One: To offer some way for Iraqi wimmin and their families to at least surive as their country is destroyed and their people are mass murdered. They will die of starvation and exposure to the elements if they do not have a way to make money for food and shelter. This is a cold hard fact.
But of course the facts are complicated and layered.
I also read this following bit of information with the pride of a politicized class conscious, anti-racist Black feminist who is a mother and realized that knowledge of another purpose was struggling to come through loud and clear.
In a world so diseased with domination pride is so crucial. Raising our children under domination, teaching them to rebel against it at whatever costs, modelling to them how best to rebel, how to not be crushed is crucial.
When I read about The Collateral Repair Project, I see the final humiliation of Iraqi mothers forced to accept a pittance, forced to accept the "good works" of the wimmin, mothers, daughters, lovers, wives of the people who are destroying them.
My "uplifting" story plays a little differently than the one described in the passage I cut and pasted in which was sent to me via Code Pink.
Mine sounds like:
"She was a proud wife and mother, probably educated...perhaps her daughters wereAs the amerikkkan government funnels billions of dollars it doesn't have into the work of mass murdering a whole people, a not for profit, "charitable" industry has been birthed.
being educated in the hopes that they would become doctors, lawyers, writers,
teachers, professors. if she had sons they were also being educated in the same
way. Now her sons are dead. Her daughters, raped by amerikkkan soldiers have
been driven mad. She perseveres but cannot find work because the men, in
response to the aggression of a whole people directed their way, have become
even more exaggeratedly patriarchal and need her to subjugate herself so that
they can feel more powerful. Can someone help her buy a sewing machine and start
a small business with a bunch of othe wimmin who have also been brought low by
having multiple oppressions both inside and outside directed at them and their
families? Can someone help us help them complete their humliation?"
Soon, I'm sure I will be seeing commercials on television where Iraqi children with irradiated flies buzzing on their faces, roaming in an out of their open mouths, will gaze into the camera as a white man's voice entreats us north amerikkkan viewers to pay just pennies a day to keep this child alive and protect it from leprosy or tuberculosis. Perhaps a christian children's fund will want to make good little christian sheep out of the lot of them in exchange for offering them a substandard elementary school education...of course with our help for which we will receive a picture of a well washed non radiated Iraqi child with all it's body parts still intact smiling into the camera with the uncertainty of one taught to fear white people who point anything in their direction.
The humliation knows no bounds. They have been fully dominated and these initiatives are evidence of this fact.
Someone. Anyone. Help these wimmin, these struggling mothers buy sewing machines. And as you accept flowers from your perfectly formed children on Mothers Day and sit down to brunch to the sound of classical or jazz music not to the sound of car bombs and mortar fire, think of these wimmin busily at work on their newly purchased sewing machines washed in blood and tears and smile knowing that we've really done some "good" work in Iraq.
Yes, let's "help" them buy sewing machines. But let's also think about why they need our stinking help in the first place. They really couldn't have gotten this far without our wonderful "support".
On the eve of Congress passing the largest war funding bill yet, $178 billion, Iraqi mothers struggling to survive are being denied in favor of endless war. This Mother's Day, as we honor the women who gave us life, let's help give new hope to women whose lives have been shattered by the US occupation.
When you donate today, 100% of the proceeds will go toward the Collateral Repair Project, a grassroots movement working with CODEPINK to address the catastrophic displacement of the five million Iraqis who had to leave their homes and communities because of violence and instability. CRP offers food, education, job training and other vital services to refugees in Iraq, Jordan and Syria.
$25 will feed one internally displaced person in Iraq for one month
$100 will feed a family of five living in Iraq for one month
$250-500 will support small women-based microprojects to promote economic self-sufficiency for women in Jordan
$1,500 will launch the Najaf sewing training project, training 50+ women sewing/embroidery. They will be able to make a small living and clothe their families.
CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin recently returned from Jordan and Syria where she witnessed firsthand the important and inspiring work being done by the Collateral Repair Project.
Not only does the CRP repair schools and feed the hungry; they also provide very personal support. She saw this in the case of one Iraqi woman, Um Marianne.
As a single mother whose husband had been killed, Um Marianne was unable to work legally; men preyed on her and bosses cheated her, yet she could not complain because of her precarious situation. Um Marianne wept as she spoke about leaving her daughter at home while she went off to endure sweatshop conditions. A group of Iraqi women, fellow refugees, were concerned about her and banded together to help. They approached CRP, who gave them the money to buy a sewing machine. Now Um Marianne can work from home and take care of her daughter without worrying about exploitation and other dangers. This is the beauty of women coming together in sisterhood to help one another.
When you give to CODEPINK today, you will be funding such creative, compassionate, projects. If you donate in your mother's name, we will send her a beautiful card to acknowledge your generous gift.
As we help the women of Iraq, let's remind Congress that they need to help, as well. They are now being asked to fund another $162 billion for war! Click here to tell your reps that we want our funds to help the refugees, not to continue this disastrous war!
We wish you a beautiful and meaningful Mother's Day.
Love and peace,
Alicia, Dana, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Jodie, Liz, Medea, Nancy, Rae, and Tighe
p.s. To learn more about Medea's experiences in Jordan and Syria, read her blogs here.
p.p.s. CODEPINK mamas are gathering around the country to celebrate Mother's Day in the spirit of Julia Ward Howe's original proclamation. From Berkeley, where the monthly Walk for Peace on the Golden Gate Bridge will focus on mourning mothers, to Washington, DC, where a Peace-nic will serve as a fundraiser for Iraqi refugees, we are reclaiming the anti-war intention of the day. To find a CODEPINK Mother's Day event in your area, click here.