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–Located right in the middle of a neighborhood, The Open Awareness Buddhist Center has been open and aware for about 15 years.
-Run by Lama Karma Chotso, the center is located in a house in El Portal.
-For dozens of members, it is a place of real refuge.
-It is located right on the banks of The Little River.
-The center started in 1996, when it was located in a Hollywood bungalow.
-A patron gave the group money to purchase the property from a fellow member in 2003.
-According to Lama Chotso, there was some controversy at the time about having a Buddhist Songha in the middle of a residential street- but she was able to win over the neighbors.
-The center offers yoga sessions as well as other Buddhist related activities- including Sunday services.
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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We are an emotional society.
We want answers, justice, and peace, and we think, discuss and act based on our feelings.
But we will not achieve anything through bereavement and hate.
This kind of behavior shapes a constant cycle that renders the topic of racism untouchable, non-relatable, and non-discussible.
It is dark and we cannot see, we cannot breathe.
But our cries and our chants, our fear and our hate are not good enough.
Mourning is important, but it is an inadequate way to promote change.
Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trevon Martin, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, these are names we should remember and honor, but they are not the platform in which we should lead off of to demonstrate our outrage.
Instead of looking at the real issues that are allowing these murders over and over again, instead of demanding that our government change in order to actually function for and by the people, we are more concerned with how what we say makes people feel.
We are talking about who has a right to say what and when, we are speaking past one another about events that have broken our hearts but that cannot rebuild our country.
Our emotions are slowing down our aspirations, and if something is ever going to be done, we must aspire to redefine this nation’s identity.
Police brutality is an abominable action that causes men and women leave their homes fearing that their children, siblings, or spouses will be shot down and murdered for the color of their skin.
This is an intimate, deep, and powerful fear, and it should not exist in the minds of our citizens.
But police brutality is also a problem that feeds off of the systemic biases and political violence of a nation.
It is a historical and ongoing economic and political plot to keep specific people from obtaining a better and equal quality of life.
Like dust, American citizens are swept under the carpet, hidden in the fabrics of forgotten neighborhoods and overlooked schools.
And if that doesn’t do it, they are put in prisons, leaving their children alone and unsupported.
Accomplishments and success are faded or tainted because of national prejudices that disregard the brilliance of black culture by commercializing and whitening it.
As an American minority member you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t and no one ever stops to stand up and shout “enough”, but then again, no one ever acknowledges that there is a problem in the first place.
It is important to declare ones outrage and it is true that black lives are constantly targeted, but it is ineffective to make this solely an issue of police brutality.
That is a branch on a tree of racism that is rooted through this country.
When Philando Castile was bleeding to death in his car, his fiancé pleaded to the officer, “He has never been arrested or nothing, he isn’t in a gang or nothing”.
This concept is the soil around this tree that nourishes each branch of structural and social violence.
The fact that she felt that she had to justify his lifestyle contrary to the color of his skin speaks to a horrifying notion that this country has deemed black men guilty before innocent.
This prejudice is illegal, it is sickening, and it is a long practiced piece of culture.
Slavery and Jim Crow abandoned the very idea of humanism and instead, replaced it with a beast that thrived on the over and misuse of people for economic gain.
But that is not solely about black people, our history was made on the backs and blood of Native Americans, and Latino/a Americans are perpetually treated in a socially violent and disregarded manner.
These are the origins of America, this is the problem.
The problem with police shootings besides racism is that they are not adequately trained to deescalate situations.
That, and a systemic bias make for very volatile situations.
Our prison system is corrupt and ensures that with ones sentence comes recidivism and a country that deems a perpetrator of even the smallest crime, unfit for society.
We teach our children right from wrong, and then we eradicate that ideal by producing immeasurable destruction to the lives of the marginalized.
Leon Bing describes in her book, Do or Die that just miles apart from each other, a quiet, suburban neighborhood with freshly paved roads and a school with a fenced in field sit above a dilapidated school in Compton, where the walls have holes and the ceiling is leaking and there aren’t even enough chairs for students to sit in for class.
This is a creation essentially encouraging kids to find salvation elsewhere, if the school system has failed them why should they oblige and attend it?
America needs to open their eyes and mouths and own up to it’s not so ignorant ignorance.
We know the system is unfair, we know populations are being ignored, and we know police brutality is just once piece of the violence.
But why do we still only talk about that one issue?
Black Lives Matter is an important organization, but it has not yet found a way to address racism in a manner that demands national political and social change.
If you make a movement solely about the experience of African Americans, you automatically exclude the rest of the population and in doing so; exclude your own ideals from the rest of the country.
This way of advocacy is entirely understandable, but it is not as effective as demanding that as a nation we change the foundation that separates us from each other.
The Civil Rights Movement fought for shared liberties like using the same restrooms, drinking fountains, and restaurants.
We are in a new age and are desperately in need of a new civil rights movement, but just like that last one, it must fight for a shared quality of life rather than separating itself from the rest of the population.
Instead of discussing how a white person you can show support, we should all be discussing what pieces of our government are allowing institutional racism to run our nation.
That is a discussion that everyone should be involved in regardless of ones skin color, because it affects Americans and taints this country’s identity.
Supporting each other comes from identifying problems and executing solutions.
We should all be able to recognize now that the experience of a black American is far different than that of a white American, but more importantly, we should be able to identify the qualities of the U.S. that make day to day life more violent, more hateful, and more oppressive.
We can’t breathe because the air is too thick with the blood of innocent people and the ignorance of a nation that turn a blind eye after a week or two.
In the play, Angels in America, Tony Kushner writes,“The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word ‘free’ to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on earth sounds less like freedom to me”.
It isn’t just the police, it is our nation, and it is in the soil and the air and it reaffirms a history that consistently belittles its citizens.
If we are going to change anything it has to be about the foundation that causes our loss and our pain.
We are outraged, and that makes sense, but it isn’t good enough to be outraged, we have to be pragmatic if we are going to redefine our history and end this cycle.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Christopher Dombres/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 162
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By Staff Report
The Russian military is ramping up its military campaign in Syria with a pointed message to ISIS fighters there.
“That’s for Paris” a handwritten inscription on a Syria bound missile reads in a direct reference to the terror attacks that shocked the world last week in the French capital.
The message was sent out on Twitter by the Russian Embassy In the UK’s Twitter account.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this week that his nation will be ruthless in the fight against ISIS.
“We will search for them everywhere, wherever they are hiding. We will find them in any spot on the planet and we will punish them,” Putin said.
Russian bomb in Syria. The inscription reads: “That’s for Paris” pic.twitter.com/bxaIWCrZfO
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) November 20, 2015
Cover Photo Credit: Russian Embassy, UK/ Twitter (Screengrab)Post Views: 162
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By Allyn Farach
The hacktivist group Anonymous is ramping up its war on ISIS with the release of information how to take down social media accounts associated with the terrorist organization.
“This system coordinates all of the efforts so that they are all working together and sharing to ensure a highly effective fighting force. Its results are staggering. When people work together, they are unstoppable,” the group said in explaining their tactics.
The guides provided by Anonymous detail such things as DDoS-ing, cracking passwords, and how to take down an account. In response, members of ISIS have sent around information on how to not get hacked, recalling details such as not talking to strangers or changing one’s IP repeatedly.
The group has also received recognition from official antiterrorism groups. Retired American General David Petraeus said in an recent interview that what he has seen so far of Anonymous’ work “would be of considerable value to those engaged in counter-terrorism initiatives.”
But could this form of vigilantism actually be of any help? Computer security blogger Olivier Laurelli told AFP that it could harm police operations to find members of ISIS.
“To close those accounts is to leave police deaf and blind around some matters,” Laurelli the French news service. “It is important to know that one account is in France, another in Syria or in Iraq.”
Furthermore, the wrong person could be accused or attacked.
Sunil Tripathi was identified by members of Reddit as the man who had coordinated the Boston Marathon bombing. News outlets such as the BBC reported him as the prime suspect by the FBI, but Tripathi was found dead shortly after the brothers Tsarnev were arrested.
Not only did the Reddit users’ actions take away from the actual perpetrators of the crime, it applied guilt onto a person who wasn’t guilty and may have led to their deaths.
It is unclear whether Anonymous will have a similar record in combating ISIS.
Cover Photo Credit: Pierre (Rennes)/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 236
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