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Undercurrent of Anti-Semitism Dear Editor: I write in response to the article, “Shining Light on Anti-Semitism,” published in the July/August 2016 issue of Western Friend.

On Media (September 2016)

Race and Quakerism The first time I was confronted with my identity as a “Brown Woman” was my first trip to North Pacific Yearly Meeting (NPYM). I had never experienced such a direct external approach to my skin color before. My family celebrated my adoption day as a family holiday. We went back to India to see my heritage history, and I was raised with some Indian cultural education, but my racial background wasn’t ever the first characteristic that came to mind when examining my personal identity. The welcome I received because of my brown skin from the Quakers was both amazingly compassionate and entirely unsettling. At that time, I had only just begun to explore this part of my identity. As an extension of this experience, I began to pay more attention to race relations within the Quaker community, and the struggles of different races around the U.S.

On Expansion (May 2018)

Offensive Dear Editor: Since I first went to sub-Saharan African in 1964, I have often had to respond to negative and derogatory comments about Black Africa. For example, I have twice complained to Quaker publications where, in the captions for pictures, they gave the names of the White Americans but not of the Black Africans in the same picture. The greatest transgression is what I call African porn – using this definition of pornography: “the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.” This is often extremely humiliating pictures of poor, starving Africans, frequently children. 

On Mixture (November 2018)

Bullet Points On the “open wound” of border between Nogales, Arizona, U.S.A., and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico (actually one city, divided), a steel-tube fence stretches thirty feet high and miles to the east and west – beyond our seeing. Dozens of people entered a restricted zone beside that wall and enacted a die-in last November, to remember 123 migrants who died in the nearby desert during the previous twelve months, as a result of U.S. “preventive deterrence” border policies. The die-in also honored the lives of people killed or disappeared by U.S.-trained, U.S.-equipped, military and police forces in Latin America.

On Weapons (January 2019)

Non-Adversarial Communication Mindful, non-adversarial communication is one of the best tools we have found for seeking Truth and for seeing “that of God” in ourselves and each other. For Quakers, the result of such seeking is a life lived according to the guidance of the Light, and a life that offers ministry to others, which includes vocal ministry. Historically, another important form of Quaker ministry has been for Friends to place themselves in conflict situations and engage in peaceful actions to heal harm.

On Mediation (January 2020)

An FCNL Education in Civic Engagement Future generations will likely study the events of this year and scratch their heads. Just considering a global pandemic (and the failure of our leaders to address it) and racial injustice reaching a fever pitch, one can almost envision an entire college course examining the calamities of 2020. Add to that the voter suppression, gun violence, hunger, poverty, wars, and extinctions of plants and animals that were already in play before 2020’s headline events, and it almost sounds like a fiction course.

On Teachers (September 2020)

Organize Dear Editor: Thanks for another great issue of Western Friend. I was inspired/provoked to write this response to a couple of the articles you published in the May/June 2023 issue.

On Dignity (July 2023)

American Quaker Romances (review) The scholarly study American Quaker Romances: Building the Myth of the White Christian Nation examines a relatively small subgenre of novels characterized as American Christian historical romances. The thirty-nine novels included in this book met the criteria of presenting Quaker heroines and using Quakerism in their plots. [pullquote]The book illuminates ways that Quakers have been commodified to promote specific cultural values and ideas that might not be consistent with Quakerism.[/pullquote]

On Healers (September 2023)