Originally Posted by Joe Brummer
Sorry to be a party pooper here, but are we really following the philosophy of nonviolence here?
Are we sending emails and phone calls just to complain?
Are we asking questions and gathering information?
Are we educating both sides on all the facts on the issue?
How do we go about trying to negotiate, before all of this direct action of calling and emailing?
History and nonviolence have taught us that if we don't follow all of the steps of nonviolence, you haven't made you adversary into an ally, you have only alienated him from the conflict and made a new enemy.
Do you really think these things will help the man see the truth or just frustrate him into not wanting to negotiate.
I have to disagree with Nathan, I usually agree with you, but yes, you are attacking this man.. Calling his cell phone, bombarding him with emails of complaints that do not offer solutions.
We have to ve more concerned with the well being of our adversary. That is the whole spirit of nonviolence. If you are more concerned about you and taking your agressions out on the person instead of the problem, you are not being nonviolent. In fact, you are activily participating in violence.
Nonviolence is a new way of thinking, it is a new way of seeing conflict and a new way of seeing those to whom we have conflicts. In our old way of thinking our CONCERNS are about us and our AGRESSIONS are towards the person. We see only how the problems affect “us”. We are not concerned about the person, our adversary. We are conerned about us. We see the person as the problem, we are blind to the real problem, that which lies underneath causing the conditions with which we disagree.
When we try to fight violence with violence it only creates more violence. All of our energies go at the person doing what we call evil never adressing the real issues that caused anyone to act the way they do. If someone calls us a name, and we respond by calling them names, they now want to respond with more names. Where does that end? If we were to respond to what the person has done (call us names) and not them, we are addressing the real issue.
With Nonviolence our CONCERNS and AGRESSIONS become reversed. Instead of being concerned about the problem, we are concerned about the person. Instead of our AGRESSION being directed at the person, they are directed at the problem. It is a way of reaching out to others to solve conflict without destroying each other. Nonviolence requires us to love. Nonviolence requires us to direct our anger at the problem not the person.
I refer you to the third principle of nonviolence as explained by MLK:
This method is that the attack is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who are caught in those forces. It is evil we are seeking to defeat, not the persons victimized by evil. Those of us who struggle against racial injustice must come to see that the basic tension is not between races. As I like to say to the people in Montgomery, Alabama: “The tension in this city is not between white people and Negro people. The tension is at bottom between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. And if there is a victory it will be a victory not merely for 50,000 Negroes, but a victory for justice and the forces of light. We are out to defeat injustice and not white persons who may happen to be unjust.”
I can see that didn't do a very good job of offering a solution in my email. Any suggestions? I could have also stated that my understanding of the situation was not from personal experience and invite him to clarify what actually happened.
I'm not bombarding him with emails or calls. One email to him... and to everyone at the university I could locate an address for. One email for local media and churches. I think by sending the email to everyone in the region, it invites people to confront injustice... not a specific person.
My personal intention is to open a dialogue with him or any of the recipients of the email. I called him because I wanted to talk to him.
I'm relatively new, as are most of us, to learning and practicing non-violence... so I realize I have much to learn.