is trivial compared to the cost of ignorance.
According to Thomas Jefferson
Archive for the “Human rights” Category
is trivial compared to the cost of ignorance.
According to Thomas Jefferson
23 06 2011
ANDREW DENTON: In ’79, I think you would have been about 22, you went to a radio debate with the Reverend Wade Watts…Reverend Wade Watts…who was the state leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People who’d worked with Martin Luther King. And when you got to this debate, he held out his hand for you to shake.
JOHNNY LEE CLARY: Yes, yes he did.
ANDREW DENTON: Did you hesitate?
JOHNNY LEE CLARY: I, I, he caught me off guard. See, I’m expecting this black militant to come in with a great big afro this big and an African dashiki on, with bones hanging around and a button on that says, “I hate honkies” and “Death to crackers,” you know? All that stuff. And I figured he’d have on…
ANDREW DENTON: You seriously thought that?
JOHNNY LEE CLARY: Yeah, that’s what I thought. And I thought he’d come in there with a boom box, blaring out the theme from ‘Shaft’. And I figured he’d flash a switchblade at me and go “Black is beautiful, honky. I’m gonna kill all you white devils.” You know, that’s what I thought I was gonna see. So when the door opened up and in came Reverend Wade Watts and he’s wearing a suit and a tie and he’s carrying a Bible. And he walks up and puts his hand out and goes, “Hello there, Mr Clary. I’m Reverend Wade Watts. I just want to tell you I love you and Jesus loves you.” And I mean, I’m shocked, you know. And he puts his hand out and I’m shaking his hand without thinking, ’cause this was not what I was expecting. And then I realised I’d just broke a Klan rule and I jerked my hand back, you know. And I started looking at my hand, which he saw that and that was meant as an insult. The Klan rule book says, “The physical touch of a non-white is pollution.” And I thought, “I just shook hands with a black person.” And he sees me looking at my hand and he goes, “Don’t worry, Johnny. It don’t come off.” And, you know, I start calling him names, and go, “You no-good, sorry, bleep, bleep, bleep. You mother-this, you this, you that.” And he looked at me and goes, “God bless you, Johnny. You can’t do enough to me to make me hate you. I’m gonna love you and I’m gonna pray for you, whether you like it or not.” And I didn’t know how to deal with that. I had never had that happen to me before.
ANDREW DENTON: A few years later, you burnt down his church, didn’t you?
JOHNNY LEE CLARY: Set fire to his church. What happened was we started off going by his house, calling him names, we got no response. Threw trash all over his lawn, got no response. We showed up with our sheets and hoods and stood out there in his yard, saying, “Get on out here, boy, we got something for you.” And he comes outside and he goes, “Boys, Halloween’s four more months away. I got no trick or treat in here for you. Come back in October.” And he goes back in the house.
ANDREW DENTON: That’s a brave man.
JOHNNY LEE CLARY: Yeah. And, I mean, I didn’t know how to deal with this. And so the Klan goes, “You got anymore bright ideas?” And I said, “I don’t know.” I said, “I’ll tell you what we’ll do.” So we burned a cross across the street from his house. He came outside and asked us if we needed hotdogs or marshmallows for our barbeque, you know. So finally, I said, “I’m tired of messing with him” and we set fire to his church. And they put the fire out before the church was destroyed and I remember I called him up and disguised my voice and I said, “Hey, boy, you’d better be afraid. We’re coming to get you, boy. You don’t know who we are but we know who you are.” And he goes, “Hello, Johnny.” And he goes, “A man like you takes the time to call me, I’m so honoured.” And all that stuff. He goes, “Let me do something to you. Dear Lord, please forgive Johnny for being so stupid. He doesn’t mean to be so ornery, he’s a good boy trying to get out somewhere in there.” And I hung up the phone on him and I said, “How dare him?”
And so, the funniest thing that happened with him, though, is, I didn’t know what to do and I was at my rope’s end. And one day we was watching him and he went into a restaurant, so we got a bunch of us together and about 30 of us went in there and surrounded him. And he had this chicken there on the table. And I walked up and I said, “Hey, boy, this restaurant’s for white people only, we don’t want you here.” I said, “So, I’m gonna make you a promise.” I said, “I promise you we’re gonna do the same thing to you that you do to that chicken. So you think real hard before you touch that chicken.” So he looked at me and looked at the Klan, then he picked up the chicken and he kissed it. And when he kissed the chicken, the whole restaurant acted just like y’all did. They all started laughing and everything. And I looked up and even the Klan was laughing. “You gotta admit, that was funny.” I said, “Every one of you, outside.” I’m outside and they’re doubled over, laughing. I’m going, “You guys are gonna get suspended and lose your robe for two weeks.” I said, “I’m getting tired of this.” And I’m hollering at them and yelling and they’re laughing. I heard a horn honking and Reverend Watts is driving off, going, “Bye, Johnny.” And that’s how he chose… That’s how one old black – we never bothered him again – and that’s how one old black man defeated the entire Ku Klux Klan. Because he used this (Johnny points to his head) instead of brawn.
ANDREW DENTON: And he used this too (Andrew points to his heart). A very brave man.
JOHNNY LEE CLARY: His heart.
Few days ago I discovered the only gay graffiti I’ve ever seen. It is written on a building wall in my hometown Pancevo, directly in the neighborhood where I grew up. Good to see it in a pretty much homophobic society.
Since some months Serbia has abolished the mandatory army service. Jeeeeee! The last generation of soldiers will finish this stupid service until the end of this year, and then NO MORE, FOLKS! Except for the so called “professionals”, those who like to learn how to kill people. Tjah, it is at least better that they are under control.
Some time at the end of nineties I photographed this photo of four officers of Serbian army going into the fog. This year the local administration of Pancevo selected my photo for the official calender for next year, for the month November 2011. Funny, because I was born in November
As they called me from Pancevo to tell me the news that my photo was selected for the calender, the woman from the administration told me that “…the photo of those railroad workers is fantastic!”
16 05 2010
“Our knowledge has made us cynical,
Charlie Chaplin, final speech from “The Great Dictator”.
Thursday May 13, 2010: Pope Calls Abortion, Divorce & Gay Marriage ‘some of today’s most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good.’
Kad su papu JoÅ¾ek zvali,
Kad je papa JoÅ¾ek bio,
Je li ko od MarktlovÄana
Eto, to bih htio znati…
By “Gori Ussi Winetou”
Child abuse does not happen only in catholic church, of course. It happens everywhere, every time. But some naive people are surprised that it is also practiced by priests. As more and more cases emerge and more and more victims start to talk about their experiences from the youth, a big picture assembles itself. And it is becoming apparent that catholic church was systematically trying to hide this cases from the public, as much as possible, and to pretend that nothing was happening:
“Very much more serious is the role of Joseph Ratzinger, before the church decided to make him supreme leader, in obstructing justice on a global scale. After his promotion to cardinal, he was put in charge of the so-called “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” (formerly known as the Inquisition). In 2001, Pope John Paul II placed this department in charge of the investigation of child rape and torture by Catholic priests. In May of that year, Ratzinger issued a confidential letter to every bishop. In it, he reminded them of the extreme gravity of a certain crime. But that crime was the reporting of the rape and torture. The accusations, intoned Ratzinger, were only treatable within the church’s own exclusive jurisdiction. Any sharing of the evidence with legal authorities or the press was utterly forbidden. Charges were to be investigated “in the most secretive way … restrained by a perpetual silence … and everyone … is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office â€¦ under the penalty of excommunication.” (my italics). Nobody has yet been excommunicated for the rape and torture of children, but exposing the offense could get you into serious trouble. And this is the church that warns us against moral relativism! (See, for more on this appalling document, two reports in the London Observer of April 24, 2005, by Jamie Doward.)”
Christopher Hitchens, The Great Catholic Cover-Up.
Child abuse is a serious crime. But trying to cover it up…? Is it not the same?
Pezza Pan: one could of course interrogate why only for management positions. But at least it is something. The french have already introduced women’s quota for their parliament some years ago.
17 01 2010
The photos I posted on 20th December last year were all shot in the immediate vicinity of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Central Railway Station in Mumbai. Inside the station photographing was prohibited, as my guide cautiously indicated to me, so we went inside through a dirty understreet passage and just strolled around. It was Sunday morning and I was on a day trip to Mumbai down-town. My guide was a kind young doctor, born and living in Mumbai, whose name I unfortunately can not remember anymore. The day was sunny and hot, and the humid air on the streets was sweet and heavy, polluted by exhaust gases; but inside the station I immediately sensed the smell of tracks and trains, the smell that I liked since my childhood and which for a brief moment filled me with joy. The station was pretty much empty, an unusual situation comparing to other days of the week. This was one of the busiest railway stations in India; on all other days it was always full of people. When Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan walked in the station on the evening of 26th November 2008 and opened fire from their kalashnikovs, the place was packed full. They fired at the crowd of unarmed people, threw grenades on police officers and killed and severely injured more than 150 persons. When they left the building the platform I was standing on was covered with dead and dying people.
After the attacks Mumbai police prohibited unauthorised photographing inside the station and increased the security measures. I noticed two police officers sitting at the table in one corner near the main gate and stepped closer, curious to see what they were doing. Maybe they will somehow allow me to take photos anyway? As I neared them I saw that they were inspecting their automatic rifles. One weapon lay on the table, and the officer was checking the leather belt. They seemed not to be paying any attention to me. I stood there watching them for some time, until I realized that the muzzle of the weapon was pointed directly to my belly. I stepped aside.
As I was looking around it occurred to me that I was unconsciously looking for blood stains on the floor. I was standing in the middle of a broad platform surrounded by several people waiting for their trains. In front of me there were old trains with bars on the windows and special wagons reserved only for women (always the first ones – was it the sign of respect in one apparently segregating act?). Few fishermen from the suburbs passed by carrying fresh fish in bowls above their heads, children were chasing each other, sun rays were streaking through the ceiling windows high above. In my conciousness I noticed all this, but in the same time I knew that it was not what I was looking for, the present was like a curtain that I tried whole time to pull away, to see behind it. I was actually looking for blood and dead bodies, searching for bullet holes in the walls, imagining the moment when shootings started, trying to hear the explosions and screams of the victims. I was standing in a slaughter field amidst tens of dead bodies. I felt a tension in my belly, right there where the muzzle of that police officer’s rifle was pointed to just a few moments ago. All of a sudden my desire to make photos seemed deeply inappropriate. I desperately wanted to come back to reality, to forget the horror that happened here one year ago, but it was impossible. My guide asked me if I want him to try to get a permission to make some photos, but I refused. I had enough.
As we were hurrying towards one of the exits on the other end I was thinking that there actually must be many places on the face of the Earth where people died violently. Millions of years of evolution of genus Homo are immensely long time. Thousands and thousands of places were soaked in blood and covered with dead human bodies. So many of our predecessors lived and died without a trace, decayed and forever disappeared everywhere on this planet. Had I believed in ghosts I would have to accept that they were “living” with us now everywhere, in every corner of the only world we know, inhabiting every house and every home in hundreds. But I do not believe in ghosts, and neither in God. I do not think that one continues to live after death in some other form, and that a life has a purpose not revealed to us. I am convinced that we all have only this one life, and that life itself is the highest value. And when I stand in the place where I KNOW that many people lost their lives in a violent way, killed in the name of “higher” purpose, I feel frightened. Murdering a human being is like destroying a world. Our duty is to preserve life and minimise suffering. Nothing else. We are all brothers and sisters, and we do not need any religion to see it, if we just bother to think.
There was an old-fashioned scale short before the exit from the station. It bore the text “EASTERN SCALES” on it, a platform to stand on, and an opening for inserting coins. My guide urged me with a smile to step on it and measure my weight. I complied absently. After a short while the machine spat out a small yellowish card. On one side it read “HEALTH CARD – KILOGRAMS 92 – KEEP FIT – EASTERN SCALES – 49434″. It was wrong. My weight was 82. I turned the other side and read the personal message under the title “BUY YOUR OWN TICKET”: “You will emerge triumphant from your most serious reverses. A happy and comfortable old age”. As we emerged from the station to the sunny street I wondered how many nameless victims of Kasab and Khan got that very same message on the day they were murdered.
Serbian Patriarch Pavle died today after two years of serious illness, at the age of 95. Serbian president proclaimed 3 days of mourning, and stated that “…death of Patriarch Pavle represents irreplaceable loss for Serbia.”
If one death in recent Serbian history can be called “irreplaceable loss” than it is the assassination of prime minster Zoran Djindjic in 2003, and not the death of Gojko Stojcevic, the late Serbian patriarch Pavle. Although modest by nature and respected by many, Patriarch was the man of the past, chief of a repressive nationalist organization called Serbian Church, one of most important supporters of Milosevic’s crime regime and a main guardian of xenophobia and serbian isolationism. One of his better statements was the call to fellow citizens some 10 years ago: “Let us be humans, although we are Serbs!“.
Ex Pope Paulus the Second, the passionate traveller, had only one wish left in his life: to meet with serbian patriarch, but Pavle always avoided it; official explanation of serbian orthodox church was that “…it is not appropriate moment for it yet“. Here I depicted how this meeting may have looked like if it had taken place. Maybe now they finally meet, in that hot and awkward place they call hell. Actually not IN the hell, but on the barbwired fence which separates this solemn institution for eternal tormenting of poor christians souls into a Catholic and Orthodox department.
27 10 2009
KAD JE SRPSKI SNAJPERIST MOJOJ PRIJATELJICI
InaÄe, prije rata sam mislila da bi se nebesa
Ja sam i dalje ja. Sarajevo i dalje Sarajevo
Sve se kotrlja po starome
ZnaÅ¡, pjeÅ¡aÄi se lakÅ¡e bez iÄega u rukama
Preporuccujem: Iz nove knjige Mirka Kovacca.
“Osobno mi marksizam niÅ¡ta nije znaÄio; moÅ¾ebitno je, zbog njegovih tumaÄa, izazivao u meni otpor, jer sam pristajao na njegovu neprirodnost, samo poradi gaÄ‘enja prema nacionalistima. Nemam smisla ni za kakvu vrstu fanatizma. Potpuno sam svjestan da ne mogu pojmiti kakav to mamac vreba u toj filozofiji i u Äemu je njezina privlaÄnost. Veliki pisac Czeslaw Milosz priznao je da se stidio Å¡to ne razumije “draÅ¾ revolucionarnih teorija”, pa mu je preostalo jedino osloniti se na intuiciju, a intuicija je poticala njegov umjetniÄki um da razmisli o tomu kako “postoji potreba za uproÅ¡Ä‡enom slikom svijeta koji se zatvara u neki svoj katekizam ili popularnu broÅ¡uru”. Ali, marksizam viÅ¡e nije opasan, preÅ¡ao je iz glava ljudi u udÅ¾benike, joÅ¡ Ä‡e se rijetke ptice zanimati za tu znanost, a i pisci Ä‡e se sve manje baviti negdaÅ¡njim ideologijama, jer i suvremeni teror nije niÅ¡ta blaÅ¾i od svega onoga Å¡to je proÅ¡lo. Moja je nakana bila da iz nekog svog kuta, bez ambicija i volje da se upleÄ‡em u ozbiljna uÄenja ili neÅ¡to raÅ¡ÄiÅ¡Ä‡avam na tome terenu, pripovijedam o jednom vremenu i njegovim junacima, a uz pomoÄ‡ svoje ljubavnice Mnemosine unosim pokoji detalj iz liÄnog kuta bez kojega je pripovjedaÄ nezamisliv. Nisam posve siguran jesam li u tomu uspio; pisac mora ponajviÅ¡e sumnjati upravo onda kad pomisli da je u neÄemu uspio.
Volim Chestertonovu esejistiku, uÅ¾ivam u njegovim obratima i duhovnim senzacijama, u lakoÄ‡i s kojom izlaÅ¾e svoje krÅ¡Ä‡anske svjetonazore, pa kad sam od jednog katoliÄkog pisca proÄitao da su Karl Marx, Aristotel i Calvin “Ävrsti i neustraÅ¡ivi muÅ¾evi miÅ¡ljenja”, gotovo sam doÅ¡ao u napast da odem u neku knjiÅ¾nicu i naÄ‘em neÅ¡to od filozofa koji tako Ävrsto stoji uz Aristotela i Calvina, ali sam tu kuÅ¡nju odmah zatomio, jer je vjerojatno Marx izbaÄen iz naÅ¡ih knjiÅ¾nica. Bjegunci od Marxa zavrÅ¡avaju mahom u crkvama ili na krajnjoj desnici. Kao da je Marx bio Å¾andar koji sprjeÄava povratak tradiciji i ulazak u crkvu. Oni koji sada hrle u katedrale, ne znaju niÅ¡ta o religiji, ali taj je bijeg zgodan da se svrstaju u neku zajednicu, “u jedno tijelo” – tako se oslobaÄ‘aju razmiÅ¡ljanja o buduÄ‡nosti Äime su ih marksisti gnjavili, a uza sve, Å¾ele postati obiÄni vjernici, mali ljudi, na minimalcu individualne egzistencije. ÄŒak im je naporno saznati neÅ¡to i o svom ideologu Isusu Kristu, pa su tako nedavna istraÅ¾ivanja pokazala da viÅ¡e od pedeset posto novokomponiranih katolika u Hrvatskoj ne zna gdje je Krist roÄ‘en, a isto ih je toliko ostalo osupnuto kad im je predoÄeno da je Krist bio Å½idov. Tako to biva kad crkva i nacionalisti kupuju komunistiÄki otpad.”
10 04 2009
Serbian Ministry of (mal)education has published “A collection of exercises in Serbian language” for the entrance exam for enrollment in secondary schools. Questions are related to the school textbooks that children use every day. So is the national fairytale “Mute tongue” also in the textbook for the eighth grade (13 years old pupils). This is a story about a shepherd who, after rescuing a snake, received as a gift from her the ability to understand animals. So he learns from the mare that his wife is pregnant and smiles on hearing it; his wife, however, wants to know why is he smiling, but he must not disclose the secret of his gift. As the woman persistently continues to question him, shepherd, advised by the rooster, takes the club and beats her.
So far, so good. A fairytale is a fairytale and we can not question the attitudes of medieval narrators. But in the collection of exercises (which the Ministry has approved) the correct answers to the following questions are these:
1. Shepherd’s wife in the fairytale deserves to be punished because of
2. Reader would have wished to have the power of the main character in order to
3. Shepherd shows the following characteristics:
Happy Easter: scenes from the game Bible Fight:
Propaganda poster from occupied Serbia during WWII. It says “Germany has work for all”.