Friday, June 6, 2008

Historical American Politics

Overheard yesterday:

"Whoever would have become president in the fall would have made history, either it would have been a woman, a black man, or...... an old man."

Kids, you live in historical times! This is 40 years after Martin Luther King Jr, and so much has changed, and so much is the same. I spent yesterday in Newark, the largest city in New Jersey, and I took some photos of urban despair and hope that I will post later. This is as far as I can get from my Swedish nature-romantic upbringing I think. People in Newark don't have the luxury of caring about mushroom picking in the forests or what do to on their vacations, instead they worry about getting a job, keeping lead out of their babies bodies, and not being killed and involved in gangs.

In 1968 there were racial riots here which led to the National Guard being called in and over 20 people dead. There is a great exhibit at the New Jersey Historical Society about this, and it is well worth seeing. The name of the exhibit is "What's going on?", just like the Marvin Gaye song/album, which came out a few years later and was an instant hit. Marvin Gaye wrote the song earlier but didn't release it until 1971 because he knew the lyrics about poverty, race and war would be controversial.

Here is how the song starts:
Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today

It is still the same in the world. We need peace, love, jobs, sustainability, and understanding now more than ever. On the other hand, I am more hopeful than ever for real change.


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LS said...

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