In 1962 James Baldwin wrote an essay for The New York Times titled, “As Much Truth As One Can Bear.” He wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” In 1962 Baldwin was writing about the U.S.’s extremely serious problem about pervasive and persistent racial injustice.
Baldwin’s insight is still true, and it pertains also to nuclear weapons. Since 1945 nuclear weapons have been a persistent – but largely ignored – part of the status quo. Government propaganda fooled the American public into accepting nuclear weapons as an ongoing reality. Both political parties vigorously support and fund nuclear weapons, so they are not controversial. The American people generally ignore nuclear weapons because they are assumed to be just a normal part of modern life nowadays.
We who want to ABOLISH nuclear weapons must first get the public to start paying attention to them. We must educate the public about the hard realities and the dangers. We must make nuclear weapons a HOT ISSUE that the public – and the media – and the politicians – absolutely must deal with. We must do what the early 1980s movement for a Nuclear Weapons Freeze did: Make the problem easier to understand, and propose smart solutions.
I encourage EVERY person and EVERY organization to strategize how to do this.
Let’s all put our heads together and put hearts together so we can devise smart strategies to build a savvy grassroots movement to abolish nuclear weapons.