Sunday, April 20, 2014

Deepest Sympathies, Michael and to your family.

My father, (click here) Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I will write more about him tomorrow. It's been a long day...

I recognize the hat. Of all days, Easter Sunday.

The Ukrainians don't want weapons and war from The West.

They want to understand how The West lives with difference while embracing multiculturalism. It is 'social depth' they seek to move their country forward, not guns to end lives or power struggles of whom is right or whom is wrong. In war there is no right and wrong. It isn't war they seek.

Repeatedly they have proven they desire peace, prosperity and freedom. They uphold human rights and rejoice with minor achievement. In the Maidan there is a simple garden that is gathering place. Some disdain it for being annoying, but, it is a place where a simple activity such as planting seeds can bring a common experience to people.

The struggle in the Ukraine is not about power, it is about community. 

The USA was not bilingual until the 1980s and the HIV/AIDS outbreak. As time went by and the CDC released trial medications that showed extremely hopeful signs of extending lives some patterns in deaths developed. 

The USA blissfully lived with the idea English was the only language important to the country. The majority ignored other languages. It wasn't malicious, it was stupid. 

As the country monitored the outbreak of HIV and recorded the deaths and the demographics within those deaths we learned there were 'certain' populations of people afflicted with HIV and resultant deaths. We learned through 'information gathering' those dying didn't speak English. See, the USA prides itself on immigration and multiculturalism. But, until HIV we never realized language could be a death sentence in a country where we embraced our difference as a method to an economy.

To solve this deadly dilemma Social Workers and Social Services began to print hand bills / fliers / printed educational material in Spanish as well as English. People living in communities where Spanish was primarily the language spoken became educated to the reasons why they were becoming ill. They then sought doctors and modified their behaviors to reduce the peril in their lives. 

The 'awareness of difference' didn't stop there. We further came to understand it wasn't just language that was killing our people, it was within cultures of the poor as well. In our ethnic minorities it was Black Women still among the dying in higher numbers and to that end we had to address that aspect of their culture so they understood how 'at risk' activities placed them in the direct path of HIV. 

One of the most remarkable changes in culture to prevent disease and death came from the highest 'at risk' community. The Gay Community spread the word about HIV like wildfire and as soon as the reality of the disease was known to them there were changes. It was amazing to watch and at times be a part of as tours of quilts made their way through the country to bring about 'community' and safety within our communities.

The country embraced them and realized how much distance 'main society' had to our gay family members and we began to close that gap. Today, there are movements to bring the sense of belonging and family in the way of marriage equality. 

The USA embraces difference. It doesn't come without a fight. We still see racism today, even in our politics and hatred is used as a political wedge. But, the American people are very smart and as soon as hatred and fear are shown to them, they begin the process of understanding it and removing it from their lives. It has taken a century, if not more, to bring about a profound awareness of 'methods of hatred' in our country. We are finally there and fighting for our peace as well. It is a matter of 'awareness' to know where the 'enemy of hate' exists and dispel it at every opportunity.

President Obama is an amazing man. He is always picked on as a community organizer and a man of tolerance. In a recent social event he laughed openly about the political victimization of his birth certificate. He is a man of great character. He is a great leader. We love him dearly. He is 'the grace' we needed to find ourselves and elevate our values. 

The 'components of identity' should never be under attack. Society is best when it is peaceful and children are given the full advantage of realizing their capacity. A country counts on the development of their children. A country is stronger when their youngest prepare for life in a way that adds to the stability of daily life. 

There is opportunity in 'difference.' When it comes to ethnic differences there a vast economy the USA has tapped into for centuries. It takes an American to realize Pizza is a hot topic.

There is not a country on the face of Earth without challenges to meet. No one country should believe it is exempt from rising to the demands of the future. Today is just another step forward.

War isn't the answer and quick frankly I debate it ever was.

Language is not the enemy.

Language has been used to create hatred that justifies violence. Langauge and faith are as integrated into a person's identity as their fingerprints. It is very easy to use these simple LABELS to separate a country into factions for the purpose of leveraging power.

The Ukrainian people have to willingly stop making ethnicity, religious and language an opportunity for division and violence. Everyone is safe if they want to be. All the people of the Ukraine can be free of hatred on this Easter Sunday if they set aside nearly genetic identity and simply live their day to day lives.

Freedom to express oneself through language is important to exchange ideas. How will Ukraine resolve to peace if no one understands each other because of the 'hatred of difference.' Hate and fear is the tool used toward a divided Ukraine and evidently language is the identifier. That is simply wrong. Language is not the enemy, the fear and hate it brings is.

April 19, 2014
Nicholas Kristof

Mykola Hometskyi, left, lives in a house in Karapchiv, Ukraine, that was once owned by Nicholas Kristof's father. As recently as a decade ago, many homes in the area lacked electricity and plumbing. That's certainly not the case anymore as the whole region looks to the West. Credit Daniel Rzhenetskyy

...On past visits to this village, (click here) which my family fled in the 1940s, it seemed impossibly backward. It was near the Romanian border, a world apart from Kiev, the capital, and even a decade ago many houses lacked electricity and plumbing. Horses did the plowing. Nobody spoke English. If people went abroad it was to Russia.

Yet Ukraine has changed and opened up. Almost everyone now has electricity, plumbing and television, and many young men and women have traveled to Italy to find jobs. There is bewilderment that Poland is now so much richer than Ukraine — and resentment at Moscow for holding Ukrainians back.

I asked Margaryta, the girl with the European soul, whether she could speak Russian. Everyone in the village can speak it, she acknowledged, but she added primly: “I will not speak Russian. I am a patriot.”...