Instructor gives powerful weapons to students
September 28, 2007
Filed under Uncategorized
“We know the strategy for war, but how many people know what it takes to be peaceful?” challenged Karen McCord, Solano Community College instructor during a Peace and Civil Rights presentation Sept. 13, hosted by the Ethnic Studies Program.
As the same hands that were raised in anticipation fell to laps in defeat, the faces of students went blank that just moments before were radiant with answers.
“It’s amazing how many people know about war, but not about peace,” said Melissa Keogh Liberal Arts major.
“We have choices,” said McCord. “Non-violence is the weapon of the strong.”
Acknowledging the role that media plays in what we think is acceptable in regards to hot and cold violence, McCord reminds her listeners that the necessity of war is being taught as early as grade school through mandated curriculum.
McCord, who teaches a peace and non-violence class at SCC, along with many who specialize in the peace and non-violence field feel the problem is “it hasn’t been studied and more importantly, it’s not being taught.”
As she recalled the horrific events of Sept. 11, Michael Hays, Criminal Justice major added that “2,974 people died that day…..Sept. 11 is something people should know.”
McCord, explained the consequences of the continuous teachings of hate and violence as an invitation to a “revolving door,” and encouraged that peace and non-violence be practiced and should “likewise be practiced within our own family.”
Integrating a junior high school, and being suspended seven times for fighting despite her outstanding academic performance, McCord has faced the challenges of violence versus peace herself.
“No one was prepared for integration, we weren’t ready for them and they weren’t ready for us,” she said.
McCord goes on to say “If we’re not teaching the model, we’re not going to have the outcome.”
Recollecting on her time as a social worker in Solano county, McCord puts the problem of violence in perspective by reminding the room that “It’s [violence] happening right here in Solano County and often times it was the parents who did it.”
Explaining that it takes just as much time to learn peace as it does to learn the behaviors of violence; McCord enlightens the crowd on how former Civil Rights demonstrators learned the virtue of peace.
“It didn’t just happen,” she said. “It took a whole lot of discipline and you had to believe in the cause.”
Keogh agrees with McCord and said, “I want to be educated,” but then admits “I don’t know what a model looks like.”
Inspired by McCord’s words and eager to make a change, Keogh concludes “I want to make a difference; I want to know how.”