U.S., Iraqi School Teacher Create Peace Bridge for Students from Brooklyn to Baghdad

I was watching my news show, Democracy Now!, and I learned of a school teacher named Bruce Wallace who had been in contact with an Iraqi school teacher named Nesreen. Bruce’s nephew was killed when one of the World Trade Center towers collapsed. He was looking for a productive outlet for his grief and found it in this project.

Through much research, he was able to connect with Nesreen and began conversing with her. He arranged for his students to start communicating with her students and now they share some of the things that they face on a daily basis — some of the things that we never think of, like explaining the dead body on the side of the road as you walk your son or daughter to school in the morning, or how your classmate won’t be back because she’s been kidnapped or killed.

The story is really very touching and I encourage you to see it. You can access transcripts as well as audio and video interviews by clicking here. Bruce has set up a blog here.

Bush needs to be stopped before he decides to annex the middle east. The more noise we can make, the better off we’ll all (Americans and Iraqis alike) be.

The Jena Six

Stories like this just make me angry. I can’t believe that we still act like this. When are we going to grow up?

In case you haven’t heard of this, here’s the first couple of sentences from this article:

In a small, still mostly segregated, section of rural Louisiana, an all white jury heard a series of white witnesses called by a white prosecutor testify in a courtroom overseen by a white judge in a trial of a fight at the local high school where a white student who had been making racial taunts was hit by black students.

The backstory…

A black high school kid asks a school administration official if he can sit under the ‘White Tree.’ The official says “Yes, Sure. You can sit wherever you like. It’s your campus too.” So the kid sits under the tree. The next day he finds nooses hanging from that tree.

Tensions rise from there. There are several ‘incidents’ in the coming weeks. Well, one day, a white kid is taunting this black kid and some of his friends. The black kids beat the crap out of him and are now facing charges ranging from Aggravated Battery to Attempted Murder and Conspiracy charges. They can get from 20 years to life in prison if convicted. One has already been convicted and is awaiting sentencing. He faces up to 22 years for his part.

I learned of this travesty from a podcast I get from Democracy Now! The link to the article is here.