Printed in the Greenfield Recorder, Saturday, August 8, 2020
By SHERRIL HOGEN
Change! Finally, after 400 years, White America may be ready to start addressing the wrongs that brought our country into being. Racism and genocide are life-threatening poisons to our very soul. Yet there are other poisons that have not yet consumed us, but might still do so. For one, our planet might burn up from climate disasters before we can stop it. For another, human folly might unleash nuclear war — a more instantaneous incineration of all that we hold dear.
You might think that we are smarter than that. But we humans have not proven that we are so smart when it comes to settling our differences.
You might believe that war is inevitable and just hope that no one pushes the nuclear button. But hoping doesn’t keep it from happening. So, just as we are awaking to what it might take to address the legacies of slavery and the extermination of Native Americans, we must address the real possibility of nuclear annihilation. It is hard to do when the warnings are not in the news.
And isn’t that interesting…. Why isn’t such an enormous threat to our very existence in the media and in our daily conversations? I wonder if our arms industry and military superstructure would rather keep such knowledge buried.
If we do wake up to this danger, we might raise up another voice along with Black Lives Matter, Water is Life, Me Too, and Save our Planet: NO MORE WAR, NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
It has been 75 years since the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. For 75 years we humans have managed to ignore the reasons and results of that horrific act. I hope we can change course on this issue as we are doing on others.
One step in that direction is to recognize the dates the bombs fell, Aug. 6 and 9, 1945.
One event was already held Aug. 6 in Turners Falls. Join us Aug. 8, 11 a.m. to noon on the Greenfield Town Common; and Aug. 9 at the library in Easthampton at 7 p.m.
As we strive to recognize the value of every human being and every living thing, our government and arms industry are building nuclear weapons every day, and it is up to us to stop them.
Sherrill Hogen is a resident of Charlemont.