With apparently no awareness of the irony involved, the Xavier University Occupational Therapy Society is helping to collect films, taped TV shows and other items for U.S. troops in Iraq. Maybe it's a way to ensure future job security: more casualties mean more work for occupational therapists.
We can understand the XU Chapter of the College Republicans participating in the effort, but why would a group called "Students for Life" be involved in a project that gives aid and comfort to an invading army? Also collecting care packages for soldiers is the XU Army Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC).
Granted, even occupation armies are made up of individual human beings who deserve compassion. But the bigger question is: Why does XU, a Catholic institution, have an Army ROTC program in the first place?
XU administrators would do well to study the life of the late Rev. Maurice McCrackin, a longtime Cincinnati activist for peace and justice. Imprisoned by the federal government for refusing to pay taxes, because doing so would support U.S. military ambitions, McCrackin is the inspiration for the awards given each by Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati. This year's recipients are Mike Fremont and Marilyn Wall, the McCrackin Peace & Justice Award; Kristen Barker, the Emerging Leader Award; and Tender Mercies and Connections: A Safe Place, each receiving the Outstanding Organization Award.
Fremont and Wall have founded several local environmental organizations, including Environmental Community Organization, Rivers Unlimited, Mill Creek Restoration Project, Little Miami Inc. and Friends of the Great Miami.
They also have been involved at leadership levels of national organizations such as the Sierra Club.
Barker has been working at the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center as an administrator, activist and organizer since 2001. She helped found Moms and Dads for Peace in 2003 and organized the major anti-war event "Eyes Wide Open" at XU last year.
Tender Mercies provides housing and supportive services to homeless persons with histories of mental illness. Connections: A Safe Place works with survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Both agencies are part of Community Shares, a consortium of progressive social service agencies in Greater Cincinnati.
The 2006 McCrackin Awards will be presented at a ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church. The public is welcome.
Taking the Pledge and Secret Legislation
Words matter, in part because they shape beliefs, which in turn influence conduct. That's why the Greater Cincinnati Commitment is so important. Drafted by the Cincinnatus Association, the Greater Cincinnati Commitment goes right to the heart of the core problem in our city and gives individuals a way to help solve it.
The pledge acknowledges the need to remember the horrors of slavery and the more than a century of racial injustice that's followed. Calling on participants to remove racism from our country, our city and our individual lives, the commitment says, in part: "In this spirit, I make this commitment: to use my individual and our collective strength — intellectually, politically, economically, spiritually and morally — to remove racist behaviors and attitudes from my environment."
To obtain copies of the pledge, write [email protected] or call Wayne Hicks at 513-362-2704.
The Ohio House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee was scheduled to hold a hearing Nov. 15 on Senate Bill 9, the Ohio Patriot Act (see "Prove Who You Are," issue of March 16-22). The committee was to accept and vote on a package of amendments not yet available to the public, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. Despite concern about the legislation that delayed a final vote earlier this year, legislators pushed to rush a floor vote in both the Ohio House and Senate on Nov. 15, the same day as the committee hearing.
Why is it that lawmakers, who claim a commitment to transparent political processes and the ability to withstand pressure from special interests — including business and the federal government — are willing to rush to act on secret amendments at a time when the value of such legislation is being questioned? For more details, visit www.acluohio.org.
In its original form, the Ohio Patriot Act would have required citizens to present identification on demand from police officers. With Congress now considering a bill to eliminate the right of habeas corpus for people imprisoned in the so-called War on Terror, laws to even further restrict our civil liberties require more, not less, public debate.
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