The key concept for Friends Mustafa and Tamari is a political reality known as settler colonialism: the replacement of indigenous populations with an outside settler society. The authors argue that native history must be centered in working for justice for indigenous people.
I was asked by a Catholic friend if I knew Benjamin Lay, the Quaker abolitionist. I did not. She gave me an article in the September 2017 issue of the Smithsonian magazine, “The Cave Dwelling Vegan Who Took on Quaker Slavery and Won,” by Marcus Rediker.
I of course know of John Woolman, almost revered by many Friends including myself, but why had I never heard of Benjamin Lay? Indeed, Lay’s portrait, painted by William Williams in 1790, is in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.
Have Quakers humanized themselves since the 17th century? If there have been changes, are these changes conscious through a process of “continuing revelation”?
The new book by Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, indicates that this humanization process is indeed the case for Quakers and other religious groups.
In the book, Without You, There is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea’s Elite, by Suki Kim (2015), it becomes apparent early on that the average North Korean loves their nation just as much as any patriotic resident of any other nation does. It also becomes obvious that young men in North Korea have many of the same interests, hopes, goals, and dreams as those elsewhere.
NOTE: Friends Committee on National Legislation asks all of us to write our Congress people urging to pass H.R. 4837, the NO UNCONSTITUTIONAL STRIKE AGAINST NORTH KOREA ACT.