Letter to the Editor: Department of peace
On Jan. 20-22, the peace alliance held its first strategic planning session for state coordinators in its campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence.
I was among 32 state coordinators who, applying shared leadership and nonviolent communication led by skilled facilitators of the peace alliance (some paid staff, some volunteer staff), truly created a culture of peace in this process. The grass-roots campaign to promote a culture of peace through establishing a United States Department of Peace, including a secretary of peace position at the cabinet level, began just a couple years ago and has been gaining momentum exponentially each year.
The means to the end includes having a team of citizens working with a team leader in all 435 U.S. congressional districts, to both spread the word about the current legislation (H.R. 3760, S.1756) and, if they agree, to urge their representatives to support it.
The first formal proposal for the establishment of an official U.S. Government Peace Department dates to 1792, created by Mr. Benjamin Banneker and Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. George Washington liked this idea and representatives have introduced bills more than 140 times in our nation's history. Why hasn't it passed? We, the people, haven't asked for it.
I want to know why violence is so acceptable in our culture, why we are looked upon (rightfully, statistically) as being the most violent country in the world! I want to know why we are in such intense denial around this fact. I want to know why the term "civilized," as in "western civilization" has wholly lost its meaning. I want to know why we have the highest incarceration/imprisonment rate out of all industrialized nations.
Why do we have more gang violence than any other country? I want to know why we have some of the highest incidence of domestic violence, violence against children (in schools and homes) and the elderly.
The Department of Peace is a paradigm shift for our country. Together, the people of this powerful nation can make a statement to the world. It is time to come together for all our sakes, our children and our children's children.
Please support the DOP and give peace a chance.