Is there a need for a focus on nonviolent alternatives and the study of peace and justice in schools?
“Having begun my thirtieth year of teaching high school, college and law school courses on the philosophy of pacifism and the methods of nonviolent conflict resolution, I was challenged again to decide where to begin this year’s course. Should I use the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks to discuss nonviolent alternatives to the Bush/Cheney bents for bombs and bullets? Or pose this: would members of Congress, left or right, have voted to increase military spending so dramatically during the Bush years if they had studied peace and nonviolence in college? Would Barbara Lee of California’s 9th District have been the only member of Congress — one out of 535 — to vote against the Bush war plans on September 14, 2001?
Should I discuss the influence of nonviolence on the protests of the Arab Spring, from Egypt to Bahrain? Or explore alternatives to more than a dozen forms of violence that put one or another group of victims at risk every day: military violence, economic violence, environmental violence, corporate violence, racial violence, homophobic violence, verbal violence, emotional violence, sexual violence, structural violence, street violence, religious violence, legal or illegal violence, video game violence, violence toward animals? Or how about a quiz? Identify: (a) Emily Greene Balch; (b) Jeannette Rankin; (c) Dorothy Day. (…)”
— Colman McCarthy
, American journalist, teacher, lecturer, and long-time peace activist, directs the Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, D.C. From 1969 to 1997, he wrote columns for The Washington Post, Teaching Peace
, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, August 30, 2011