Friday, March 4, 2016

for Women's Herstory Month & National Women's Day

Celebrando el Mes de la Historia de la Mujer y el Día Internacional de la Mujer pienso en Berta Cáceres, partera y activista por los derechos indígenas y humanos en Honduras recientemente asesinada por su trabajo en nombre de la justicia.

Hace mucho que he dicho que ha llegado el tiempo de que tales mujeres tomen las riendas del liderazgo por el mundo entero. El patriarcado ha seguido su curso y nos ha traído peligrosamente al borde de la extinción. Lo que el mundo ahora necesita es la ascendencia de lo femenino, la esencia mamífera de unir, fundación del amar, de la compasión, del nutrir, del cuidar, proteger. Y ha llegado el tiempo para que nosotros los hombres liberemos y cultivemos lo femenino en nosotros — y para que la humanidad nos unamos para crear un nuevo mundo de justicia profundamente arraigada en el amor.

---Por medio milenio y más

-------------a Berta Cáceres

---------y a todos los mártires

-------------de las Américas

---muertos defendiendo la tierra

Por medio milenio y más
hemos muerto defendiendo
la tierra, los bosques, los ríos
de invasores extranjeros
cegados por la codicia,
enloquecidos por la ganancia
en moneda sangrienta.
Hemos sufrido traidores
infectados por esa locura
que por esa misma moneda
venden a sus propios dioses.
Nuestros huesos siembran la tierra,
nuestra sangre la riega
y el sagrado maíz
a veces nos sabe amargo.
Pero seguimos luchando
y nuestros huesos y sangre
crecerán un nuevo mundo en flor.

-----------------© Rafael Jesús González 2016

 (4 March 1973 – 3 March 2016


---For Half a Millennium & More

---------------to Berta Cáceres

-------------& to all the martyrs

----------------of the Americas

---------killed defending the land

For half a millennium & more
we have died defending
the land, the forests, the rivers
from foreign invaders
blinded by greed,
crazed by profit
in bloodied coin.
We have suffered traitors
Infected by that madness
that for that same coin
sell their own gods.
Our bones sow the earth,
Our blood waters it,
& the sacred corn
sometimes tastes bitter to us.
But we go on struggling
& our bones & our blood
will grow a new flowering world.

-----------------© Rafael Jesús González 2016

Celebrating Women's History Month and International Women's Day, I think of Berta Cáceres, midwife and activist for indigenous and human rights in Honduras recently murdered for her work in the name of justice.

I have long said that the time has come for such women as she to take the reins of leadership throughout the world. The patriarchy has run its course and brought us dangerously close to the edge of extinction. What the world now calls for is the ascendancy of the feminine, the mammalian nature to bond, foundation of love, compassion, of nurturing, of caring, protecting. And the time has come for us men to liberate and cultivate the feminine in us — and for humanity to come together to create a new world of Justice deeply rooted in Love. 

Known for the avowed feminist that I am, calling for the leadership of women, I have been justifiably asked why it is that I do not support Hillary Clinton as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. At the risk of seeming flippant, I reply, "Because she is not woman enough."

I support Bernie Sanders because he most manifests those qualities of love, of nurturing, of caring that we associate with the feminine and which are so desperately called for at this juncture of history.

Recently, Clinton has been quoted as saying that she is "about love" and has taken to hugging Latina leaders and black mothers of children killed by police. Such acts have won her the endorsement of some Latinas and African-American women. I do not doubt that Hillary can be personable and warm with folk face-to-face, but we should be wary of voting for someone on the basis of kissing babies and hugging bereaved mothers. Random acts of kindness are not enough; kindness should not be random but legislated into the very fabric of policy.

And Hillary Clinton's record does not support the belief that justice rooted in compassion is the basis of her policy. After all:

1) The Clinton administration brought NAFTA that has destroyed Mexico and other Latin-American countries forcing many to migrate, and in the U.S. has benefited only the rich. She supports the TPP (more cynical "free trade" to impose predatory Capitalism on the world.)

2) Hillary was on the team that ended the financial protection of the Glass-Spiegel Act and since then the banks have run rampant and crashed the world economy, causing so many to fall into poverty. And furthermore, Clinton continued the tax cuts to the rich instituted by Reagan.

3) The Clinton administration cut welfare benefits to the very poorest (Latin@s, African-Americans, Indigenous, single mothers, foremost among the poorest communities.)

4) Clinton's adherence to and forceful waging of the "War on Drugs" and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 enforced harsher sentencing at the federal level, which increased mass incarceration (mostly of Latin@s and African-Americans, so many of them women) and made it so profitable for the privatized prison industry, increasing the tendency of police to unjustifiably kill unarmed, mostly black and Latin@s, suspects.

5) As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's policy of bombing Syria is killing a great many people and causing a great many to flee the violence. Hillary Clinton facilitated the military coup of Honduras' legitimately elected government of Manuel Zelaya in 2009 setting in place the conditions for Berta Caceres' murder.

Hillary Clinton is not the woman I would want as president. Hillary Clinton most definitely is not a Berta Cáceres, nor for that matter, an Elizabeth Warren, or a Barbara Lee. Hillary Clinton's policies are as toxic as those of an authoritarian patriarch and her election would only carry on the same institutionalized injustices that have made a sham of our democratic ideals.

Bernie Sanders is the only true choice we have for changes in the policies, domestic and international, that cause so much suffering among the many and so severely harm our great Mother the Earth. For the sake of women throughout the world, and for the sake of us all, it is Bernie Sanders whom we must elect. 


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