The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “reform

The Long Road From Charity to Justice

Posted on July 7, 2015

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. HAD EXACTLY one year left before an assassin’s bullet struck him down and traumatized a nation. He had spent recent months attempting to break through the “indifference barrier” by drawing a direct link between racism to poverty. It wasn’t enough, he would maintain, to seek equal rights for black Americans if they remained mired in poverty. And so on this particular night, April 4, 1967, at New York City’s Riverside Church, he laid it out as he had seen and experienced it: “A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside,…

Food: A World of Contradiction

Posted on February 26, 2015

FOOD IS EVERYWHERE THESE DAYS, and not just physically. Talk of it runs the gamut from food trucks to food banks, the price of food to the massive amounts of it thrown into landfills. When James Beard noted years ago that, “food is our common ground, a universal experience,” I wonder if he knew just how true that would become, given all the issues around food these days, from its abundance to its scarcity, its price to its source. In reality, food is an entire world, a universe even. A vast as the human experience, it also reveals the strengths and weaknesses of our values. We see it of such importance that we enforce access to it at the same time as we permit others…

Mayors: A Basic Law

Posted on October 1, 2014

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN CITIZENS FEEL THEY have a mandate that isn’t respected by the political powers that be? Well, in Hong Kong, inhabitants turned out by the tens of thousands to claim what they feel is rightfully theirs. Admittedly, the coverage filling the airwaves this week of the massive protests filling the streets of that city reminds us that the issues are complex. But at the bottom of it all lies one basic provocation. Hong Kong belongs to China, but prior to its return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, citizens pressured their leaders into negotiating the “Basic Law” – a constitution that would govern the city of some 7.2 million people, guaranteeing freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and freedom of the press.…