Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Solidarity

Solidarity with Haiyan’s victims

By John Sapida, a former intern at WYA headquarters 

On November 10, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, leaving parts of the country in devastation and chaos. Approximately 10,000 people are estimated to have lost their lives during this storm.

Photos of the typhoon’s destruction have brought tears not only to the eyes of those who live in the Philippines, but also to those who are part of the Filipino diaspora around the world.

Both Filipino citizens as well as Filipinos who live in other countries are gearing their efforts to rebuild the nation. Fortunately, they are not alone in these efforts.

Other organizations such as the American Red Cross, UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, World Vision, the World Food Programme, Oxfam, Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services and others have tried their best to help those in need in the Philippines through relief projects and fundraisers.

The solidarity between these organizations is amazing to witness and this solidarity is growing and will keep on growing. The World Youth Alliance defines solidarity as the “unified commitment of persons to live and work in the truth of who we are and for the pursuit of the common good.

It is beautiful to watch how this collaboration is created. Because these organizations each have a different focus, every particular sector of a country’s relief efforts is given proper attention.

Aside from larger projects by these organizations, funds are also being collected by others elsewhere reinforcing the growing solidarity between those with one goal: rebuild the Philippines.

Social media efforts have also risen as a result of this tragedy. Various hashtags have been used to spread the word about the tragedy in the Philippines such as #Stronger PH and #BangonPH, which means, Rise Philippines.

Although various groups and organizations already work day and night to help their fellow kababayans (“countrymen”) with activities such as collecting donations and packing relief goods, there is a lot more we could do here in the United States.

Our efforts can be viewed as two-fold: awareness and action.

Both are essential for us to help rebuild the Philippines and join those who were affected in solidarity. For example, on my campus, I have set up fundraising opportunities to benefit some of the organizations mentioned above in their efforts to bring disaster relief to the Philippines.

I am also helping to plan a talent showcase, an open mic, or a lecture to spread awareness and collect funds for the cause. Whether it is through tabling for donations or collecting donations at events, there are plenty of other ways those who are in the United States can help.

The first step is to become aware of and acknowledge the disaster which inspires us to action. Whether you help out with these events, donate clothing, donate a dollar, or donate twenty dollars, actions at times like these are neither big nor small. Any action is progressive.

At the time it is needed the most, solidarity never fails to arise.

Whether it is a typhoon in the Philippines, an earthquake in Haiti or a tsunami in Indonesia, many join in solidarity to help rebuild a nation in need. Any effort is a step towards a united goal to rebuild a nation.

This testifies to the strong spirit of both the nation and the citizens. Solidarity knows no borders. Whether you are in the Philippines, the United States, Europe, or another country, there is always an action which you can take and whatever you do is sure to make an impact.

Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, once said, “Every thought, every word, and every action that adds to the positive and the wholesome is a contribution to peace. Each and every one of us is capable of making such a contribution. Let us join hands to try to create a peaceful world where we can sleep in security and wake in happiness.” (Though she was pretty silent to the Moslem plight in Burma)

Now it is up to you! Will you join us in solidarity in this time of need?

For ways to help out you can also read this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/09/philippines-haiyan-how-to-help-_n_4247106.html

 By John Sapida, a former intern at WYA headquarters 

 

Killer Mike Stands In Solidarity w/ Baltimore Protestors In Heartfelt Op-Ed

Though he may have been hobnobbing with the P’s & Q’s during the first night of the Baltimore protests, Killer Mike has extended his heart and support to those peacefully demonstrating and rioting in the streets of Charm City.

An op-ed published this morning shows Mike going in on the mainstream media’s coverage of the events, particularly in regards to Wolf Blitzer, who tried to bait community organizer and protestor DeRay McKesson on live TV, and Geraldo Rivera for just being good ole sensationalizing Geraldo Rivera.

The piece breaks down into two halves, the first being dedicated to his time at The White House and the second addressing the turmoil and unrest in Baltimore.

You can read the piece in its entirety below.

“When I first heard I’d been invited to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, I thought my publicist had gone insane.

Surely it must be a mistake, but it was real. When they said I couldn’t bring my wife, I said, “I ain’t going.” But my wife, Shay, said, “You’re taking your black ass to the White House.”

So I got all dressed up in a rented tux, like a chubby kid at prom. Even though Shay couldn’t come to the dinner, she rode over with me.

Our driver was a Muslim-American who informed me that he no longer listened to hip-hop but was very impressed after researching me and told me my subject matter and tone remind him of Ice Cube, and talked about the most revolutionary tracks from my catalog. Needless to say, this was the perfect way to start the night.

When I arrived at the dinner, I had no idea who to look for, so I hugged the bar and tried to calm my nerves. But Shay, God bless her, called and got Arianna Huffington’s team to find me. Once this happened, the night became a whirlwind: I went from being bewildered on the red carpet to having my hand grabbed by Arianna and introduced to everyone as her personal guest.

Needless to say, she can work a room — this woman has game! She informed folks that I will be writing for the site (I didn’t know that, but was glad to hear it), and introduced me to everyone from Walt Frazier and Neil deGrasse Tyson to Jane Fonda and Wolf Blitzer.

I met Patriots coach Bill Belichick and got him to smile for a selfie (I’d heard he hadn’t smiled since the ’90s). I bumped into Nancy Pelosi, who asked, “Remember me?” from a chance meeting at the Denver airport. (“Damn, she remembered me,” I thought.) Someone tried to introduce me to Michael Bloomberg, but I declined.

During dinner, I sat with three Huffington Post writers: Sam Stein (who’d suggested to Arianna that I come), Ryan Grim and Jennifer Bendery.

But before we started drinking and heckling — my table was the one yelling “F— it!” when President Obama talked about his “bucket list” — the conversation was serious.

I said that Marcus Garvey and Elijah Muhammad are the only two black men who have created successful, self-contained economic movements, and while I don’t follow Muhammad’s policies — or any religion’s — I acknowledge them.

Black people need to share collective dollars and demand equal representation, and the way you do that is by controlling their own economy and putting money behind candidates.

Sway popped over while we were having this conversation. Leave it to me to talk Pan-Africanism in such a setting.

I tweeted and Instagrammed so my fans could share this incredible night — and as I followed social media, I saw that Baltimore was burning.

As I sat there and watched my timeline, I felt helpless, hopeless: “Here I am at this lavish event — the most powerful man in the world is black, and people like him are being killed by the citizens who are paid to protect them.” I left the dinner numb.

And in the days since, I’ve watched Geraldo Rivera and Blitzer pander to the audiences of oppression on TV. Rivera was approached by a very sensible man who said, “Why are you here? Not to cover a calm and peaceful protest — you’re here to sensationalize it.” Rivera turned his back on him, and at first I thought it was arrogance, but I think it was actually shame.

This half-Hispanic, half-Jewish man who comes from two different communities, who knows what poverty and oppression can do, could have said, “I want to know the real story.”

And Blitzer, as Jon Stewart pointed out, said he never thought he’d see such violence again in America, and he said nearly the exact same words about Ferguson a few months ago.

I turned away from the TV with far less respect for him — if I were introduced to him today, I’d walk away. Not because they’re evil and bad people, but because they’re players in the game that sensationalizes and objectifies this in the worst ways — I don’t trust that they want to see the change.

And I don’t have a problem with police — a lot of people might not know my father was an Atlanta policeman.

If you see our new Run the Jewels video for “Close Your Eyes” — nearly every director that sent us a treatment sent us something like “Pressure,” my song with Ice Cube, or other videos we’ve done: anarchy in the streets and all that.

No — we need a video that shows the exhaustion that this situation causes, and this video (written and directed by AG Rojas, starring Keith Stanfield and Shea Whigham) does that.

As a black man, it shows what it’s like to wrestle with police in this culture, and secondarily it shows that most police don’t want to be doing this. These men are exhausted! And we need police — everyone knows that, and I don’t have a problem with them. I do have a problem with a culture that uses illegal roadblocks to search Americans.

For the people of Baltimore — I don’t criticize rioting because I understand it. But after the fires die down: organize, strategize and mobilize.

Like Ferguson, you have an opportunity to start anew. I don’t have a solution because whoever’s there will have to come up with it. But we need community relations: riots are the language of the unheard.

I’m grateful to have been invited to the dinner, and Sway let me know how important it was that we both were there, representing hip-hop.

But as I got into the car at the night’s end, and the driver played “Pressure,” a song by me and Ice Cube, I could not help but wonder if this country will ever truly be what is promised in our Constitution for people who look like me.”

Killer Mike penned a touching and poignant op-ed on the Baltimore uprising. Read in its entirety here.
okayplayer.com|By Okayplayer

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June 2021
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