What Are Your Thoughts About State Violence?
In honor of the 71st Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
This year marks the 71st anniversary of two horrific acts of state violence in U.S. history. On August 6, 1945, the U.S. bombed Hiroshima, Japan with a uranium bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” followed by the August 9th bombing of Nagasaki, Japan with a plutonium bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man.”
Together, “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” were the tools that U.S. political and military decision makers used to unleash radioactive heat and atomic power to burn alive over 200,000 people and cause immeasurable suffering for tens of thousands more. Understanding their predisposition and capacity for the dehumanization of other human beings, the contempt, fear, and racism behind their decision to deploy such horrific force is integral to understanding this history and how it still affects us today.
The U.S. used the bombs as tests: tests on human beings whom they felt were disposable, expendable. In the aftermath of the bombings, the U.S. sent in teams of photographers and engineers with advanced measuring techniques to assess the extent of damage to humans and which types of buildings crushed under the pressure of the bomb, and which types remained standing. Even the bombs’ nicknames express scorn and mockery.
What do you think about taking nuclear weapons out of their untouchable & off limits category and including them in the conversation about the need for change in our current systems and rules of engagement?
What does it mean to you that the U.S. funds and uses military-style force against communities throughout America with federal dollars and resources? What about the use of force in other countries?
How does military industrial complex spending relate to the poisoning of our water and land in how they prepare for war, not for our national defense, but for war? What about the exploitation of natural resources?
Current posturing with Russia provides both sides with the political cover necessary to spend billions of dollars on modernized militarism. In fact, the U.S. plans to spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years to completely overhaul our nuclear weapons program. Considering our country’s current domestic human needs and infrastructure needs, what are your thoughts on that kind of spending on war posturing?
When the U.S. spends more money on the military in one year than on all other discretionary budget categories combined, such as education, energy and the environment, and health care, what does that mean to you?
What are your thoughts on the many faces of state violence within the U.S. perpetrated against its people and its environment, and do you see any of it as being related?
With diminishing resources and stronger opponents, do you think it’s more effective to silo these issues or to face that they are connected, show those threads of connection, and work together to advance change?
We have on previous occasions posted about the ties between the state violence of nuclear weapons and the state violence enacted and/or inspired by police violence. And we’re curious: what do you, as Georgia WAND members and allies, think about state-sanctioned violence that is, at its core, racist?
As a community of activists with broad passions, what action does it make sense for Georgia WAND to take in this moment of greater awareness about racist state violence that has been uncovered to be based on failing and flawed systems, and white supremacy?
Do you have any interest in attending an intergenerational, cross-class, multiracial dialogue about ending state violence, including the use of nuclear weapons?
We’d like to hear what you’re thinking and how you see yourself moving from concern to action. Please, add your concerns about this moment in what our country is going through as they relate to these matters and Georgia WAND’s role in the solution as you see it.