My 5 Fave Parts of Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address

The yoga class I took just before last night’s State of the Union (SOTU) address wiped me out. I fell asleep immediately afterward. Which is good because I had a chance to think overnight about the parts that resonated most with me.

sotu-en 2013

I’ve been tough on the president in the past, disappointed with his timidity and unwillingness to set a big bold agenda.

The other good thing about writing the day after is that others have fact checked. And the de rigeur liberal critique  as well as Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) really awful other-party rebuttal have been duly hashed and rehashed.

With the benefit of reflection, here are my three favorite parts of the speech.

1.    SOTU and women: On the domestic front, the president mentioned two hot button pieces of legislation poised to pass if Speaker Boehner (R-BadLoser) ever brings them up for votes:

We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence.  Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago.  I urge the House to do the same.  And I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.

(This drew a “Huge Yes!” from Pamela Scharf when I posted it on Facebook.)

And on the global front, but equally true at home:

We also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all.  In many places, people live on little more than a dollar a day.  So the United States will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades: by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women; by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed, power, and educate themselves; by saving the world’s children from preventable deaths; and by realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation.

2.    SOTU and gun violence: This drew the biggest cheers as Obama did his rhetorical best: build to a revival preacher’s crescendo. And the backdrop of Gabby Giffords  and parents of slain children brought everyone but John Boehner (go figure, for once he showed no emotion) to tears.

It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.

Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.

Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.

Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.

The families of Newtown deserve a vote.

The families of Aurora deserve a vote.

3.    SOTU and minimum wage:  Did the proposed $9 minimum wage surprise you? It did me.

We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong. That’s why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, nineteen states have chosen to bump theirs even higher.

Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead. For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. In fact, working folks shouldn’t have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while CEO pay has never been higher. So here’s an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year: let’s tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on.

4.    SOTU and early childhood education:  This warmed my former Head Start-teacher heart.

Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own. So let’s do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance

5. The part of SOTU I liked best.  Karl Rove (who reminds me of the Riddler because he keeps popping up with his evil grin, every time you think a superhero has finally vanquished him), used a twitter hashtag #notserious to telegraph the Tea Party message of the day. A typical corrosive Rove tweet:

Karl Rove@KarlRove

Is it me or is this not one of POTUS’s better efforts? Lackluster response from even Dem’s side. #SOTU

Since you asked, I’ll answer, Karl. It’s you. The president’s speech was not just #serious. It hit a political home run. Now the real test–let’s see what action Congress takes, and how hard Obama fights for his agenda.

What do you predict? Tell me.

How Far Women Have Come and Where They’re Going

“As an activist for women through almost four decades, I know that no movement for social justice moves forward without struggle, nor does forward movement necessarily go in a straight line.”  

Today, March 8, is celebrated around the globe as International Women’s Day .  Some decry its commercialization, as corporate sponsors have realized it’s in their best interests to appeal to women who make over 85 percent of consumer purchases around the globe.
But it’s a day whose meaning inspires me to think back to a very special moment on September, 1995.

I was attending the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, where hugely ambitious and thrilling goals were set for improving the lives of women, and by extension their families and the world.

The official conference was in Beijing, but the much larger convocation of activists from nongovernmental organizations—40,000 enthusiastic women and a few good men like my husband—was literally stuck in the mud in Huairu, a suburb an hour’s drive from the city.

Thousands of sleepy people had arrived at dawn on the morning of Sept. 6, to stand packed together under a roof of brightly colored umbrellas, jockeying for the few hundred seats inside the auditorium where then first lady of the United States Hillary Clinton was slated to give a speech.

Thanks to my training in clinic defense, which had taught me how to form a wedge and move expeditiously through even the most aggressive crowd, I was fortunate not only to get inside but to get a seat. The program was running late; Hillary was running even later and the crowd was getting restless.

Just as it seemed a revolt might be brewing, Shirley May Springer Stanton, the cultural coordinator of the conference, sauntered onto the stage and began to sing a capella, ever so softly: “Gonna keep on moving forward. Never turning back, never turning back.”

Then she asked the audience to join her. Pretty soon the house was rocking. By the time the first lady arrived and gave her brilliant “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights” speech, it truly felt like the global movement for women’s rights was unstoppable.

Hillary Clinton, Beijing 1995

It was, you might say, an ovular moment.

Where are women today? How far have we come?

Here in the United States, that moment can seem long ago. Today, women are aghast that presidential candidates are railing against birth control (yes, birth control!) access for American women, and members of Congress argue against funding for international family planning services that could reduce the millions of unsafe abortions and risky pregnancies that cause 500,000 unnecessary deaths each year globally.

But the U.S. women’s movement can take inspiration from working in sisterhood with women from around the globe. When the United States failed to meet its commitments to the global public-health community, many developing countries began funding these essential women’s health services beyond all expectations and the European nations stepped in to fill much of the void left by America’s abdication of leadership.

Women’s economic development projects are also fueling economic growth around the world while bringing greater equality to the women in their societies. Sex trafficking and other acts of violence against women, long merely routine facts of life for women, are becoming subjects of international media attention and human rights action. And female heads of state have been elected in Europe, Africa and Latin America.

  18 female elected heads of state

And though the U.S. has yet to follow suit, Hillary Clinton almost broke through that “highest and hardest glass ceiling,” is serving the country with great distinction as Secretary of State. And that puts her in a position not just to talk about, but to implement her declaration that women’s rights are human rights at the highest policy levels.

As an activist for women through almost four decades, I know that no movement for social justice moves forward without struggle, nor does forward movement necessarily go in a straight line.  All of us who support it must have the political will, courage, commitment, stamina and a never-ending creation of inspiring initiatives that touch real people’s lives. A movement, after all, has to move. Power and energy come from moving into new spaces, not from standing still.

On this Women’s Equality Day, we can proudly acknowledge that women have changed the world, much for the better in terms of justice and equality. That’s exactly what scares our adversaries and causes the kind of backlash from those who do not want women to be able to stand in our power and walk with intention to our own unlimited lives, as the Power Tools in my book No Excuses show how to do.

One of those Power Tools, “Employ Every Medium” was used very effectively by a group of African women who attended the Beijing conference and told their story about how they stamped out spousal abuse in their village when they had been unable to get their local law enforcement officers to do it.

The women banded together, took their cooking pots, and took up positions outside of the homes of men who had committed violent acts against their wives. They banged on those pots so loudly that the whole neighborhood came out and took note. And after a while, the men came out of their homes and agreed to change their behavior.

Each country today has different reasons to bang their pots on this International Women’s Day 2012. But the refrain for all of us who aspire to global justice for women is the same.

Gonna raise our voices boldly, Never turning back. Gotta keep on moving forward, Never turning back, Never

This article originally ran in a blog post for WOMEN ON THE FENCE. Check it out here.

Nobel Laureates Fight Sexual Assualt

My grandmother used to say: “The rich suffer too but they suffer in comfort.”

Apparently for the wealthy deposed IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, suffering in comfort won’t come easy. He has been denied the right to live in one comfortable NY apartment after another as a consequence of his alleged sexual assault upon a hotel maid.

Without making judgments about “DSK” who will soon enough have his day(s) in court, I take this shunning as a positive sign that the world is awakening to the dirty big secret of sexual abuse, which is almost always perpetrated by men against women they perceive as less powerful than themselves.

As further proof of this awakening, this week, Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, and Mairead Maguire are leading a conference to addresses sexual violence in conflict regions at the Nobel Women’s Initiative Conference. The conference is entitled Women Forging a New Security: Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict and includes over 120 leaders from around the world.

The highlight of the conference will be Thursday’s online day of action, which will seek to target governments and pressure them to give sexual violence the attention it deserves. The link provides several ways for women around the world to participate, and I would love to hear if any of you, Heartfeldt readers, take part.

I’m hoping that in light of the many kinds of sexual abuse, harassment, and just plain bad behavior that has dominated the media in the last few weeks, these influential Nobel Laureates will address a broader range of abuse issues than those that occur in areas of conflict, and will use their platform to connect the dots among the various ways sexual violence and harassment are used to maintain gender inequality.

You can also follow each day of this important event by following Feministe writer and author of Yes Means Yes, Jaclyn Friedman, as she live blogs about the event.

No one, rich or poor, should have to suffer the pain and indignity of sexual abuse.

On International Women’s Day, Tell Congress to Fund International Family Planning


Check out today’s guest post on 9 Ways.  It comes to us from The Population Institute. I highlight it because the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day is being celebrated at events around the world today. The best way I can think of to celebrate IWD is to petition the U.S. Congress and other world leaders to make good on their commitments to fund international family planning. In No Excuses, I show why reproductive self-determination is essential for women to have any other kind of power. But the Republicans are trying to eliminate or drastically cut family planning funds in the U.S. and globally. The political and social justice consequences of such a short sighted policy are stunning.

Even if you don’t have time to read the whole post, please click here to sign the petition now. You’ll be saving women’s lives.

Watch this video called “Empty Handed” to see just some of the reasons why you’ll want to join me in signing the petition and become one of a million for a billion–telling Congress to fully fund international family planning:

 

For Afghan Women, “Finding Voice” Is a Revolutionary Act

As Egypt continues to roil with change and I receive news daily about the UN Commission on the Status of Women 55th session that will convene in New York starting February 22, my No Excuses focus on women in the U.S. is shifting to global mode. And when my fabulous feminist journalist friend Lynn Harris told me about her work with the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, I immediately asked if I could share it with you. Please read her post below, let us know your thoughts, and if you’re moved to action you’ll find out how you can help.

I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled across the website for The Afghan Women’s Writing Project, but once I did — and read prose like, “Our burqas are jail made of fabric” — I couldn’t tear myself away.

As I soon learned, the all-volunteer AWWP runs secure online writing workshops, taught by accomplished female American writers, for women in Afghanistan, some of whom participate in utter secrecy, hiding laptops under burqas or walking four hours through Taliban territory just to upload their poetry. With teams in the US and Afghanistan, AWWP has also opened a safe space in Kabul for participants to write and gather, with the longer-term goal of helping open Kabul’s first women-only Internet cafe.

Transfixed, I e-mailed the AWWP’s founder, novelist and journalist Masha Hamilton, to ask if it’d be ok if I pitched a story about the group. Somehow, a few months later, I’d become the AWWP’s (pro bono) public relations coordinator.

What inspired — and inspires — me? First, the almost unimaginable contrast between our freedom to blog and Tweet all day long, versus their culture’s demand for their silence. Second, the notion that for these women, “finding their voice” — a phrase that often sinks into cliche — is a revolutionary act that truly has, in many cases, allowed them to take some small, previously unimaginable degree of control over their lives. (One participant, inspired by the experience of writing, found a way to pay off her own bride price and arrange to come to the US for study. In fact, she tells her — still unfolding — story in the February 5 Guardian). Third, this part of the AWWP’s mission statement: “We believe that the right to tell one’s story aloud is a human right.”

An essential element of the AWWP is the website, where the writers’ harrowing, hopeful work is published. We invite you to read their poetry and prose — and just as important, to comment on it; their desire is not just to express, but also to reach out from their isolation and connect. You can also learn more about the AWWP at a series of “living room” fundraisers held in New York City, and elsewhere in the US and abroad, during the week of February 14. Information about the New York event (February 16), and how to find out about others, appears here. You can also email me here.

Want to Help Start a Girlution?

My friend Tamara Kreinin (pictured here), who is executive director of the United Nations Foundation Women and Population program,  sent me several e-mails during the last couple of weeks announcing that she was about to begin blogging. Seemed a little quaint that she was fretting about whether she was getting the art of the blogpost right, given that I get messages from e-consultants daily telling me blogging is already dead.

Well, you and I know blogging is alive and well. So all of you  who can’t fit an entire story into a 140-character tweet or a text, please join me in welcoming Tamara to the international league of bloggers. I am delighted to cheer on the inspiring new girls’ movement she’s initiated by re-publishing her first blogpost as a guest post here at Heartfeldt. If you want to help the Girlution in the U.S. and overseas, check out the Girl Up website to learn how.

The Girlution Girls of New Orleans

Dec 17 by Tamara Kreinin

If you want to help start a revolution to help the world’s girls, look no further than “Girlution” in New Orleans!

I met some remarkable girls at the Louise McGehees School in New Orleans who — along with Girl Up Teen Advisor Katherine Cochran — created Girlution. The idea behind this unique movement is that girls are the solution to ending global poverty and that every girl should be given an opportunity to develop to the best of her ability. The team invited me to discuss the programs Girl Up is supporting, including the Berhane Hewan program in Ethiopia that has helped girls delay marriage and pregnancy.

(NB: check out this video about Girl Up)

YouTube Preview Image

Girlution is truly a “for girls, by girls” movement! The girls have come up with sophisticated ways to raise money for the Girl Up campaign. They have a thermometer that rises as funds are raised (don’t you want to help them exceed their goal?!), a tribute list to honor those who have given, a thank you letter that goes to each donor, and they read campaign finance reports to expand their donor prospect list (be careful, you might be on it!). I brought some Girl Up give-aways for the Girlution organizers, but the first thing Katherine said when she saw them was, “Oh good, we’ll raffle them off to raise money so that the girls of Malawi can go to school.”

But these girls are far more than just fundraisers. They are educators and advocates as well. I walked through the school and saw Girlution everywhere I turned, on the splash page of every public computer, the signs on the doors, and the bulletin boards. I’ll be back next semester when they roll out a middle school curriculum for their schoolmates across the way, and begin taking Girlution to other schools, and perhaps acquire billboards!

The Girlution girls ask us all to “help spread the word. 600,000 million girls + 600,000 million solutions = Girlution! Visit their blog to learn more:/ or go to www.girlution.org.

p.s. I went home to my usual spot in New Orleans, opened a newsletter from my friend’s Methodist Church, and, there was Girlution — my friends had already made a gift! If you want to know how girls help girls, follow Girlution

Investors Put Gender on the Agenda

This article was originally published in Businesswire. Whatever works . . .

A coalition of global investors, managing over US $73 billion in assets, called on companies across the world today to increase representation of qualified women on boards of directors and in senior management. The call from Pax World, Calvert and Walden Asset Management, comes in response to a survey of 4,200 global companies that found only 9.4 percent of directors on corporate boards were women.

These findings have led a number of mainstream investors to identify gender balance and diversity as a strategic issue in their investment activity. The investors in this new coalition have asked 54 selected companies from across the business spectrum for greater clarity about gender balance within their organizations.

“We view gender equality and women’s empowerment as strategic business and investment issues,” said Joe Keefe, President and CEO of Pax World. “When women are at the table, the discussion is richer, the decision-making process is better, management is more innovative and collaborative and the organization is stronger. Because companies that advance and empower women are, in our view, better long-term investments, we are encouraging companies in our portfolios to enhance their performance on gender issues.”

The investor initiative is a response to the Women’s Empowerment Principles1 recently developed by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the United Nations Global Compact. The Women’s Empowerment Principles are designed to help companies take specific steps to advance and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

“For Calvert, gender equality is an important aspiration for our own business as well as the companies in which we invest,” said Barbara J. Krumsiek, President & CEO, Calvert Group, Ltd. “In order for companies to reach their full potential, they must create an environment in which women are treated equally, where they hold key leadership positions, and are full participants in decision making. For this reason we created the Calvert Women’s Principles, on which the Women’s Empowerment Principles are based, and welcome this opportunity to work with other institutional investors to advance gender equality.”

The members of the coalition are all also signatories to the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). “This engagement shows that gender balance within senior corporate management is not just a social issue but also a shareholder issue,” said James Gifford, Executive Director of the PRI Initiative. “In an increasingly complex global marketplace, companies that effectively attract, hire, retain, and promote women are often better equipped to capitalize on competitive opportunities than those who do not.”

The PRI coalition also reports increasing recognition of the value of board diversity by regulatory bodies worldwide. Three European countries have passed legislation requiring that either 30 percent or 40 percent of board members be women (the Netherlands, Norway and Spain), with four other countries considering similar legislation (Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden). In the United States the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted new rules for proxy disclosure, beginning this year, that include a requirement for companies to disclose how their nominating committees consider diversity in identifying board nominees. With its establishment of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, the recently passed Wall Street Reform also acknowledges the benefits of diversity in management, employment and business activities.

“Simply put, in the U.S. and globally, we believe that equitable and inclusive work environments are good for society, good for the economy and good for business,” stated Heidi Soumerai, Senior Vice President and Director of ESG Research at Walden Asset Management in Boston.

CEDAW FORUM: The Unfinished Business of Ratification

My guest post today is about a very important topic I intended to write about–but my colleague Linda Tarr-Whelan has already said it all better in a post she wrote for the National Council for Research on Women’s “The Real Deal” blog. It’s embarrassing as well as just plain wrong that the U.S. is one of just seven nations that never signed onto the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Want to know the six other nations? They are Iran, Nauru, Palau, Somalia, Sudan, and Tonga –overall not very good company!

This week has been declared a Week of Action by a coalition of U.S. organizations working to get our country to enter 21st century and sign CEDAW. So to the U.S. Congress: Sign already!

By Linda Tarr-Whelan*

NCRW asked leading research and policy expert Linda Tarr-Whelan to weigh in on the status of CEDAW. In addition to her responses, below is an excerpt from a previously published commentary from Linda featured on Women’s eNews and The Huffington Post.

On Dec. 18, 1979, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, or CEDAW, making it a watershed day for women around the globe. Continue reading “CEDAW FORUM: The Unfinished Business of Ratification”

Leading Across Borders: Creating Women Entrepreneurs in Iraq

Regular guest contributor Anne Doyle sent me the link to this inspiring article by journalist Diane Tucker. Entitled “In Iraq, Women Entrepreneurs Staring a New Kind of Insurgency,” the piece is a good illustration of how financial resources underlie the capacity to achieve independence and elevate their status in society. It’s this kind of social change that also contributes to building a stronger democracy.

Tucker interviewed an American woman of Indian descent Amber Chand. Chand–who grew up in a wealthy family that lost everything when she was a child and later became an entrepreneur herself, is teaching Iraqi women, as well as women in Afghanistan and other countries in distress, how to become successful businesswomen. Here’s the story in her words: Continue reading “Leading Across Borders: Creating Women Entrepreneurs in Iraq”

At the UN, Criminalizing Rape as a Weapon

By Bia Assevero, a dual French-American citizen and a graduate of the American University of Paris with degrees in international politics and international communications.

A Women’s Media Center exclusive, reprinted here  with permission of the WMC.

In the last week of October, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made headlines and sparked anger in travels to Israel and Pakistan. Her role some weeks earlier was less controversial yet critically important, as she led UN diplomats forward in an action that could ease the suffering of countless women and girls living in conflict zones around the world.

Last year, the United Nations classified the deliberate use of rape as a tactic of war and a major threat to international security. On September 30, 2009, the Security Council went one step further.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chaired the session as the Security Council unanimously adopted a U.S. sponsored resolution (S/Res/1888) that called for the appointment of a special envoy charged with coordinating the efforts to combat the use of rape as a weapon of war and assist governments in ending impunity for the perpetrators. Having met with women who survived rape and violence in her recent visit to the Congo, Clinton said in remarks to the council, “The dehumanizing nature of sexual violence doesn’t just harm a single individual or a single family or even a single village or a single group. It shreds the fabric that weaves us together as human beings.”

Violence against women and young girls in conflict zones is not a new phenomenon. In the Rwanda genocide of 1994, up to half a million women suffered sexual violence. Sixty thousand women were victimized during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s and a further 60,000 plus in Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2001.

Today, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the calculated use of violence against women and girls claims an average of 36 women and girls a day. The numbers are staggering, and it is too easy for those of us far removed from the horrors to forget that these women are mothers, daughters and sisters who laugh and cry, rejoice and mourn just like the rest of us.

Resolution 1888 is a significant step towards meeting what the Security Council acknowledges as the UN’s special obligation to protect women and children who are “war’s most vulnerable and violated victims.” It is designed to create the legal framework, both nationally and internationally, to ensure that those responsible for war related sexual violence are prosecuted and punished.

Conflict zones are by definition politically unstable. If, as was the case in Guinea recently, those in political power are responsible for the atrocities, holding them responsible is complicated to say the least. This makes the legal framework outlined in the resolution even more critical.
Given these considerations, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon must appoint a special envoy with not only a comprehensive understanding of the challenges but also the courage of her or his convictions.

“It is time for all of us to assume our responsibility to go beyond condemning this behavior to taking concrete steps to end it, to make it socially unacceptable, to recognize it is not cultural, it is criminal,” Secretary Clinton told the council. “We must act now to end this crisis.”

The issues will not be resolved overnight. Progress will undoubtedly be measured incrementally over months, years or even decades. But the international community, starting with whomever is appointed as special envoy, must never lose sight of the ultimate objective.

We are not merely dealing with statistics and legalities. We are dealing in the reality of human lives—lives that are lost or traumatized by brutal violence. It is unacceptable that a large majority of the criminals who commit these acts escape unscathed. The women who suffer at their hands are left to survive through sheer force of will and human resilience.

If resolution 1888 is successfully implemented, it will open a door for these women. It will solidify their resolve and offer hope for a life that is free from fear and free from violence.

That’s a life that every single one of them deserves.