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Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End
samscafeamericain

A reminder from the mists of time

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This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity to speak briefly to you about this mindless menace of violence... which again stains our land and every one of our lives.

It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who next will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on.

Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by his assassin's bullet.

No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.

Whenever any life is taken by another unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of life which another has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire weapons and ammunition they desire.

Too often we honor swagger and bluster and the wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of other human beings. Some (individuals) who preach nonviolence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

For when you teach a man to hate and to fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies - to be met not with cooperation but with conquest, to be subjugated and mastered

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community, men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear - only a common desire to retreat from each other - only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this there are no final answers.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember - even if only for a time - that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life, that they seek - as we do - nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn, at the least, to look at those around us as fellow men and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our hearts brothers, sisters and countrymen once again.

Robert F Kennedy, 5th April 1968, following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in Memphis.
 

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On 18/06/2016 at 9:19 AM, Pat said:

Every bit as relevant today.

Hear Hear.

but the sad thing is pat and Sam,

it seems as if people still don't learn from History.

people still reason with weapons rather than with their brains.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Tom"ar"To said:

Hear Hear.

but the sad thing is pat and Sam,

it seems as if people still don't learn from History.

people still reason with weapons rather than with their brains.

 

 

It's true but where politicians are irresponsible then it exacerbates the problem.  The Guardian reporting on increased reporting of racist incidents just in the few days after Brexit. Then, of course, the gun laws in USA contribute to violence.

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Have seen a lot of reports of spike in racist abuse. Also heard personal anecdotal accounts including from friend from Trinidad in London who was spat on. Saw another account on Facebook about racist abuse in Glasgow.  Inevitable really after all the anti-migrant hype.

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Police Scotland reporting there has been nil increase in racist attacks in Scotland, sadly that doesn't mean there aren't any.  

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