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Hälsingland mot rasism. Edsbyn
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I have a dream
Louise Brooks, som ursprungligen kommer från USA och som där mött rasism i olika former mot de färgade, är med i Internationella gruppen. Louise kommer på lördag den 11 april att på engelska föreläsa om några av 1900-talets främsta förgrundsgestalter som kämpade för de grundläggande mänskliga rättigheterna.
Föreläsningen hålls i ABF:s lokaler i Edsbyn och handlar om Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King och Nelson Mandela.
- Kampen som Gandhi, King och Mandela förde måste fortsätta, säger Louise Brooks.

Thanks to all who came out today to honor and celebrate  diversity. Diversity means 1. The quality or condition of being diverse. 2. The condition of having or including people from different ethnicities and social background and 3. A variety or assortment.

As we move toward the goal of total equality in the human rights arena, there are many aspects we must look at as well as into. We must look at the root cause of prejudices  and try to find ways to cipher through them and come up with a resolution that can be put in place. The difficulty is we are dealing with human beings who already have learned behaviors and ideas instilled within them. These behaviors and ideas , in some cases are almost written in stone. The rise in hate crimes come from insecurities. People feel threatened by the unknown. Some of them join groups to foster their fears.

These group leaders themselves are insecure and they feed on the insecurities of others. They use fear tactics to instill their ideas. They say things like “They are coming to take our benefits from us” for example. They make the nationals feel as if they are being robbed by the new comers. But in reality, most immigrants want to contribute to the society. Most of them want jobs and education. There is a lot to learn from different cultures. The more diverse and cooperative the society is the better it works.

The road to equal human rights is a hard road to travel .There are curves, hills, dead ends, road closings, and wrong turns along the way. We must lay out a map , a plan that we can follow that will lead us to this destination. Looking back over the years, there are three  key players in this arena fighting for human rights and some who have been imprisoned or even died for the cause. I am speaking of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandella and Mahatma Ghandi. As I look back, all of these also laid down their life. If we as people would take lessons from these people who believed that all people are equal on this earth and have the same rights ,we would not even be having this  forum today.

As I look back on my life as a young girl brought up in the most racist state in the US, Mississippi, I look at Sweden as a haven from the racial discord I was exposed to as a child and as an adult. Growing up , the youngest of eight children, I had a better turn on life than my two brothers and  five sisters. They had to work the farm and chop cotton for a living. My father and mother had a dream for me. They wanted the baby to get an education so I would not have to go through the trial and tribulations they had gone through. Mostly, they did not want me to face the racial epitaphs they faced

From my perspective, racial discord comes from fear of the unknown. So instead of admitting the lack of knowledge of a person/people or situation, there are those who assume. That is when problems arrive.That is why it is important for people such as these and those to come to continue to fight for equality at all costs. The fight of Ghandi ,King, and Mandella must continue.

Gandhi influenced important leaders and political movements. Leaders of the civil rights movement in the United States, including
Martin Luther King, James Lawson, and James Bevel, drew from the writings of Gandhi in the development of their own theories about nonviolence. King said "Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics".
King sometimes referred to Gandhi as "the little brown saint.” Anti-
apartheid activist and former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was inspired by Gandhi. In his early years, Nelson Mandela was a follower of the nonviolent resistance philosophy of Gandhi.  As Bhana and Vahed once commented on these events as "Gandhi inspired succeeding generations of South African activists seeking to end White rule. This legacy connects him to Nelson Mandela...in a sense Mandela completed what Gandhi started."

Gandhi's life and teachings inspired many who specifically referred to Gandhi as their mentor or who dedicated their lives to spreading Gandhi's ideas.
In 1931, notable European physicist
Albert Einstein exchanged written letters with Gandhi, and called him "a role model for the generations to come" in a letter writing about him. Einstein said of Gandhi:

"Mahatma Gandhi's life achievement stands unique in political history. He has invented a completely new and humane means for the liberation war of an oppressed country, and practiced it with greatest energy and devotion. The moral influence he had on the consciously thinking human being of the entire civilized world will probably be much more lasting than it seems in our time with its over estimation of brutal violent forces. Because lasting will only be the work of such statesmen who wake up and strengthen the moral power of their people through their example and educational works. We may all be happy and grateful that destiny gifted us with such an enlightened contemporary, a role model for the generations to come. Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood"

This brings me to the conclusion with excerpts of the relentless and famous I Have A Dream Speech by Dr Martin Luther King

"I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free; one hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination; one hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity; one hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land.

So we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was the promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note in so far as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make the real the promises of democracy; now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice; now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood; now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content, will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the worn threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy, which has engulfed the Negro community, must not lead us to a distrust of all white people. For many of our white brothers,as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of Civil Rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality; we can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities; we cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one; we can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”; we cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro in Mississippi cannot vote, and the Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No! no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations.  Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi. Go back to Alabama. Go back to South Carolina. Go back to Georgia. Go back to Louisiana. Go back to the slums and ghettos of our Northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.  Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow,

I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

For the first time, Swedish dictionaries are set to recommend alternative words alongside expressions deemed racist or otherwise offensive. Some words will also be removed completely, including 'negerboll' (negro ball) for a type of Swedish sweet. Neger' (negro), 'zigenare' (gypsy) and 'lapp' (a derogatory term for an indigenous Sami person from Lappland) are among the offensive words that will be followed by the phrase "använd istället" (use instead) in the next edition of Sweden's official dictionary produced by Svenska Akademien (The Swedish Academy), due for release next month.The recommended alternative expressions for the above words are 'svart' (black), 'rom' (Roma) and 'same' (Sami).

A few offensive words have also been completely removed from the dictionary, including the widely debated term 'negerboll' (negro ball), which was historically used to describe 'chokladboll', a sweet chocolate snack covered in dried coconut. Svenska Akademien is an independent cultural institution set up in 1785 by the country's former King Gustav III in order to advance the Swedish language. Its dictionaries have previously noted which words in the Swedish language are currently considered offensive, but the organisation's books have never before suggested alternative expressions alongside them.

"I think it is good that people can actually get a tip of what can be used instead, a more neutral word," Sophia Malmgärd, a lingustic advisor at Språkrådet (Sweden's Language Council Swedish) a government agency with a focus on language policy told The Local. She said that she hoped that the shift in approach by Svenska Akademien could help reduce casual racism in Sweden. "It is a better service for the readers, because we do get a lot of people calling up and asking questions about certain words. The obviously offensive ones people know, but they don't always understand what they should choose instead. Which words are derogatory changes with time," she added.

Integration and immigration are hot topics in Sweden, which became the first European country in 2013 to grant automatic residency to Syrian refugees and has since seen asylum requests rise to record levels, which are still expected to reach about 90,000 in 2015. It is also experiencing an influx of Romanians and Bulgarians entering the country as EU tourists and then sleeping rough or in caravans around the nation.

Last week a survey by pollsters Ipsos commissioned by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter suggested that more than 60 percent of Swedes believe that immigration is good for the country, but just ten percent agree that integration efforts are working well.

Speaking to Sveriges Radio on Monday, Professor Sven-Göran Malmgren who is editor in chief of the new dictionary said that Svenska Akademien's decision to offer alternative words alongside offensive ones was "affected by moods and debates in society". He added that his organisation was set to study the impact of the shift in approach on readers.
"Words are always really important. This is about how one describes reality and this in turn can have different motives," he said.

The dictionary, which is the 14th edition by Svenska Akademien includes 13,000 new words and has also been adjusted to include a better gender balance when giving everyday examples to help explain the meaning of words. One of the most talked-about new inclusions is the word 'hen, a gender neutral pronoun, a decision that made global headlines when it was announced by Svenska Akademiens decision last year, following years of debate. "We wanted to make sure it wasn't just a fad,"  Malmgren told Sveriges Radio in July 2014. "But now it's quite simple. It is a word which is in use and it is a word which without a doubt fills a function."

We must continue to work toward a more equal society, not just here in Sweden but on a global scale.  No man should experience discrimination on the basis of his/her race ,religion or creed.

When we are born we all come here the same way- when we die , we all leave the same way. It is what we do in the time in between that really matters.
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