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The silence of an unknown prisoner

Solidarity is at the heart of all social justice work as well as at the heart of this blog. Solidarity, but not with the elite, the powerful, or those who manipulate, benefit from, and depend upon the injustices that grip our world. It is owed to  the so many who can’t normally be heard – the unknown and voiceless prisoner, the homeless person, the torture victim, the domestic violence survivor, the entire community of the oppressed. Each has a name and a history. These unique stories need to be heard and the injustices inflicted upon them beg for transformation.  Their strength, resilience and joy, even under extreme circumstances, must be recognized. Such stories, and their analysis, are what will appear in the coming posts.

For those who know Camus, the inspiration for this blog should be obvious. It is not just the title of the blog or of this post, but the spirit of intellectual obligation that his life and work expressed. For Camus the obligation of the artist and intellectual is to resist oppression and to serve the community of the oppressed. We have to listen to the voices of the silenced, the marginalized and oppressed. They have much to teach us if we have the courage to hear them. This blog shares Camus’ vision.

The content of this blog is, by and large, going to be dark and emotionally difficult . Occasionally it may take some courage to read. But eliminating unjust suffering requires the strength to openly confront violence in others and especially in ourselves. It is difficult to recognize our  complicity in  the often extreme suffering experienced by others, but there are morally compelling reasons why we must do this. We also need to unleash our rage, our compassion, our optimism and our love

Richard Matthews

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