We Shall Overcome.

When pouring through the thoughts of the greatest minds turned toward peace, common themes become apparent as they encourage, warn and urgently prod us onto the path to peace.
Social Justice has been a struggle for generations. While never fully realized, Social Justice is once again being attacked and eroded. While these injustices exist the Nobel Laureates expound; there will be no peace.
Martin Luther King Jr who died for this belief had the “audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”
“that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. …”
“that right temporally defeated is stronger than evil triumphant”
…and still believed despite it all… “that we shall overcome”

Remain hopeful as you read the rational thoughts of rational people, working tirelessly for justice, equity, equality, truth, compassion and peace. Remain hopeful and join them… join us.

Norman Borlaug – Nobel Peace Prize 1970
“If you desire peace, cultivate justice.”
Norman Borlaug winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 1970 believed the greatest threat to peace was food insecurity. He insists we could and must do better with food cultivation and distribution, and population control. Justice, social justice, starting with food enough for all, must exist to begin to expect peace among the people of the earth.

“More than half of the population of the world is hungry. We should be far wiser. Man can and must prevent the tragedy of famine in the future instead of merely trying with pious regret, to salvage the human wreckage of the famine.”
“Universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.”
The first essential component of social justice is adequate food for all mankind. Therefore… if you desire peace, cultivate justice, and at the same time cultivate the fields to produce more bread
Lord John Boyd Orr, the first director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization once said “You can’t build peace on empty stomachs.” A fundamental biological law is that when the life of living organisms is threatened by shortage of food they tend to swarm and use violence to obtain their means of sustenance.
“There are still two worlds,” Norman Borlaug asserted “’the privileged world and the forgotten world’”; both in a world that is hungry, both for bread and for peace. The majority of the urbanites in the industrialized nations have forgotten the significance of the words they learned as youngsters, “Give us this day our daily bread”.
I am convinced that if all policymakers would take sufficient interest in population control and in aggressively employing and exploiting agricultural development … many of the social ills of the present day could soon become problems of the past.
Change we must, or we will perish as a species.
Progress depends on intelligent, integrated, and persistent effort by government leaders, statesmen, tradesmen, scientists, educators, and communication agencies, including the press, radio, and television.
Nevertheless, vast sums are now being spent in all countries, developed and developing, on armaments and new nuclear and other lethal weapons, while pitifully small sums are being spent on agricultural research and education designed to sustain and humanize life rather than to degrade and destroy it.
There are also ‘destructive physical and mental consequences of the grotesque concentration of human beings crowded into the poisoned and clangorous environment of pathologically hypertrophied megalopolis. (super-cities)’ These ‘abnormal stresses and strains tend to accentuate man’s animal instincts and provoke irrational and socially disruptive behavior among the less stable individuals in the maddening crowd.
Adequate food is only the first requisite for life. For a decent and humane life, we must also provide an opportunity for good education, remunerative employment, comfortable housing, good clothing, and effective and compassionate medical care. It is a test of the validity of sapiens as a species.
Since man is potentially a rational being, I am confident that within the next two decades he will recognize the self-destructive and irresponsible course he steers along and instead work to permit a decent standard of living for all mankind. If man is wise enough to make this decision.

Desmond Tutu – Nobel Peace Prize Winner 1984
If we want peace, let us work for justice.

Apartheid was still the life lived in South Africa in 1984. Apartheid in its execution and segregation is reminiscent of the Reserves of North American Indigenous peoples and the policies creeping in to the new world order with regards to refugees and Migrant workers. We must learn the lessons of the past.
“the cost of apartheid is exorbitant, in terms of human suffering”
this land, richly endowed in so many ways, is sadly lacking in justice.

Bishop Tutu also speaks of nuclear proliferation as a perilous threat to peace.
We are not far from global suicide, and yet it could be so different.

Black family life is being undermined, not accidentally, but by deliberate Government policy.
South African citizens are being turned into aliens in the land of their birth. Aliens who can claim but very few rights, least of all political rights. This is apartheid’s final solution, just as Nazism has its final solution for the Jews in Hitler’s Aryan madness.
Black townships: “3,000,000 of God’s children have been uprooted from their homes. These dumping grounds are far from where work and food can be procured easily. Children starve, suffer from the often irreversible consequences of malnutrition- this happens to them not accidentally, but by deliberate Government policy.”
Migratory labor policy: Many migrants live an unnatural life, prey to prostitution, drunkenness, and worse. Migrant worker policy is a declared Government policy; and has been condemned, even by the white Dutch Reformed Church, not noted for being quick to criticize the Government, as a cancer in our society. The cost of apartheid, exorbitant in terms of human suffering.
Bantu Education: a discriminatory education policy. Education for serfdom, ensures that the Government spends only about one tenth on one black child per annum for education what it spends on a white child. It is education that is decidedly separate and unequal.
And more…the “Population Registration Act, Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, The Immorality Act” – all laws which permit the indefinite detention of persons whom the Minister of Law and Order has decided are a threat to the security of the State.
Banning orders – A banned person for 3 or 5 years cannot attend a gathering, (which means more than one other person). Banning people is a serious erosion and violation of basic human rights. Banned people do not enjoy the rights of freedom of movement of association. They do not enjoy freedom of security of tenure, the right to participate in the making of decisions that affect their lives.
And there is also the ‘unhelpful attention and interest of outside powers, who want to extend their spheres of influence’
In short, this land, richly endowed in so many ways, is sadly lacking in justice.
The South African Council of Churches have said we are opposed to all forms of violence.
The African National Congress – proscribes “conventional methods of peaceful protest- petitions, demonstrations, deputations, and even a passive resistance campaign.”
But our resistance is met with violence ‘Are we being told something I do not want to believe, that we Blacks are expendable and that blood is thicker than water, that when it comes to the crunch, you cannot trust whites, that they will club together against us? I don’t want to believe that is the message being conveyed to us.’
We see before us a land bereft of justice, and therefore without peace and security.
There is no peace in South Africa. There is no peace because there is no justice. There can be no real peace and security until there be first justice, enjoyed by all inhabitants of this beautiful land. God’s Shalom, peace, involves inevitably righteousness, justice, wholeness, fullness of life, participation in decision-making, goodness, laughter, joy, compassion.
Because there is global insecurity, nations are engaged in a mad arms race, spending billions of dollars wastefully on instruments of destruction, when millions are starving. We have the capacity to feed ourselves several times over, but we are daily haunted by the spectacle of the gaunt dregs of humanity shuffling along in endless queues, with bowls to collect what the charity of the world has provided, too little too late.
When will we learn, when will the people of the world get up and say, ‘enough is enough’. God created us for fellowship. God created us so that we should form a human family, existing together because we were made for one another. We are not made for exclusive self-sufficiency but for interdependence, and we break the law of our being at our peril.
When will we learn that an escalated arms race merely escalates global insecurity? We are now much closer to a nuclear holocaust than when our technology and our spending were less. We are not far from global suicide; and yet it could be so different.
In dehumanizing others, they are themselves dehumanized. Perhaps oppression dehumanizes the oppressor as much as, if not more than, the oppressed. The oppressor and the oppressed need each other to become truly free, to become human. We can be human only in fellowship, in community, in koinonia, in peace.
If we want peace, let us work for justice.

Cordell Hull – Noble Peace Prize 1945
The United Nations Organization offers the peace loving nations of the world, a fully workable mechanism which will give them peace, if they want peace.

Peace has become as essential to civilized existence, as the air we breathe is to life itself. There is no greater responsibility resting on governments everywhere than to make sure that enduring peace will this time, at long last, be established and maintained.
WWII brought with it not only a stark realization of what another war would mean to the world, but as well the creation of an international agency through which the nations of the world can if they so desire, make peace a living reality.
The United Nations Organization offers the peace loving nations of the world, a fully workable mechanism which will give them peace, if they want peace.
No piece of social machinery, however, can be effective unless there is a will and a determination to make it work. The crucial test for men and for nations today is whether or not they have suffered enough, and have learned enough to put aside suspicion, prejudice and short-run and narrowly conceived interests and to unite in furtherance of their greatest common interest…enduring peace.
Man’s highest aspiration – the establishment of enduring peace based on justice and fair dealings for all.

Martin Luther King Jr. – Nobel Peace Prize 1964
‘right temporally defeated is stronger than evil triumphant’
‘we shall overcome’

We shall overcome is the phrase most closely linked with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr and the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement can be credited with ensuring the rights of many minorities would “overcome”. Within hours of the new President of the United States taking office, the White House Civil Rights website was removed. (As was the site for Climate Change.) History however cannot be as easily erased from human memory. We must not forget the lessons, the sacrifices or the advances made by the Civil Rights Movement.

I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.
I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. …
I still believe that we shall overcome.

“This award which I receive on behalf of ‘the civil rights movement’ is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time – the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. … Nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “is-ness“ of man‘s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “ought-ness” that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright day break of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction.
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right temporally defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children’s of men.
I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.
I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. …
I still believe that we shall overcome.
I accept this prize on behalf of all men who love peace and brotherhood.

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