Monday, October 17, 2016

BLOG OF THE WEEK - A CHAT ON SOCIAL JUSTICE WITH SUSAN CHAST

My friends, I have admired Susan Chast's activism and her determined focus on social justice since I began reading her work. I have watched with interest, especially recently, as she has attended retreats, workshops and demonstrations aimed at Unlearning Racism, such a timely topic. I have been asking her if she would speak with us about it, as we all feel in need of some hope and direction, the "what-can-we-do" to address the mess we find ourselves in, both globally and at home. Susan kindly agreed, so pour yourself some iced tea, or some hot coffee, and pull your chairs in close. This is what living your beliefs looks like.








Sherry: Susan, I have, for as long as I’ve known you, been impressed by your lifelong journey in the quest for social justice and the cause of unlearning racism, to which you devote your time, energy, education, prayer and art. Would you tell us a bit about this journey, how it has evolved, and where it has taken you?


Susan:  It’s hard to see the beginning and end from the middle, but I’ll try.
During the late 60s and early 70s, I was touched by student movements for equality and free speech and how they intersected with anti-nuke and peace movements.  And then for 30 years I learned from my diverse students and from an increasing discomfort with all white-European spaces.  
My PhD dissertation in the late 1980s examined the signs of environments and how these signs--framed paintings, language, pathways and stories--limited or expanded the possibilities inside them.  The focus was staging places and performances. The immediate subject was the Black theatre producer and director Ellen Stewart of La MaMa ETC--may she rest in peace--and how her use of space and drama fostered international cooperation and diplomacy.


Ellen Stewart
 Ellen Stewart at La MaMa.  Photo by Jonathan Slaff
As a professor, I applied what I learned from MaMa Ellen. My book wasn't published, and I "perished" -- but with a growing sense that my ministry to teach at the university level was at an end. I wanted to work with African-American and multicultural students. I began teaching English at the secondary level in the City of Philadelphia. What an all-consuming experience! Teaching and learning were ministry in the sense of answering a leading from God.

Since retiring in 2012, I’ve been yearning for that clarity.  What am I called to do? I'm drawn to the Black Lives Matter movement that aims to reveal and dismantle systems that maintain white privilege in the USA. I'm a member of SURJ (Showing up for Racial Justice), but haven't the stamina to stand in the street and walk in crowds. I'm fortunate that the Quaker meeting I'm part of prioritizes this work as well. I go to meetings and I write.



When you made me re-read these specific poems for Poets United, Sherry, you got me wondering if the reason I can’t stop writing also has to do with God.  Is it a new ministry?  And if so, should I be aiming for a wider audience?  The unified ideas you saw are still questions for me. Writing poetry is helping me get closer and closer to insights, Writing poetry adds more ingredients to the questions.  Just as in stage directing and teaching, I compose poems by getting out of the way of the voice that comes out of me.  Maybe this is the work God wants me to do.


Sherry: In fact, I believe you are already doing it, my friend. I learn much, and admire your journey, with every poem you write. How far do you think we have come as a society, in North America, in addressing social injustice?  Have we made progress in unlearning racism, in your opinion?


Susan:  Yes we make progress, little by little. I had a “eureka experience” this year. I had thought racist violence was increasing, but realized that the violence against African-American peoples and their lack of safety has continued non-stop since slave owners invented whiteness as a legally-privileged category.  New digital technology and instant internet social space simply make it visible.  I’d been aware for decades that I was enriched by African-American culture, especially in theatre, but I hadn’t understood enough about that culture to work directly on dismantling racist systems.  It is possible that these new technologies will help us grasp the problem.

Without the luxury of blindness and denial, we have a chance to unlearn racism. But we have a long way to go as a society. We have to reform criminal justice and reduce poverty at the same time.


Sherry: Racism seems to be at a tipping point, in these troubled days, when much of what lay under the surface in North America has been revealed. What might we do, individually and/or together, to help turn this around?


Susan:   First we need to become aware of racism, shift our focus.  That could take half a lifetime and could involve going to lectures and rallies and reading a lot by an assortment of writers. I used to see through a lens of "Does it include young, old, and women?" Now I add "Does it include Black and indigenous and other people of color?" Could be, when we make it so. Next we must become aware of how we each participate in the problem and begin to extricate ourselves.  That involves giving up silence and safety, changing our patronage to stores and events that empower those discriminated against, and being willing to intervene in racist moments. Part of this phase is working with others to change systems we've outgrown. I’m still in this phase of change and it could take the rest of my life.

Sherry: This is an important conversation we are having, my friend, and I hope that our readers will add their thoughts and feelings to the discussion in the comments section.
Susan: Yes, readers, add your thoughts! I’ve learned from experience that we need each other to help us understand, to hold us when we cry, to forgive our mistakes, to encourage us to take risks in word and deed, and to hold us accountable.  And we need to stand up for racial justice every chance we get, moving beyond our comfort zones. I'd like to be a better witness.  I rarely protest in the street, but quite often go to meetings, take classes and workshops, support youthful movements, sign petitions and write to elected officials and to newspapers.  Now I’m working on defeating “he who is unmentionable,” as his business approach sounds a lot like how Hitler started improving the economy in Germany.


Sherry: I see many similarities and am very concerned. There is an answer, of sorts, as to our place in the scheme of things, in your poem “The Ides of August”.  




Heat waves up north; flood waves down south; we wave
and fall apart and not neatly. 
All is chaos.  Tempers flare in nature
and rescues are few.  Though protests
abound, they are also angry.  You say
stopping to pray does nothing, but
what then can slow the turbulence?  Prayer,
          is part of tactical cocktails  
Allowing "What Is" to spin from control
          while strengthening Resolve and Roots
in hand to hand comm-unity.  Thus trees
have roots which don’t stop them waving
leaves and joining branches.  Come unity
          however dangerous the storm.


Sherry: Releasing certainty takes trust and faith. I love “Prayer is part of tactical cocktails”, and the roots and hands of community coming together.
Your poem “So Much Silence” fits into this conversation perfectly right here. Let’s take a look:




So much silence!


My twin cats also barely squeak.
There has never been such quiet as now
in night time, despite the traffic and its pauses for cicada refrains,
despite the low TV resounding from next door.  Silence.


So much silence that I expect to hear from God, to hear
what's infinite through human channels of word and image.
So much silence that I expect to overhear, to glimpse the ways
Mother Earth speaks in buds or lack of them, running water and dry springs.


And yet even as I enjoy the richness of silence, I recall
poet Adrienne Rich’s pamphlet “Lies, Secrets and Silence”
in which silence is lying by omission and secrecy,
in which silence leaves faithfulness behind.


And I recall conspiracy whispers about the violence
of bullets killing JFK and MLK, of planes destroying thousands,
of corporations planning unsustainable development, and
of international diplomacy ignoring civilian casualties.


Oh!


Even as I enjoy the richness of silence, I recognize
how it can be part of “white fragility”—a new term signifying
a lack of stamina* for the practice of undoing racism--
white fragility which acts out in tears, running away and silence.


So much silence!  Silence my friend and Silence waiting to pounce 
opportunistically like a stalking cat, such an excellent hunter.  
Silence offering up simple gifts and holding them back;
Silence both authentic and a Great Pretender, a violator.


I’ve been taking Silence for walks lately—on city sidewalks and forest paths,
on yellow brick roads of prepared gardens and museum tours,
on late night trips to the bathroom and down the back deck stairs
to take out the garbage.  I take Silence for walks with friends.


I do, still.


I take Silence to meetings and to bed.  I am busy with Silence,
dissecting how it serves me and how I serve it, as if it were spirit itself
and not merely one manifestation of it.  I listen with Silence and speak 
as prompted by it, finding a big voice in Silence's small one.


Only truthful, non-secretive Silence lives within Beloved Community.


[*Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility" and Adrienne Rich's "Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying" (1975).]


Sherry: I so resonate with your lines, the references to tragedies my generation and yours has lived through and mourned. Tell us a bit about this poem. And a little about ‘Beloved Community’?


Susan:  In “White Fragility” Robin DiAngelo gives this definition:
White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.
In the responses to triggers she lists, I identified some of my own behaviors, including silence.  This troubled me because, as a Quaker, I enjoy the power of silent worship and prayer.  I knew from experience that some silences actively harm, but had to learn that silent prayer can be--or can be perceived as--an escape.  This poem helped me draw these past and present experiences together and express hope for the future.


Sherry: The silence of prayer and contemplation is a good thing. We just need to learn to speak up against injustice when the opportunity presents itself, which is often. In your poem “Rising Hand in Hand With Anger and Love,” you acknowledge the anger that comes from the reality of injustice in the world, and you companion it with love. Let’s take a look:








The Anger that led me upward still lives
but at my side, not running out in front.
She lets me know I am alive, there’s fire
inside I need not share with all the world.


I love and hoard her presence as my guide—not
goad—now that I approach the mountain top
where I’m surprised to find the path is wide
enough for Anger and Love’s company.


Yes, both!  They’re attracted to each other
and me in the manner of friends who would
rather gather than walk alone. I’ve seen
this, but feeling it myself is new, welcome.


Love has been here all along, but we walked
single file with Anger leading and Love
trailing behind.  This works better.  Anger
still signals, but Love and I make choices.


And we three help each other as the peak—
the blind corner known as the peak—comes near.
I feared the top, but it promises views
I couldn’t dream before, new paths and change.


This mystery gives me energy
I haven’t felt in years, and I shake off
the certainty of Sisyphus.  We move forward—
upward—hand in hand, partners at last.



Sherry: I love “they promise me views I couldn’t dream before”. Anger and Love, twinned, must translate into energy for change, for certain. Would you speak to this, for us? The anger and the love, in doing this work?


Susan: Sometimes the religious idea that Quakers express as “Let us see what Love can do” and “Love thy enemy” seem to me to deny a natural anger.  But anger alone hasn’t worked. So here I accept the paradox of needing both anger and love.  
The image of the mountain comes from an “arts and spirituality” workshop in which we made collage mountains and inked in our path upward.  When the leader asked us to see ourselves at the top of the mountain, I had to force myself to complete the line. I'm not done climbing, I said. But then she told us to look back and see our accomplishments and to look over the peak to see what lies ahead. I think physically creating that mountain and path helped me to link body with mind and spirit.  I think my collage looks more like a house than a mountain, LOL.  


And I refer to Sisyphus who, in Greek myth, is condemned to roll a rock to the top of a mountain over and over.  It always rolls back so it is an impossible task. According to the existentialist Camus, Sisyphus enjoys the certainty.  He knows that as long as this repeats all is right in the world.  I'd like to break that certainty.



Sisyphus Lego Kinetic Sculpture by JK Brickworks



Sherry: I love your mountain. And I have had my Sisyphean moments! (Years?) You have written so many fantastically powerful poems on these issues that it is very hard to limit myself to a few. In closing,  I think we need the strength, inspiration and power in your wonderful poem “At the Mall”. Let’s read:




Racism. I rarely write that word.  Race-
ism.  Even tonight, while huddling and
writing in the back seat of a Toy-o-
ta, waiting as friends attend the Black Lives
Matter Die-In at the mall, I avoid
the word.  We stopped at the protest after
our Undoing-Racism meeting at
Chestnut Hill Quaker Meeting House.


I’m excited but too tired to move, and
my legs tell me to volunteer for back
ground work at phones and in print, no longer
on the front line.  We want this movement to
last until it works and last until it’s
no longer needed and last beyond that
until we enjoy standing up to see
each other, to be counted, to be kind.


Kindred, finally, have a chance at peace.
Kindred-justice stops racial profiling,
plans economic and political
equality and prevents racist de-
filing of zones meant for living and not
dumping.  Racism scars my planet though
I, reared in white privilege, know only
a portion of what white did to prevail.


Here in the back seat in the parking lot
I’m getting cold despite down coat and
clothes of many layers.  My bladder is
full.  I wish I had asked  How long do these
Die-Ins last?  How long do die-ins last?  How
long did Mike Brown’s body lie in the street?
How long does life last when you cannot breathe? 
How long before we learn not to give up?


Later, in the glare of headlights and the
neon Dick’s sign, I see first a mirage, 
then silhouettes and my friends fleshed-out selves
return from dying, resurrect from Death
in the Mall with stories and images
of young black leaders, three staging areas,
friends seen and strangers touched during this brief
engagement.  Excitement reigns on the drive home.

We're not buying racism anymore.
We're not ignoring white privilege, black
profiling, power pushed and internal
racism.  Instead we're buying new books
to read about how we got here and how
we might begin to undo negatives.
We're listening beyond our comfort zones,
and building stamina for the long haul.

Sherry: Well, that about sums it up. This poem is so inspiring, it makes me want to join the demonstrations and the conversations. I love “we’re building stamina for the long haul.” As all kind people must, who abhor how far from balanced this old world has gotten on our watch. Bravo, my friend, for being one who does this important work, both in the world, and through the expression of your art.


What would you like to say to us in closing? We are all ears!


Susan:  Thank you for bringing these poems together.  By asking me to explain, you held up a mirror.  You and all of Poets United are a support group who encourages and holds me accountable.  No wonder I resisted at first!  This is a hint of what Beloved Community can be. I am so grateful that I can not thank you enough.  I feel a poem coming on.  

Sherry: I love the words (and idea) of Beloved Community, and am very drawn to the Quakers' silent prayer. Thank you, Susan, for talking about this important topic. In all corners of the country - and the globe - we need conversations about The Other, most of whom are really just human beings exactly like us, who simply want to live in peace.

I hope you enjoyed this discussion, my friends, and encourage you to weigh in with your thoughts and feelings in the comments section. And do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!


44 comments:

  1. Susan, you absolutely inspire me!

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  2. There is so much here - thank you Susan for sharing and igniting so many thoughts...thank you Sherry for bringing them to us. I think writing and going to meetings is a very good way. It's like taking an internal street march perhaps. There seems to be constant evolution in your work which I can't help think stems from silent contemplation and an acceptance of both anger and love (both natural I think too) ..on a lighter note is that a trombone? How very cool - long may you keep writing and expanding our journies too

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    1. "An internal street march"--I like that! Thank you for your thoughts. And yes, it's a trombone, played too rarely and not at all well. But someday, it may help some walls fall....

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    2. When the saints come marching In! Great instrument.

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  3. I notice the evolution and constant growth in Susan's writing, too. And you are a good spotter....I hadnt noticed the trombone, if that is what it is!(Might be one side of a metal plant stand too.)

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  4. A fascinating interview – more like a conversation, really – about perception, a way of proceeding … a process … ultimately: becoming active in participating in consequences, I think. Very pertinent to the times that we live in where, so often we, as individuals, feel powerless and lost.

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    1. Thank you, Wendy. Sherry sure knows how to pick the poems and draw a person out.

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  5. Wow, Susan and Sherry, so much to digest! Susan, you really have done so much good with your life. You have been very dedicated and active with your causes, and your poetry reflects your life. I admire that you write about what is important to you, no holds barred. I think as we continue to write poetry some of us learn that, in the end, we write for ourselves. Like you, I am working to defeat 'he who is unmentionable.' I just can't ignore this subject either as I write. You were ahead of your time striving to work with African American and multi-cultural students. I am sure you made an impact. I do think in today's world many of us (whites) do not recognize that we are indeed racist. We say proudly that WE are not, but the truth is if we look deeper we find that indeed we are. And yes, black lives matter. Our church has an anti-racism team and this coming weekend there is a three-day seminar in "anti racist training" for all who are interested. And, yes, we need to move beyond our comfort zone, as you said. Indeed I would like to "see what love can do." I think sometimes I do see this in acts of help in the city, and in the news today it is talking about the Democrats who have already raised $13,000 to rebuild the fire-bombed Republican office in NC. Yes, let's see what love can do! I really do like what you saw when you looked in the mirror you described in answer to Sherry's question. I like how you tied all of your poems here together. I admire you, and (of course) this all would not have happened if it had not been for you, Sherry. Sherry, you really have a gift of finding topics and people & tying ideas together in a brilliant way!

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    1. Thank you, Mary. When I was a fourteen year old cub reporter on the Kelowna Daily, my specialty was feature articles. I loved doing interviews......it is sweet to come full circle and get to do what I love in this venue......with Poets! Truly the icing on the Cake! So thank YOU! LOL!

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    2. You honor me, Mary, and so does Sherry. She picked the poems and the order they fall in with love. And truly, I'm in fallow ground now that youth and teaching and theatre are over. Poets United is a net that caught me drinking at the well of poetry, and I am willing to keep right on drinking! You are sensitive and perceptive to social injustices, too, Mary, and bend your words around the hard stuff as well as what inspires you. Thank you for your enthusiasm for life and our work here.

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  6. Oh, I'm moved and almost breathless. Interview draws out reflections from both Susan and Sherry. But the poems juxtaposed and in context of reflecting on moving forward, moving beyond the crippling impacts of racism are most powerful. The more we learn about "hidden" history, the more urgently we participate in unlearning, undoing, speaking up to deny racism's power to belittle, erase, divide, delude. Power to the Poets!

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    1. Thanks for your very aware comment, Suzanne. Keep coming Back!

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    2. I appreciate that word "urgently," Suzanne, as you knew I would. Thank you so much for your profound words. Poet Power! Poet Power!

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  7. I might add that Canada has its own apartheid problem, with First Nations people, too many of whom live impoverished lives on reserve, some in Third World conditions. For eight and a half years in Tofino, I was privileged to work among these beautiful people, who have suffered so greatly, yet love to laugh so much. I worked in a treatment centre for families dealing with recovery from substance abuse. I loved that place of heart so much, it was more than a job to me. In that setting, during staff training, I expressed how I have so often felt uncomfortable in my white skin, the skin of the oppressor of people of colour all over the world. I so envied their beautiful ancient and earth-reverent culture. The north American culture of materialism does not sustain us spiritually. It was an honour to be accepted by them in that healing place. I miss their songs and dances and the beat of the drum, that stirred something tribal in me.

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    1. You are such a wild woman--part tree and part owl--no wonder your spirit enlivens when you're with First Nations people! I think Apartheid is the right word, though like the word "Holocaust" it has a specific place in history. Speaking of which, South Africa became so hopeful with peace, justice and reconciliation that what's happening there is horrible! It was my model for how to move forward, but now we have to move forward with few examples of how to break the materialism which undercuts everything.

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  8. Susan, what an inspiration!Your strong belief in racial equality and social justice and the way you translate your passion into both action and powerful poetry, certainly motivates all of us who aspire to channel poetry in a fruitful direction. Thanks Sherry for such a great interview.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Rajani, you who channel brilliantly.

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  9. Congratulations on championing the black cause and dedicating yourself to the fight against racism and social injustice in your country.
    I think writing and attending meetings is a very effective way of showing commitment and "doing your bit"
    Like you I believe in the power of prayer and do not underestimate its importance .Spirituality is lacking in our brittle avaricious society and I think the value of this poetry communities is that it gives everyone an opportunity to explore this dimension
    regardless of our political, religious and cultural differences. So thank you to Susan Sherry Mary and Rosemary for providing this forum where we can express our opinions in verse giving us an opportunity to meet "like minds" and to read lots of interesting poems.



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    1. I'm not sure congratulations are due for putting one foot in front of the other, but I value living my heart--and I know you do to. Thank you for bringing out the power of prayer and the importance of having a forum to learn about each other.

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  10. You've endured yourself to such a noble cause, Susan. Many profess sympathy against racism but you embraced the cause and took the extra mile going forward. Being actively involved must have been lots of satisfaction. Keep at it Ma'am. Thanks Sherry and Susan!

    Hank

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    1. Oh, thank you, Hank. I had much satisfaction and frustration as teacher--the kind that compelled me to try and do more and better. It's not noble, really, but I enjoyed the clarity of the drive.

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  11. Thank you so much, Sherry and Susan for taking out time and sharing this wonderful interview with us💖 Susan, I am so utterly awed by your journey and experiences regarding such a noble cause. Racial prejudice - is something which is cruel and should be nipped in the bud. It gives me joy that you re so socially active and believe in fighting against social injustice.

    I absolutely love your poem Rising hand in hand with anger and love. Such a strong and spirited vibe runs through these lines "Love has been here all along, but we walked single file with Anger leading and Love trailing behind. This works better. Anger still signals, but Love and I make choices" I wholeheartedly agree, that when it comes to choosing between anger and love, we must strive to control and channel negativity energy and turn it into something positive; to grow and nurture love💖

    Apart from this.. I felt that your collage is simply breath-taking!💖 The idea of creating a mountain and path that helps to link our body with mind and spirit is pure genius. The same quality can be seen in your poem 'At the Mall'💖

    I adore the lines "We're not buying racism anymore. We're not ignoring white privilege, black profiling, power pushed and internal
    racism. Instead we're buying new books to read about how we got here and how we might begin to undo negatives" because I feel as awareness spreads there is a higher chance to eliminate social evils and promote to peace 💖

    I feel so incredibly lucky to have met you via this wonderful community. Wishing you loads of happiness and success. Good luck for your present and future endeavors. You rock 😍


    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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    1. Wow, Sanaa. Thank you so much for sharing how you were moved. That means a lot to me, dear poet. Wow. I am speechless! (Gosh, that's rare.) Thank you for yur thoughts and good wishes.

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  12. You are such an inspiration Susan. Your commitment to social justice is so much a part of your life and it should be a part of all of our lives. I am grateful to Sherry for highlighting your work today. Thank you to both of you.

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    1. You are welcome. Thank you for your sweet words.

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  13. I think inspiration is the word of the day Susan! That is truly the perfect way to describe you and your passion for the things that truly matter in this world. So glad to see you featured here. What a pleasure and blessing to read! Thank you Sherry for another wonderful interview!!

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    1. Thank you, Carrie, for such an affirming comment.

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  14. Humankind is always so fearful of difference and for many thousands of years we have been guilty of prejudice. You wonderful work with so many others Susan is so badly needed. I was aghast that when I came to Australia in the 1960's the country accepted migrants from all of the world but didn't even count their own native aboriginal people. What a perverse people we are and I am glad that you and many others fight for justice for all as the battle is a long one as hatred is a weed that thrives everywhere.

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    1. It sounds like Australia and the USA are quite similar. I had thought I could go there if TXXXXp becomes president. Can you think of places in the world where people are not so perverse?

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    2. I need to think about that!

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  15. Wonderful feature; thank you to you both! These are very powerful poems, Susan. And the groups and movements you have become involved with are inspiring indeed. It is very easy to see and feel appalled by US racism, from here in Australia – our own is not always so readily confronted. I don't know that this would be an ideal refuge for you; We don't have a Trump yet, but perhaps our very own Palin in the Senate (The Aussies reading will know to whom I refer.).

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    1. Haha! It might be a little far to go at that. Thank you for seeing the power in these poems.

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  16. i have much to learn from you.

    i live in a place where political and social issues are quite different from yours. on the veneer it seems, all is nice and quiet, but i am not too sure now. perhaps it is the strict laws that are holding back the vitriol, but it seems cracks are appearing and we can sense it in the online forums and the chatter in the office and streets. race is a sensitive subject here though, or that is what is thought to be. i don't know, maybe i am being pessimistic, but yes, "silence is lying by omission and secrecy". these are such powerful words from you.

    i enjoyed reading this discussion. it reaffirms in me the inherent goodness of man & his desire to change the world for the better.

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  17. Whew. We jusst have to keep on asking the questions til the down deep goodness shows up. Thank you for sharing yours.

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  19. Wow!Am glad I didn't miss reading this interview. We need advocates in the forefront like you, Susan. This is fantastic and brave and I cannot wait to see what comes of it. What a wonderful continuation of your journey. You have it right. Good Luck!
    Thanks for the fantastic interview...truly inspiring!

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    1. I'm honored by your response and enthusiasm for my work, Panchali. Of course you can share.

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  20. I am sharing the link on my facebook timeline. Hope it's alright with you, Sherry n Susan.

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  21. Sherry and Susan thanks for this truly remarkable interview. I have caught a longer clearer view of poet Susan. Her poems always seem to be so timely and uttered in such a strong voice. I know now that voice to be one of hope kindness and equity. Live that spoke in the wheel of Sisyphus according to Camus for its allows of rethinking and seeing. And avoids lethargy

    Much love...

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    1. Avoiding lethargy isn't always easy! I'm very happy to hear you're getting to know me. I must come off pretty dogmatic at times, but I am make myself vulnerable to make discoveries in areas where I have no answers. Thank you for the words "hope, kindness and equity."

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  22. Thanks Sherry & Susan for this inspiring interview. Poems are wonderful, strong, and timely. Susan, you are a remarkable person.

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  23. If only we had more people like Susan in this world, what a better place it would be... I am dismayed every day as most of the stories I read about from around the world seem to be of greed, destruction, woe, evil, intolerance, fanaticism and ignorance. What can we do as thinkers? What Susan does of course - write, activate, speak out. Thank you for this wonderful interview Susan and Sherry.

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