Women's Rights

6,765 petitions

Started 14 hours ago

Petition to

Take a stand against Naropa University's Silence about Anti-Semitism and Rape

I am calling for: (1) Naropa University to terminate a scholarship in honor of former Naropa Professor/instructor, Amiri Baraka, who during his career repeatedly called for genocide of Jews, propagated anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and libels, and advocated for rape as a legitimate means of political resistance; (2) for Naropa to remove praise of Mr. Baraka from their website; (3) for Naropa leadership to denounce a recent Naropa Student Union Letter which cited Mr. Baraka as their "sacred activist, pioneer, model, and inspiration" for their stand against Israel (See Student Union Letter below). The Student Union cited Mr. Baraka as their model and inspiration for opposing Israel, denying by omission that Oct 7 was genocide, repeating many anti-Semitic tropes and libels such as the blood libel, and calling Israel's military response to Oct. 7th a "genocide, slaughter, ethnic cleansing, a heinous act" and stating that the war on terror is an "illusion."  Mr. Baraka was also extremely misogynistic and homophobic, frequently calling his opponents "faggots" and slandering the LGTBQ+ community. Beneath this petition are a list of sources of Mr. Baraka's bigoted writings, including his wikipedia page which contains citations and links to Mr. Baraka's writings and poetry. Also listed below are links to mainstream media organizations that discuss Mr. Baraka's history of anti-Semitism and misogyny. Mr. Baraka also advocated for raping of women as a means of retribution against historical oppression. Naropa University and its Student Union lionize Mr. Baraka as a hero and social justice icon with a webpage in his honor claiming Baraka is a social justice advocate of "cultural inclusivity." This despite many writings where he advocated for killing Jews, raping women, and denouncing the LGTBQ community.  I and many others have contacted Naropa about the Student Union's letter, but Naropa refuses to take any action against the Student Union, nor will Naropa terminate the scholarship in Mr. Baraka's honor. Please take a stand against Naropa's continued lionization of Mr. Baraka and stand up to denounce rape and anti-Semitism as means of "political resistance." You may already know that Naropa in 2018-2020 was embroiled in a massie sex scandal, when Shambala's leader and Naropa Board of Trustee member, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, was accused of rape by several young women after a year long investigation by an activist group (see sources below). Naropa's founder, Trungpa Rinpoche, was also accused (see sources below) of physically and sexually manipulating/abusing women, along with accusations of many affairs with his students, to which the then Naropa Board was accused of being silent about (see sources below). Naropa needs to address its history of failing stand up to Naropa leaders who are accused of misconduct and who advocate for sexual violence! Here is just a sample of Mr. Baraka's writings: "In his book, Black Magic: Collected Poetry, 1961-1967, Baraka wrote:[15] Smile jew. Dance, jew. Tell me you love me, jew. I got something for you ... I got the extermination blues, jewboys. I got the hitler syndrome figured ... So come for the rent, jewboys ... one day, jewboys, we all, even my wig wearing mother gonna put it on you all at once.[10][59] In the 1967 poem "The Black Man is Making New Gods", Baraka accused Jews of having stolen knowledge of Africa, transporting it to Europe, where they became white and claimed it as their own.[74][83] He wrote of Jesus as a "fag" and as "the dead jew" who, Baraka argues, was a Jewish scam on Christians.[74] Baraka embraces Nazi genocidal depictions of Jews, who embody a "dangerous germ culture".[74] His 1972 essay collection "Raise, Race, Rays, Raze" refers to people as "jew-slick", "jeworiented revolutionaries", and also "cohen edited negro history".[84] Baraka: "We also know that much of the vaunted Jewish support of Black civil rights organizations was in order to use them. Jews, finally, are white, and suffer from the same kind of white chauvinism that separates a great many whites from Black struggle. ... these Jewish intellectuals have been able to pass over into the Promised Land of American privilege." Baraka argued that Israel had advance warning of the 2001 World Trade Center attacks and told 4k Jews to stay home: "Who know why Five Israelis was filming the explosionAnd cracking they sides at the notion...Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombedWho told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin TowersTo stay home that dayWhy did Sharon stay away?" Another poem: “Atheist Jews double crossers stole our [black people's] secrets. … They give us to worship a dead Jew and not ourselves. … Selling fried potatoes and people, the little arty bastards talking arithmetic they sucked from the arab's head. "In “Black Dada Nihilismus,” Baraka writes: “Rape the white girls. Rape / their fathers. Cut the mothers’ throats.” And, of course, in his long rant on September 11, “Somebody Blew Up America,” Baraka suggests that the attacks were justified because white people owned slaves and killed Native Americans." **** Wikipedia: "Baraka advocated for the rape of white women by Black men, believing that it was a politically legitimate act.[78] Baraka objectified white women, believing that they served as a location of racial struggle rather than as human beings.[78] He implied that white women would enjoy being raped by Black men, experiencing the rape as "sexually exhilarating—a God-like gift that no white man could give to her". If she didn't, and she instead perceived her rape by a Black man as a "beast-like violation", then she was racist.[74] Author bell hooks commented on Baraka's misogyny in her book Ain't I a Woman?:[74][79] Ironically, the “power” of black men that Baraka and others celebrated was the stereotypical, racist image of the black man as primitive, strong, and virile. Although these same images of black men had been evoked by racist whites to support the argument that all black men are rapists, they were now being romanticized as positive characteristics." **** In 1968, Jones became a Muslim and changed his name to Amiri Baraka. And the anti-Semitic images kept on coming: “We want poems like fists beating ni–ers out of Jocks, or dagger poems in the slimy bellies of the owner-Jews.” (“Black Art,” 1969) And then, in the autumn of 2001, there came his most controversial poem — “Somebody Blew Up America.” Baraka suggested that the Bush administration, as well as the governments of Germany, France, Britain and Israel, knew about the Sept. 11 terror attacks in advance. “Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed?” reads the poem. “Who told 4,000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers to stay home that day? Why did Sharon stay away? Who know [sic] why Five Israelis was filming the explosion, and cracking they sides at the notion.” **** In 1965, as LeRoi Jones, Baraka wrote an essay, “American Sexual Reference: Black Male.” In it, he states: “Most American white men are trained to be fags. For this reason it is no wonder their faces are weak and blank. …” In his “Civil Rights Poem,” he declares: “Roywilkins [sic] is an eternal faggot. His spirit is a faggot … if i ever see roywilkins on the sidewalks imonna [sic] stick half my sandal up his ass.” ****,she%20would%20not%20have%20declined *** Amiri Baraka Scholarship The Amiri Baraka Scholarship is offered to noncredit participants in Naropa’s Summer Writing Program.  Each scholarship will cover one week of noncredit Summer Writing Program tuition and, if needed, a room in a shared apartment at Snow Lion Apartments for seven nights.  Three or more recipients, with one-week scholarships, will be awarded.  Students do not need to complete a Financial Aid Application (FAFSA or International Aid Application) to be considered. Your personal essay should include your writing’s connection to the work and legacy of Amiri Baraka specifically, and the Black Arts movement in general. ***Naropa webpage lionizing Mr. Baraka: Start Amiri Baraka taught at Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School during the late 1970s and early 1980s teaching summer writing programs and workshops. His presence brought a unique perspective to the school’s curriculum, emphasizing social justice, political activism, and African American cultural experiences in his teaching. He introduced students to the Black Arts Movement, radical political poetry, and the importance of cultural inclusivity in literature. Baraka’s unapologetic approach to addressing social and political issues through his written work challenged conventional notions of poetry and storytelling. His presence encouraged students to explore writing that was rooted in activism and cultural critique. Even after his visits to Naropa, Baraka’s ideas and works continued to influence discussions and creative endeavors within the university. His legacy contributed to ongoing dialogues about the intersections of literature, activism, and identity and helped shape the dynamic literary environment for which the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics is known for. **end of webpage about Mr Barak (emphasis added by petition author) *** Naropa Student Union Letter (emphasis added by petition author): Start of Student Union Letter: “The children are always ours, every single one of them, all over the globe; and I am beginning to suspect that whoever is incapable of recognizing this may be incapable of morality.”                                            - James Baldwin To Our Beloved Community, Naropa University is a school which prides itself on being a leader in contemplative and mindfulness-based education. Our lineage is tied to sacred activism as modeled by such pioneers as Amiri Baraka, Anne Waldman, and Brad Will. The values of our university contain explicitly stated goals to challenge systems of oppression that undermine human dignity and to champion active responsibility and courageous, effective, and inspired engagement with the world.  In alignment with these values, we, The Student Union of Naropa, feel it is our responsibility to make a decisive statement regarding the ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing which is occurring in Palestine. With mournful hearts, we acknowledge that the kidnapping and massacre of innocent people in Israel on October 7th was a tragedy. In addition, the genocide of the Palestinian people, which is being sponsored by The United States and Israeli governments, is a morally bankrupt action and a crime against humanity. Well over 1 million innocent civilians have now been displaced due to the carpet bombing of Gaza by Israeli and US bombs. The estimated death toll has surpassed 10,000, many thousands of whom are children, while many remain missing amidst the fog of war. We reject the notion of the “justified” slaughter of any people, of any background, and of any faith. It becomes clearer every day, however, that the endorsement of this heinous act is not the will of the American people, and that the billions of dollars being funneled into this atrocity would be much better spent on efforts of peace such as diplomacy, relief work, healthcare, and education.  In these times of non-representative government actions, widespread misinformation, and media bias, we feel it is of the utmost importance for organizations such as ourselves to harness whatever collective power they possess and stand in clear opposition to systemic oppression. Othering and dehumanization are the well-worn tools wielded by powerful media and governmental institutions in order to manufacture consent for such unjustifiable murder. The decades-long illusion of the “war on terror” continues to construct a false binary of good vs evil which insulates these institutions from criticism while furthering white supremacist and colonial aims. The foundational rights of human beings, however, must not be reduced to polarized political platforms in order to fuel violence and war that destroys not only the lives of the innocent today, but for generations to come.  We represent a new generation, one which seeks an exit from this cycle of violence and suffering. In light of this, and our desire for peace for the people of Israel and liberation for the people of Palestine, we call upon the United States government to immediately end their funding of this genocide and join the international call for a ceasefire.  For those impacted within our own beloved community, we share THESE resources for education, action, and healing provided by our colleagues at this wonderful university.  

Max Weiner
88 supporters
Started 1 day ago

Petition to

Women Empowerment: Girl Power

      The lack of woman empowerment and Girl Power impacts individuals and communities, affecting their ability to reach their full potential, contribute to families and communities, and contribute to society. It can result in limited access to education and healthcare, gender-based violence, limited economic opportunities, political underrepresentation, and social and cultural marginalization. Women play a crucial role in families and communities, and their empowerment can positively impact their well-being and contribute to better health, education, economic growth, and overall development. The lack of empowerment and representation of women  negatively impacts their lives and society, leading to limited access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities. This in turn, increases the prevalence of gender-based violence and hinders their full potential.Conversely, empowering women  can lead to better health, education, economic growth, and overall development, promoting a more equitable and prosperous society. Therefore, action is crucial to achieve this goal.If things stay the same, the lack of empowerment and representation of women  will continue to have a negative impact on their lives and society as a whole. This means that women will continue to face limited access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities, as well as a higher prevalence of gender-based violence. This will result in a significant portion of the population being unable to reach their full potential and contribute fully to society. Empowering women is a moral imperative and essential for creating a more equitable society. The lack of empowerment limits access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities, leaving them vulnerable to gender-based violence. Immediate action is needed to protect them from such injustices and ensure sustainable development. Empowerment leads to better health, education, and economic outcomes, reducing poverty and promoting economic growth. Therefore, it is crucial to act now to create a more equitable society where women have equal opportunities and rights.   

Jecxa Domingo
6 supporters