Tuesday, 21 August 2012

a letter to the Buffalo News

Here is a letter from Vicki Ross, published in the Buffalo News, August 20, 2012

Society must truly embrace nonviolence on every level   Published:    August 20, 2012, 12:07 AM

The Community Forum on Youth Violence and Safe Neighborhoods at Buffalo State College on Aug. 6 was a successful and important event. Many came to work on this vital topic: city, county and state representatives, academics, professionals (including from Buffalo Public Schools), parents and community leaders and, significantly, youth.
The forum was a great vehicle to explore the issue and possible solutions. Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes made perhaps the most important point - the violence of our own government is an often-ignored but absolutely critical factor in the violence we see in our streets and in our society in general.
When "might is right" (also known as bullying) is our foreign policy; when pre-emptive strikes, pre-emptive surveillance and torture are acceptable; when "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [is] my own government," as Dr. King said, we shouldn't be surprised that violence is what really trickles down.
If and when we truly embrace nonviolence and use its tools of communication and cooperation, our communities and our world will become dramatically safer. Let's work toward that - for and with our youth. Forming a citywide task force, as wisely suggested by Lafayette High School Principal Naomi Cerre, would be a crucial next step.
Victoria Ross
Peaceful Conflict Resolution Consultant
Interfaith Peace Network
Western New York Peace Center

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