In the sphere of national security strategy, COVID-19 opens the door to a possible shift toward a public health approach and way of developing security strategies. This enables us to see that cross-border harm, destruction, and violence are more synonymous with a contagious disease.
By demanding gun safety, Parkland students are reclaiming their dignity. They are announcing that they are awake to the humiliation of realizing that a “Great America” is not protecting their lives in what should be one of the safest locations: our schools. They are awake to the indignity of living in a society that allows powerful interest groups to weave sticky webs of manipulation that block gun-safety legislation. Furthermore, these students are becoming awake to the intricate systems of humiliation coordinated by public and private forces that wash their hands of responsibility while they spread a lucrative gospel of the right to carry combat weapons.
With this book, Evelin Lindner encourages us to recognize the immense historic opportunity that is open to us in the wake of these dangerous times. Drawing on 40 years of research gathered on her personal path of living globally, she calls us to action in service of restoring and replenishing the health of human arrangements of relationships, emphasizing the lifesaving necessity of mutually dignifying cooperation.
While identity violence is not unique to the US it is in our own society that we have the opportunity and responsibility to take civic action toward overcoming it. American universities have a history of rising to such challenges, producing responses of learning/action on campuses across the country. The IIPE believes that the new epidemics of hate, particularly Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, should be similarly confronted by the academic community. We invite you to share resources and join us in undertaking teach-ins on campuses and in communities across the US and around the world.
In this interview Reardon discusses human dignity, militarism and sexism, and general and complete disarmament as fundamental goals of comprehensive peace education. Published on Common Threads, a blog of Soka Gakkai International, this is an excerpt from a longer interview carried out in collaboration with the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was published in the July 2015 issue of the SGI Quarterly magazine.