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Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness is a grassroots association dedicated to promoting biblical values of justice, care of creation, peace and nonviolent solutions to conflict.

From Ferguson to Baltimore A Resource Paper Suggested by the Board

Categories: LIPW

A message from LIPW:

Urbane Peachey is retiring as president of LIPW on July  31, 2015. He is being succeeded by Mrs. Beth Kuttab, August 1.   Urbane has been involved with LIPW since its beginning, 2003-04, and has been Board president for the last four and a half years. Beth lived in Jerusalem and Amman Jordan since 1982, working for international agencies,  including the United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.  She is a graduate of  Messiah College and received graduate degrees from Temple University  Boston University.  Beth and her husband Jonathan, an international attorney,  have recently moved to Manheim, Pa.

From Ferguson to Baltimore
A Resource Paper Suggested by the Board
Written by: Urbane Peachey, President, LIPW | June,  2015

The news about police killings from Ferguson to Baltimore, and more, is front and center in our national awareness. Unfortunately, there is a deficit of national awareness and concern about issues facing impoverished and marginalized communities where much of the police action takes place.  In fact I have come to wonder if the massive police, penal and prison system with military equipment in the streets might be an unconscious admission of failed policy,  a  kind of barometer of socioeconomic neglect of marginalized  communities,  just  like investment in infrastructure has been neglected.

The analysis of  Martin Luther King,  Riverside Church, New York, April 4, 1967, seems instructive for our time:

“We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism (economic exploitation) and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

I use the image of  “famine” to suggest impoverishment of the human spirit and to dramatize the failure of public and private policy makers to invest in human communities, so that all would be served.  There is a pervasive, pandemic famine in America, manifested in different ways among policy makers and those who control resources, locally, nationally and internationally.  The famine is evident in the indifference, obsession over ideology, the averting of the eyes, among policy makers, public and private, and all of us who own wealth. This is very different than assuming that the famine refers to the poor.


Author: lancasterinterchurchpeace

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