’ to satisfy and with so much supply they can cherry pick.
Blaming the victim is easier because they’re more accessible, in the UK I’ve come across people who think the age of consent means open season (and looking at child actors and school students thinking ‘looking forward to when they’re legal’), that kids turn into adults overnight though they still can’t vote just yet (and for a while they couldn’t drink alcohol either but spreading the seed and pregnancy was an acceptable risk though ‘getting pregnant’ or ‘getting raped’ was/still is a blame on females mostly whilst the boys amongst the children abused by Christian/Catholic priests – and that’s a scandal in Islamic parts of Asia too – are definitely victims, and I agree they were/are victims of those who took advantage of their power/influence/position). The age of consent was lowered to allow for teens having sex with each other not for older people to take advantage of them, and then if caught out act as if those kids who amazingly turned into adults by default on their 16th birthday were fully complicit participants. The point of being an adult is that you know better, if you can’t get laid so don’t mind sleeping with much younger people, intoxicated people and/or sleeping with people via deception e.g. lying about yourself or their situation, or if you need someone to feel grateful to you to get them into bed that’s your problem. If you think you can coerce someone who decides they don’t want to have sex after seeming initially willing then tell yourself it’s their loss, they’re missing out, oh well. There’s plenty of people out there not afraid of casual sex to the point of not minding giving their body in a one night stand but would hesitate to give their phone number. People who sell sex are mostly desperate, the same goes for buyers who don’t care why the person is selling/who is selling them, and from the studies over the years from both countries who’ve legalized and those who remain against prostitution – buyers and pimps are people who can’t take even the idea of rejection and treat others as commodities.
People outside of the situation also seem to have a time limit on patience, what a lot of those in the situation couldn’t talk about or deal with/comprehend for a long time is seen as their own fault for leaving it so long, even if it took them a long time to get out of a situation/around people in their lives who would have made it difficult for them and those who got away with it led lives unburdened by the trauma they caused. They moved on so why can’t so and so from years ago? We’re not a very sensitive species unless we’re immediately involved in a situation, and even when we are we tend to just go along with it. Having grown up in poor areas, hostels and slums I saw that everyday; arranged marriages to bring people over from abroad (yet ironically the one time I considered getting married since it was to a White guy who lived abroad and not a cultural thing it had professional and education requirements, economic sufficiency, an evaluation as to whether the relationship was real and still subject to deportation afterwards) but whether home grown or newly arrived here the men can and do have affairs, if females are beaten by husband or son it’s her fault. Hey if her husband is generally violent and the son takes his side and gets angry at the mother when after years of taking it the parents are finally separated so he decides to put an iron to his mother’s back and he gets arrested (though a lot of domestic and sex crime are unreported and for a long time much of the evidence/samples taken from women taken to hospital from sex attacks never made it to investigation let alone court) well it still must have been her fault and her female friends/relatives won’t talk to her. Women have helped the perpetuation of their own subjugation by enabling it and not supporting the few who stood/stand against it. Remember up until only 25 years ago it was still legal for a man to rape his wife and alternate wedding vows are allowed now (e.g. it doesn’t have to be ‘man and wife’). In high prostitution areas in South America the ‘oldest profession in the world’ starts early enough to with enough supply of kids to take hormonal drugs to change their sex (transgender) or accelerate puberty to make them more saleable.
It’s not ‘when good men/people do nothing’ that atrocity exists and continues – it’s when there aren’t enough good people in the first place and the mass majority have limits on what they care about, even hypocritically e.g. anti-classist but not anti-racist. Anti-racist but anti-feminist. Anti-feminist but pro-LGBT (which came to the forefront of civil rights under the feminist umbrella). Feminist but misandrist. Anti-ageist but not anti-discrimination against the disabled. Anti-creed discrimination but anti-mixed ethnic-marriage/relationships. Anti-immigration but pro-corporate international expansion. Etc etc etc. Do we want the right to be just like the people we fought against or do we and society as a whole want to be better? Once we’ve got power, what do we do with it? Post-independence, civil war and slavery the US has the highest incarcerated population in the world. Post-20th century feminism (after the common White and then other ethnic men’s suffrage) we’ve got a scenario that says you’re a prude and inhibited if you’re not into getting your kit off, don’t go out of your way to watch others do the same, don’t feel the need to enjoy and support other women who don’t mind flaunting yet if/when you do many of those who wanted you to lose some respect for you “look you’re just like them ha [and you’re beneath me]”. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If a couple doesn’t mind each partner oggling others that’s their business however do you see the general male population outside of models/entertainers/athletes feeling the issue of modesty vs flaunting influencing their clothing choices (and the issue of children’s clothing getting more and more adult earlier on), willingly and frequently showing their girlfriends, wives and mistresses pictures/films featuring men they think/know she’ll find hot (without critcising the guy), do they show images of clothes on models in the hope that looking at someone attractive will make them more attractive via association e.g. getting her to image they’re wearing that clothing? No. Any why should they? I don’t blame them for not wanting to do that, it doesn’t make sense. However it’s so common now that if a woman isn’t into that (and isn’t ‘traditional’ so doesn’t have an acceptable excuse) then she’s jealous, possessive, not supportive of other women and not friendly with men. That’s it though isn’t it – now that some women in some of the world aren’t repressed/suppressed/oppressed sexually they’re gone from one extreme to another, called it empowerment (people used to flaunt or hide via the dictates of society, now we still do the same thing but apparently of our own volition) and we don’t know what appropriate is.
I like many traditional garments but unless worn as a practical garment for something like weather conditions by all people then head – and face and tent style – coverings are not for me although I can see why many take to the cloth and are comfortable in that form of devotion and I understand why Sikhs wear turbans (mostly men though it is required of women along with a chuni & for men the beard is seen as protection) when it comes to loss of energy and conflict with the energy of theirs from the hair/head but it became a hierarchical expression of regime change as part of compulsory attire. Ironically as a child I thought I would have made a good nun; the poverty, cleaning and discipline was fine but why be a Bride of Christ – is he a bigamist and why didn’t priests and monks need to do the same? It was also funny that older White males said I’d make a good officer in rank. It turned out I realized that whilst many are qualified to have authority they’re not fit to have it, plus I wasn’t religious and had pacifist ideals. I also decided I like being hairy so disagreed with cutting or shaving the head like nuns or some Hasidic Jews do after they get married (others decide with their husband whether to shave but still wear a covering so as not to show hair, some men aren’t allowed to shave and others have to keep their forelocks). Ironically most people I met disliked my hair and my overall look, some girls put a lighter to it in school for example yet under Tony B.liar’s gov were later paid to do the exams the rest of us had to study for anyway, and other people took strands of it from my brush or that had fallen out and others wanted to chop it off/ even prevent it from growing.
Wearing more or less clothing whether fashionable or not isn’t a safeguard/prevention for being targeted in crime though, and being female or a child means greater risk of going through all the humilations of being overpowered adult male targets do plus the sexual side of it; adult males get raped/sexually abused too of course, most obviously by other males. People aren’t that ignorant, we basically know what each other looks like underneath the layers and our emotions are hormonal so whilst we’re not (hopefully) attracted to everybody of the sex(es) we’re orientated towards, we also don’t stop imagining what the other person’s body is like when we’re attracted to them. Just because someone’s a doctor for example, doesn’t stop them from finding certain patients attractive and looking forward to parts of examinations, even if they don’t show it. Hiding or baring doesn’t prevent anything, society just finds it easier to maintain control of each other. Even in progressive societies we have people telling us what to wear every season, in some professions men have to have haircuts and shave, and women in general feel more comfortable with all over body hair removal – apparently it’s more attractive on women and cleaner because for some reason we’re unable to keep it trim and hygienic like men do. It takes body/self confidence and courage to show the body but it takes more to show it as it is. I once went to a co-ed spa over three days and didn’t wax (I’m an Indian woman and most women on this planet have dark hair, a lot of them have thick, coarse hair too – those women with blonde, fine all over fur can get away with leaving their ‘tashes, eyebrows, sideburns, face in general and overall rest of the body, not to mention save money). I could do that because I was single and at the time didn’t give a damn, if anyone was going to trouble me I wasn’t going to put up with it. I just went to mind my own business and get on with the activities people do there. Interestingly whilst most people stared they didn’t say anything though the women seemed more disgusted than the men and quite a few men seemed attracted. I think I managed it because I was still generally attractive; good figure, long hair (although with long roots), nice bathing shorts suit (and a fairly big towel – I’m not a show person, my body is mine, my temple, no one else’s) and perhaps because I was a novelty/’weird’ in a not-so-bad way doing my deep breathing and lotus pose at times. However that was one occasion, heavily outnumbered by instances where people make [mostly disparaging] comments and/or touch [my hair, bum etc) whilst fully clothed and I’m pretty much always fully and ‘decently’ clothed – I’ve been swimming approx 5 times since childhood after mega coaxing plus deliberating and despairing to find swimwear I’d be ok wearing. I admire the ethos and self-control purported by people in nudist colonies where a body is a body, not a lust object. I don’t think anyone baring or covering or somewhere in the middle should be mocked, harassed or worse.
I found this pic interesting:
Whilst I’m not a fan of either style I can and have easily befriended both of the above ‘types’ and they didn’t feel repressed/suppressed. The more showy females like in the top half of the photo seemed outgoing and exuberant, females like those in the lower half talk about the advantages of their traditional garb and that they’re happy to be showing complete faith. I would say though that neither gives much thought as to how much of their dress sense is influenced by community and the differences in ‘modest/dignified/respectful dressing’ for males and females. Every time I’ve had a particular little group of friends amongst a bigger group of associates & acquaintances, we’ve always looked like a collective of visually different people; always different races, beliefs, styles, ages and that wasn’t intentional on my part at least – we sometimes had loggerheads at the start but it didn’t last past the day.
If the spectrum was based on how much effort goes into presentation then I’d be on the low maintenance end, both the show/hide sections are from what I’ve seen on the high end, as well as a lot of inbetweeners – despite what people think of my look I’d be near those who don’t do much. I don’t know all the tools or differences between things like an array of makeup brushes, pencils, foundations, concealers, powders, bb lotions(?), highlighters/contours, shaping/defining eyebrows, mascara/faux lashes, various lip enhancements, various forms of hair removal, skin maintenance/smoothing/pore stripping/lightening, nail art/false nails, body piercing, tattoo art, cosmetic contact lenses, hair stylizers like straighteners/curlers/perming, hair gels/sprays/wax/mouse, teeth whitening/veneers etc. Exercise is time consuming but the rest? I do my roots at home 3 times a year maybe (so I look mildly-goth/vamp most of the time though I’m not keen on the ‘vamp’ label), makeup mostly just powder & lippy (more for photos 😉 which I rarely take), blast the hair removal I’d be Cousin IT and ok (body hair is there and essential for various reasons, trimming and keeping it clean is one thing removing is another), simple body lotion/oil (or vegetable/fruit juice), simple toothpaste and simple shampoo/conditioner (like unrefined apple cider vinegar). If people think I’m a beast (a cute, cantankerous, courteous one even if I do say so myself) pfft so what, they should look in a mirror and think hard on how attractive they really are. The days of people walking into lampposts, almost getting run over, or getting distracted whilst driving as I walk past are over (and probably for the better to Health & Safety, and jealous folk lol) but I’m still magnetic. Can you say that?
This is a post from a superb blog:
On women shaving all their hair
How can you cartoon about shaving? You have to. Because without some humor to lighten the subject, it’s hard for me to go there. Shaving my head was one of my most humiliating and hurtful experiences I went through as a chasidic woman. Before I got married, in our cart at the hardware store of china dishes and cutlery and hooks and potpourri, we placed a Braun electric shaver for me. Every month I plugged the shaver into the socket near the mirror, flipped on the black switch, and beginning from my forehead over to the back of my neck, held the vibrating machine at my soft little hairs as it fell to the side, the floor, into the bowl, down my back. Where I had shaved, my scalp showed itself in pale white, dotted with dark roots. When I was done, I was bald. I collected all of my hair and tossed it into the toilet and flushed.
I did this every month for years.
It wasn’t always so hard. At first I didn’t think about it much. I have only a very vague recollection of the first time my hair was shaved – by my mother on the morning after my wedding at eighteen, and not much more comes to mind of the first year. The whole ordeal was insignificant at a time of such tremendous life change; of starting to live with a man I didn’t yet know. I’d also been a tomboy growing up, and I was glad to get rid of my frizzy responsibility on my head. Every married woman shaved, and it was a prerequisite to marriage, a price I was willing to pay. But as the years went by and I turned twenty, twenty one, became a mother, matured and grew into myself, I no longer thought marriage was contingent on this tradition. I no longer felt hair was simply a messy mane. I no longer wanted to rub Panteen on my shaven, itchy head every night. I was a woman, and I ached to put a comb through my hair, to watch it fall softly to my shoulders, to feel dignified and feminine. I wanted to make decisions about my own body.
But still, I shaved. Every month. In Kiryas Joel, it can be almost impossible to hide growing hair, and without the support of the husband, entirely impossible. A hair sticking out of the turban, a neighbor noticing, a mikvah lady asking questions, a husband tell-tailing. I tried to rebel. I didn’t just take it lying down. But when a few months passed and my hair began growing so long it no longer stood straight but tilted over as if to bow to my forehead, the start of blonde bangs, word got out. One day, out of the blue, the phone in my kitchen rang, a religious woman sent by the leadership on the other end of the line. It was the phone call I dreaded all this time.
“I was sent to go down to your house and check if your head is completely shaven” she said in Hungarian Yiddish “so we can know that your tzadikl, your son, can be in cheydar. We cannot accept your neshamala into cheydar until you’ve done what every holy Jewish woman should do, so I’d like to come to your house as soon as possible.” Then she told me about the many blessings that will come to me for this great mitzvah, and she reminded me of the illnesses and accidents that come from women like me who cannot resist their feminine yetzer horah. She talked about cancer and recent tragedies and said that I never know if God had not sent them because of my sins.
I hung up the phone and felt shaken, my knees pulsing. She wanted to come to my home. She wanted to check under my turban. She wanted to see my bald head.
I had to let her. What choice did I have? I believed in none of what she said and thought her premise ludicrous. But banning my son from their school was a sure-way of forcing me to comply. My toddler, moping around on the kitchen floor, pulling on my duster, blabbling in Yiddish, needed to go to school. I applied to a different small privately run school in the community, but they returned a message through a relative that they are unfortunately unable to accept my son, pursuant to instructions from community leaders. I had no choice. I wasn’t prepared to take radical action like fleeing the community without money, a job, a school for my child, a degree or even a drivers license (women are not allowed to drive). I knew much better than to be impulsive in my very volatile situation. I stood to lose custody of my child, for heavens sake, if I ignited the community’s wrath. I had no legal support, no emotional support, no people behind me, no alternative cheyder, no way to stick up for myself. I was just me, a Chasidish lady among my Chasidish peers. I was helpless.
So one night I took out the shaver again, flipped the switch, and held it under my new side-part. I watched myself in the mirror. I was no longer a child bride. I had become a woman with opinions, ideas, aspirations and self-respect. I did not want to shave, I abhorred the control others had over my body. But I had to do it.
As I shaved from end to end over my scalp, tears streaked from my eyes and nose. When I was done I looked at my bald face in the mirror. And then I yelled. It was a scream that tore itself out of me in protest for every ounce of my dignity that was gone, for every hair of self-respect I cut away. For the fight I had lost, to our own. My grandmother was bald like this, in the war, because of the Nazis. I have her recordings of these memories, and the horror and pain of forcing a woman to shave is shocking. Yet we do it, to our own children, ourselves, our women. We should, they should, someone should know BETTER!
But no, the ritual continues to be enforced. I know women who continue to shave their heads against their will because they are too powerless to make decisions about their bodies. I don’t refer to women who believe in the ritual. I refer to those who don’t believe there’s value to it and don’t want to be bald. What are they to do? You may assume they simply need to be assertive, but do you realize that everything they have stands in the balance? Do you realize how at mercy of their Hasidic husbands and rabbis they are?
For me, this episode made me more determined in the long journey to take back control over my life and my child, earn a degree, save money, get a drivers license, find a good school for my son. But it left a very deep impression on me — about how vulnerable mothers in the community are. I learned that women who become mothers at a young age are essentially powerless, because anything they try to do puts the children in the balance. To me, shaving embodies the enormous power the community has to make its rebellious women naked, humiliated, powerless and defenseless. I feel strongly that more needs to be done to help the women who want different things for themselves and their children.
I don’t shave anymore but it still hurts, a scar that refuses to heal.
Frieda Vizel left the Hasidic community, the Modern Orthodox community and the Formerly Orthodox (OTD) community. She now lives in Pomona and is actively looking for a new community to leave. She deals with the perplexities of the communities she left by drawing cartoons about them, a habit that gets her into an excellent amount of trouble.
This is the problem – how do we use our ‘freedom’, especially when there’s no such thing as real freedom because in a society we’re constantly impinging on someone else’s and how do we engage with those who do not have the ‘freedoms’ we do, and perhaps don’t want them? The above has also just reminded me of some ‘modern’ Punjabi men I’ve known who seemed friendly, well mannered, well spoken, well educated but have asked me after I spoke to their wives ‘how did she refer to/talk about/ask for me?’ Most of the time I hadn’t cared so didn’t remember but the wives weren’t allowed to call the husband by the first name yet I was and did every day. I said some things to them afterwards that they’d probably never tolerate from their wives or familial females and ironically that many of those women wouldn’t tolerate me saying, since they didn’t ask me to. If you choose your own partner then in my opinion they’re supposed to be someone you’ve chosen because they’re special and so you treat them specially – not to the detriment or unfairness of others but still nicer and more personally.
We say we can’t blame current people for the sins of the past though we do economically in terms of land/resource/company ownership, rights, reparations, tax etc and we say we can’t blame past peoples for the sins of the current, that we can’t judge those older by the same standards we have now but we do and have to otherwise we don’t have a benchmark to see what we want or don’t want to be. Like I said before I don’t think people should need to go through one thing to appreciate another, but in practice that is how people live.
If we forget our past we’re doomed to repeat it.
There was news from 2014 of IS, not ISIS as much of the popular Western media has ridiculously called them (unless they’re indicating the misogynist group’s origins in which case the same goes for all Abrahamic religions), pillaging and destroying ancient sites and artifacts. As of March 27th 2016 Syria & Russia took one site, the ancient city of Palmyra – that name is actually a type of tree – from IS, who had previously killed and displaced residents and surrounded the place with mines.
Nothing new there; book burning, defacing images/sites, destroying, selling, re-writing is all simply the mark of regime and/or outlook change. Archaeology started off because rich people wanted curios/status symbols for personal collections and scientists wanted samples. That doesn’t make it ok though.
Changing/hiding roots means less educated people. Why do they hate and fear pre-Islamic cultures? What’s wrong with a female god or polytheism, even polytheism that is ultimately monotheism – other than that gods and divinities have to be worth it and the people following have to be mature. I have only come across a few scripture characters that I like, mostly I think they are a waste of space but they are important because they’re a big part of who we are. I can see why people including a lot of ‘everyday, regular’ people would want to get rid of places of immense hurt/insult but pretending they didn’t happen is another matter. In the Petrie Museum for example there was a question as to whether to leave his/his team’s marking on the artifacts or to restore them to an earlier age, without knowing which to do it was generally decided that his system was history too now and we have to remember it. That is easier to say/do with defunct, inanimate objects than with the ‘soul bearing’ ‘sentient’ living. We only fool ourselves when we pretend the past didn’t happen, does Allah have a complete archive for the early times before ‘he’ dominated so it’s ok for IS to erase the records and even try to profit from earlier idolatry? Is it seen as using ‘enemy’s’ handiwork against them by benefiting from it?
Why do Muslims and Hindus share some rituals and fashions? Why are Islam, Juddaism and Christianity called the Abrahamic religions? Why does the word ‘semitic’ apply to innumerable peoples from North Africa and the Middle East/Western Asia throughout history but people use the post-Nazi associated term ‘anti-semitic’ for Jewish people instead of calling a racist a racist as is done for everybody else? They have things in common, a lot of things and all share the heritage of pre-existing and early co-existing cultures. They are not separate, mutually exclusive entities. Why is it ok for the god/s, pantheons, cultures of past people to be called myths when they believed in them, worshiped them, lived by them, thought they were right yet those of current people are called religion and have more weight and apparently more veracity? How can you say one is real or fake and not the other, how can one be a cult and the other a sanctified truth? Why can’t they all be somewhat different ways of saying the same thing? Why can’t they all be fake? People take religion seriously, as a clever system of conveying historic events and astronomy and as sets of stories about people and the beings who guide/control us. The amalgamated god Allah is supposed to be omnipresent, incomprehensible to us in its form other than what we can experience as all other living beings and our environment, it’s supposed to be sexless and genderless. So why do people get irate, offended and scoff if you don’t call it ‘it’? Surely ‘it’ is the most respectful form from our humble, unknowing selves? Why is it acceptable to call ‘it’ male?
Interestingly enough Muslims and Christians got on pretty well in earlier times, Muslims acknowledged Christianity as a sub-sect/branch of their own religion, some demanded a tithe for it but generally there was respect even mutual respect. Muslim and Christian scholars and scribes put together many of what we consider modern benchmarks for academic subjects and translations of other cultures. In addition to that we’ve continued many of the Greaco-Roman ways in such subjects as well; our systems of law, finance and education an expansion of theirs. It’s really quite amazing how many Christians believe outsiders can’t go to heaven but can go to hell, even a person who has to spent their lives well or exceptionally well according to Christian standards, and Muslims and Jews think they’re god’s only/chosen people. We live on a whole planet full of lifeforms, for an omnipresent/all powerful god it’s strange how so many of us would be unfaithful, outsider duds.
That said the potential profit as an ‘avenue stream’ from ancient relics may have been overhyped. What security and media probably didn’t realize or perhaps found inconvenient to mention is that a lot of what comes out of such sites is debris that not many want to store much less buy, people have been looting for a long time. There are a lot of fragments that get crushed underfoot and some people, Zahi Hawass for example (on & off head of the ‘Supreme Council’ of Egyptian antiquities) had a lot of critics outside of Egypt regarding the way he treated excavations, excavators, other historians and his lack of knowledge outside Egypt. Articles have said that they destroyed places for propaganda and relics that they couldn’t sell; in the few pictures I’ve seen of reclaimed Palmyra statues and architecture that could have been profitable were defaced rather than destroyed but still made useless to looters, though there are many sites in those lands to choose from.
I haven’t read anything about them building their own religious sites over old ones, another mark of regime change – St. Pauls cathedral on Ludgate Hill a poignant example. Hoarding is another example, private libraries, chained books (yep chained, not because they’ll bite or hex you 😛 ), libraries only available to academics and with conditions such as ‘thou shall not write about this author/person as a possible alternative/real identity of Shakespeare unless you’re writing fiction’. Knowledge is supposedly power, most of a museum is not in its showcase galleries, those are the ‘ooo, pretttty’ things it’s whats in storage, in the offices, labs, inner libraries that make up the bulk, notice all those staff only doors at the end of galleries? It’s not really in the interest of those monitoring/governing for the rest of the public to know anywhere near as much as insiders know otherwise why be in the job? Why the title/status? Just like anything we have to hire another person to represent us or to fix something and usually speaks in what sounds like another language even if its not or only partially. Knowledge alone doesn’t help you much, you need backup and that is what we as a society worry IS is getting.
In regards to Palmyra – I personally disagree with using the Canaanite Baal Arch(es) as a symbol of defiance against the Jihadists, cultural officials saying we can rebuild what they deface or destroy whilst acknowledging it’s symbolic significance and restoring dignity to the people. Yes it is significant but I’m not sure about it restoring dignity. It doesn’t raise awareness in my opinion because it’d take ages to go through all the connections of gods and religion, so what they’re showing people doesn’t explain anything. In general I think being aware of history is important and am not against many re-enactments for hobbyists but this plan has too many mixed messages. The reproductions are being 3D printed in China and scheduled to be in [iconic] locations of world ruler/leadership, New York Times Square and London’s Trafalgar Square (a place that represents dominance of war and aristocracy) on April 19th. Whether temporary or not an arch is symbolic of a ‘gate/door’, you don’t need the rest of the building when you have that – which is why on even modern building complexes there are sometimes old fashioned arch/gate edifices erected by themselves unattached to the buildings within, it represents the entrance/exit to the whole. That doesn’t mean it’s a portal, it’s representative of one. As a gesture of defiance it’s pretty flimsy in my opinion, supporting one lord over another, whilst used interchangeably with El and Yahweh, Baal ‘lost’ in later religion and demonized. It’s a shame they’re not using the feminine form ‘Ba’ala[h]’which is still related to ‘Bala’ from pre-Vedic root culture that became Hinduism (pre-Vedic being pre-cradle of civilization, two of three cradles use ‘Baal’), the ‘Daughter’ form of the Divine Mother [from whom the Dark Mother also comes, pre-Vedic Mother Lalita and Dark Mother Kali – L & Kal were widespread and masculanized, especially Kali/Kala/Cal/Cali as that means Black and Time] (the masculine virgin birth heroes/saints and Krist-Christ characters are later). In the feminine pre-Vedic form it still has its nurturing and protective connotations, she wasn’t and still isn’t called a demon. In its masculine form Baal is too confusing in itself/its relations to others and is commonly confused with the Akkadian/Assyrian/Babylonian title Bel (popularly used for Marduk and also Nibiru which brings up why the stylized outspread wings have been used from ancient gods to gatekeepers to worldwide military insignias and then the issue of the Annunaki who dominant predators like humans wouldn’t want to think could/do farm/use/consume/play with them with all the same ‘legitimate’ reasons for doing so we have for doing to other animals (even though people look up to vampires but then they’re ‘sexy’ & human-esque 🙄 ). That is countered by cultures that see Nibiru as part of a star/comet system in which resides the Red and Blue Kachina for example and not inhabited by reptile people who left descendents here; or who reptilians, reptoids, snake like dragon people here claim they are related to). Ah what a mess. At least they won’t be shown in the parts of the world that are celebrating New Years at the time, that would be an ‘interesting’ resolution/goal.
No words, almost.
I’ve never been a fan of guns, to me it just makes the business and mentality of hurting others easier. Casual cruelty. Someone can maim or kill another without much thought; out of momentary fear, uncertainty, even honed into instinct. I don’t think people are more protected by having another weapon available, I don’t think it reduces crime. I can see why people want them against both civilians and officials but people on the whole regardless of their job aren’t responsible or mature enough in my opinion and demonstrated by adding another ingredient into the mix instead of reducing e.g. the ‘woman who swallowed a fly’ nursery rhyme.
In the Southern US state of Mississippi (thank you ‘Matilda’ – by Roald Dahl) House Bill 786 has just been passed to allow churches to have a ‘security program’ i.e. their own militia, private army, but because they’re legal they’re not terrorists. A place where racism, anti-abortion views (incl. penalizing medical staff who support it), poor sex education and religious intolerance still lives is allowing church members to carry concealed firearms (inc. stun guns) and use them without accountability. They will be exempt from federal law. Members have to be eligible for and have licenses to carry them in the first place but they don’t need a permit to carry them if concealed in a sheath, holster or enclosed case. Churches don’t need to advertise that they have such a force.
You can read the bill here: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2016/pdf/history/HB/HB0786.xml
Anyone making bets for how long it takes to become about anybody who they feel threatens their reality and perhaps non-Christian Brown people? (Interestingly the number 786 is popular in modern Islamic numerology, but some say it’s popular ‘lucky’ or ‘holy’ with various peoples throughout the Indian Sub-Continent.)
Places in London have a religious based security group called Shomrim (‘guardian’, ‘protector’) (and have had such a Jewish ‘watch’ for quite some time though can’t remember if it was the same group). They’re not ‘official’ and made up of volunteers yet they look like police, have the cars/uniform, just with Hebrew writing. If you’re not paying attention it’s easy to confuse them with the Metropolitan Police and they receive training and support from the Met. There’s positive words about the Shomrim online but I know how one person can get into an argument with a Jewish person and suddenly other Jewish people come to support them and it turns into a big group, only the non-Jewish person got arrested and community service. They’re the only people I knew in London who had their own day schools (other non-Christian faith and cultural groups had evening and weekend schools), their own shops that weren’t welcoming to others and their own housing estates. One time I was looking for my parrot who’d flown off and I followed him to a residential block on the opposite side of the road where we lived, I didn’t know it was only Jewish, every other estate I’d been on/lived in was mixed – but as soon as I got there the people said things like “what are you doing here, you don’t belong here” “go away you’re not one of us” even the children were saying to me “go away little girl” “hey brown girl” etc before one older woman asked why I was there and quickly said “he’s probably gone, you should just forget him.” We did get him back and he had enjoyed his outing, thank you very much (and no he didn’t live in a birdcage and I disagree with wing clipping).
Secular society where….? Why don’t the Muslim, Buddist, Hindu etc groups get the same? Because it doesn’t make sense to have legal and security preference for any group regardless of their creed and there’s a lot of creeds not just the major religions but honours/military/society orders that cover civilian, military and the ‘Empire’, and encapsulate professionals from all walks of society; civil servants, politicians, neighbourhood watch, governing boards etc (look at the order honour titles and badges/medals – why do people in law and public influence need religious membership sounding titles on top of job titles and worldwide esoteric star/sky worship symbols for authority?) Having one or all groups acting like this doesn’t solve anything, it’s just the same old thing.