I am an activist

From my friend Adam Taylor, former Political Director at Sojourners, former White House Fellow, now Vice-President of Advocacy at World Vision:

Social and political activism needs a better public relations manager. Activism is all too often associated with derelicts, rabble-rousers, radicals and extremists. This is in part because activists often defy authority, go agains the grain and spark controversy. But they also plant seeds of change in society and surface issues that would otherwise go ignored. Almost unconsciously we celebrate a long legacy of activism. America’s founding fathers were activists against oppressive British rule. Gandhi was an activist against the imperial British occupation of India. Rosa Parks was an activist in refusing to give up her seat on numerous occasions in Montgomery, Alabama, before being arrested and kick-starting a bus boycott that ignited a movement. Harriet Tubman was an activist who guided slaves to their freedom through the Underground Railroad. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was an activist fighting to dismantle the system of apartheid. Many of our most admired American and global leaders were activists. Most importantly, Christ was an activist who turned upside down the patterns of his world, ushering in a new kingdom that often stands in direct opposition to our earthly kingdom.

Mobilizing Hope, 15

Oppression, you shall fear me

Oppression, you prey on us when we sleep.
Oppression, you chase after the tired, the poor, the weak.
Oppression, you know you mean only harm.
Oppression, you reach out with your long arm.

But oppression, I won’t let you near me, oh no.
Oppression, you shall learn to fear me, yes you will.

Oppression, you seek population control.
Oppression, to divide and to conquer is your goal.
Oppression, I swear that hatred is your home.
Oppression, you just won’t leave bad enough alone.

But oppression, I won’t let you near me, oh no.
Oppression, you shall learn to fear me, yes you will.

Oppression, I don’t see how you sleep.
Oppression, for your bleeding conscience I weep.
Oppression, you may have the dollar on your side.

But oppression, from the gospel truth you cannot hide.
And oppression, I won’t let you near me, oh no, no.
Oppression, you shall learn to fear me, yes you will.
Oppression, I won’t let you near me, oh no.
Oppression, you shall fear me, yes you will.

–Ben Harper, “Oppression,” from Fight For Your Mind (1995)

Links of the Day, September 21

Today is International Day of Peace. And the first official day of fall.

News

Obama on health care:

Health care

Miscellaneous

Today's news

  • I have tickets to go see U2 when they come to the Rose Bowl here in Pasadena in October 25. Obviously, I’m still not even sure if I’m going to be in Pasadena, but still … I’m so excited!

  • The G20 summit is going on; let’s hope they can figure something out.
  • At 9:30am on Tuesday April 7, Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, will hold a press conference on the steps of City Hall to declare by proclamation that Los Angeles is a “ONE City” fully committed to the work ONE members are carrying out every day to end global poverty and preventable disease. Go here to sign up if you want to attend.