I closed chapter 3 of my 1986 book on peacemaking with these lines:
“At this time and place in human history, those of us who live inside the U.S. castle live in escalating despair in which we try harder than ever to make might become right. I have just read a scene in a novel in which a submarine in World War I gave a cargo boat’s crew ten minutes to get into lifeboarts and row far enough away to afoid the forthcoming vortex as the ship sank below the waves. That image (in Anne Perry’s Shoulder of the Sky) expressed the feeling of growing desperation and self-defeat I find in my country today.
“My primary question as a would-be social engineer [myself as a young lawyer] in 1973 [chap. 2 begins with a talk I gave in 1973 labeling “diversion” a feeder to greater jail and prison populations] remains:
“how might we and all humanity best avoid going down with the U.S. military industrial ship?” (see book page proofs, http://critcrim.org/sites/default/files/Pepinsky_proofs_0.pdf , free and online, p. 59).
WELCOME TO PEACEMAKING
I see that no other site on blogspot is dedicated to peacemaking, so let me be the first. I am a newly retired criminal justice professor who began full-time employment at state universities in 1970.
For more than 15 years I have been actively involved with victims and survivors of sexual assault, and at the extreme of survivors of ritual abuse (see ritualabusetorture.org , and ritualabuse.us to connect with folks I am closest to). Last time I checked, if you google me, you will first off encounter what I have discovered in dialogue with survivors of extreme childhood trauma in particular.
It is strangely wonderful that after my wife Jill had taken a job away from Indiana at Iowa State in 1998, she was hired three years ago to chair the women’s studies department at Ohio State. Even before we got married in 1974, Jill was correcting my sexist and avoidable use of male pronouns. And here Jill and I are, back after half a lifetime for me in Bloomington, back to Worthington, Ohio, where I entered first grade in 1951, and where my mom is the one remaining original settler in a community called Rush Creek Village, where my parents and I moved in 1957.
I HAVE BECOME INCREASINGLY CONVINCED THAT PUNISHMENT/DISCIPLINE HEATS UP VIOLENCE. This conviction is why for example I have made a point of trying to circumvent buying eggs, let alone rating my students, in a process Bill Breeden (only one to do time for Iran-Contra) see Zinn’s people’s history) taught me to call “guerrilla peacefare.”
For half my life I taught a required course for criminal justice majors at IU called “alternative social control systems.” My students most of all taught me as a would-be social controller how listen.
At a friend’s about 20 years ago, I found a sign that proclaimed a “Navajo saying.” Navajo I asked said maybe a Navajo could have said that. I saw these words listed elsewhere as Native American. Origin aside, insofar as I not too distracted, I and all our relations build trust in our relations by following these four simple principles, in daily life most of all:
1. Show up.
2. Pay attention.
3. Tell the truth.
4. Don’t be attached/let go of attachment to outcome
I expect I’ll write a first entry of mine tomorrow on how self-defeating shouting down health care town meetings is, or maybe praising releasing prisoners in Ohio and California for instance…at last.
I’d like this to be a topical site on calling attention to violence and sharing ways, known or imagined, of how to transform violence into trust and security.
I promise regular monitoring of this site to respond to anyone who asks me to. I expect to write on some specific peacemaking/violence issue tomorrow. Thanks for checking in on this first and only blog by retired me.