Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bloggers Unite for Human Rights!

Bloggers Unite My fellow bloggers have asked me to address the issue of human rights, today. I am committed to this overwhelming task, but, here it is, deadline-15MAY08 and I’m still trying to get my arms around this weighty subject.

I wanted to address a pressing issue about women's conditions in the Congo that I read in The Nation, especially after reading an interview on her documentary about the atrocities committed against Congolese women, Lisa F. Jackson stated that, “rape is cheaper than bullets”. This was all the ammunition (excuse the pun) I thought I’d need to discuss what is going on in the former Belgium colony, regarding this much needed, but narrow issue of human rights.

But, after being inundated with news of the cyclone in Myanmar, the hurricane in a toxic wasted community in Oklahoma, the earthquake in southwest China, recession, the brush fires, world starvation, the craziness in Iraq, Afghanistan, the tit-for-tat skirmishes throughout the world, gas increase, foreclosures, shrinking ice caps, global warming, mega-mergers, job loss, wanton murders, AIDS, subsistence living….oh, my God! Marvin, what’s going on? I realized that the subject of human rights just got broader and much more complex.

In 1976, Tangshan, China lost over 200,000 people in an earthquake and we didn’t hear a peep about it but, microbro, they got 1.3 billion people! Chairman Mao, in those days, was pretty adamant about keeping news of such events close to the breast. But, the thought of losing that many people and it not show up on the radar of human catastrophes is mind boggling.

These issues are forcing me to go deeper. Now, stay with me for a minute. There are 57,268,900 square miles of land on mother earth and there are over 6.6 billion people (+/-) inhabiting her. That means that there is, approximately, 1 person per 1,152 square miles of land (please check my math because the kid is no Einstein). Only “usable” land has to be factored into this equation. In 1994, the United Nations marked its 10th anniversary of the Convention to Combat Desertification, a plan aimed at stopping the phenomenon of usable land becoming “un-usable”. Despite the efforts to combat desertification, the trend seems to be picking up speed — doubling its pace since the 1970s. According to the U.N., one-third of the earth's surface is at risk, driving people into cities and destroying agriculture in vast swaths of Africa. Thirty-one percent of Spain is threatened, while China has lost 36,000 square miles to desert — an area the size of Indiana — since the 1950s. "It's a creeping catastrophe," said Michel Smitall, a spokesman for the U.N. secretariat that oversaw the 1994 accord. "Entire parts of the world might become uninhabitable."

Just the other day, I saw a deer walking down the street in my neighborhood. I saw on the news where bison were on the street in a western town. Foxes are seen in urban backyards! Man and God’s other creatures are vying for the same space!

So, microbrother, where are you going with this?

What I’m trying to say is that as natural resources decreases and human population increases--- human rights violations increases. It’s all about survival!

The so-called “first world” or Europeans (which includes the U.S.) and their operatives have been taking precious natural resources from the “third world” with out regard to what that meant to the indigenous people or their land for centuries. So, why are women of all ages being raped in the Congo? Why are there swaths of cleared forest in the Amazon Basin and dust storms in the once vegetated valley of the Nile? By taking advantage of historical rivalries between indigenous people, artificial borders and unions were created to accommodate colonialists’ need to justify its scourge of the earth for resources. Today, China’s ferocious appetite for resources is impinging on the world’s limited supply. Because mankind has not been a good caretaker of our precious earth, we are suffering the consequences.

Microbrother is saying that as natural resources become scarce, human rights become scarce. Think about it, when we believe all is well, people will share with the rest of the world! When resources become less accessible, we become more nationalistic. As conditions worsen, we become more community oriented. When conditions become dire, we become more family centered and at the least, it becomes just about me! Human rights just went down the crapper.

The more I think about it, when we become better stewards of the world’s resources, we become better human beings. And that’s why the common thread through all that I have shared in the past is a cry for a change, a change in how we treat the earth and one another.

….and that change starts with me, it starts with you. Yes we can!


Anonymous said...

You've painted a pretty bleak picture in your latest blog post. Her's a note of hope.

microbrother said...

Forgive me. That was not my intent, but I did visit Earth-USA. This is the kind of effort we need to see more of!

I'm uplifted....thank you.