No Agreement; No Submission, Or: “I Will Not Bow Down…” Sweet Honey
©2024 Alice Walker

No Agreement; No Submission, Or: “I Will Not Bow Down…” Sweet Honey  ©2024 by Alice Walker

My younger sisters, daughters, mothers of sons and grandsons: Yes, this is frightening. And I love you so much for being your funny, real, outrageously pissed selves.

When I was eighteen I travelled to Russia (1963) because even then our government was maligning it and trying to instigate a war.  I got off the train crossing the border from Finland so I could touch the “iron curtain” we had been taught all Russians lived behind.  There wasn’t one.  (I was literal minded; but then, so are most people).  Anyhow. I had left the South, USA, where I could not enter a white church (my Ugandan roommate and I were chased away from one by white men brandishing axe handles) or sit at a public lunch counter. You’ve no doubt seen images of our people’s battles against fire hoses as we tried to buy a coke. Or ascend the steps of a “white” library.

Russia is very wealthy in “energy” materials the US has long wanted to take, as it has taken them from so many less well protected places in the world. But Russia is not having it.  Putin is not.

Russia was the first country of white people I ever visited where I was welcomed (with flowers and, yes, vodka) simply as a human being. It was astonishing, exhilarating.  I couldn’t believe there were white people like them: gracious and kind. I would never wish to harm them.

Nor do I want our people harmed!  Especially not you, so… what is it about black women?  There is no reason whatsoever that you, the very mother of Jesus, should be disregarded, yet again! As Putin has acknowledged – did you know that? – by unearthing “black Jesus”). Indeed, as Africans you are descendants of the Mother of the entire rather ungrateful and unruly human race.

One of my teachers, Scott Ritter, has commented that in a war with Russia the entire East Coast would be destroyed early on, along with much of the rest of America.

Some days most of us feel already like sitting ducks, when we allow ourselves to seriously consider how close we are to World War III. And how absent is sensible leadership.  Somehow I imagine you are on the East Coast: you have that tone of staunch no BS-ness.  And I deeply resonate with all you are saying: especially about the decision of those in power to re-institute the draft. An obscene move on the part of people who’ve never held a gun.

We must send our children nowhere they might be harmed. Over decades I have watched our best and brightest offspring culled, usually just after graduation from high school, speedily sent off to “war,” only to return in pieces, in body bags.

600,000 mostly young men have died in Ukraine. For what?  The rich “energy” loot hoped for has not been won. And Ukraine, which NATO and the US hoped would bring Russia closer, as a target to be invaded, well, that war is lost.  Much of the money Americans have desperately needed at home has been lost with it.

Our country is crumbling.

Imagine anyone demanding the lives of our children, to fight people they don’t know, in places they’ve been too poor to travel to; or, more likely, places too “foreign” or “exotic” for them to ever have had cause (or money) to imagine visiting. It is ultimate insult to all poor people: black and brown, yellow and white, Indians and folks of all persuasions, and whoever else, and your response of outrage is correct.

What is the silver lining of this bad news? It is what it always is when we stand together and examine the terror planned for us.  We are resolved in our solidarity to look whatever is coming squarely in the face; to say NO to the grotesque and gruesome machine that gobbles up our lives, and our children’s lives, as if they are as cheap, and as easily replaced, as popcorn. ~aw