Vol. 4   No. 1
January 8, 2009
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                      Peace maker
“When Rome began to disintegrate from within, it turned to a strengthening of the military establishment, rather
than to a correction of the corruption within society. We are doing the same thing in this country and the result will
probably be the same — unless, and here I have to admit to a bit of chauvinism, the black man in America can
provide a new soul force for all Americans, a new expression of the American dream that need not be realized at
the expense of other men around the world, but a dream of opportunity and life that can be shared with the rest of
the world.”
— Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope
These words of Martin Luther King Jr. ring just as true today as they did over 40 years ago when they were spoken
concerning the Vietnam War. The current brutality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is just the most recent flair up
of violence that has occurred in most regions of the world. Violence never achieves peace; it merely presents the
illusion of peace as the other side plots its revenge in silence.
I can’t help but feel — however delusionary it may be — that President-elect Barack Obama carries Dr. King’s
words in his heart. In his appointments to his Cabinet, in his attempts to be bipartisan in developing the budget
and dealing with the present economic crisis, one can’t help but feel that he is looking for positive solutions that
are win-win for the people whom they affect. Yes, we are going to have to sacrifice, but it is my hope that we will
sacrifice as a people, that the rich and the powerful will sacrifice as much as the poor and powerless will be asked
— or forced — to sacrifice.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one based on a piece of land that has been in possession of one group of
people and then another for millennia. If one took snap shots over time, one individual snapshot would show X
group of people possessing the land and another would show Y people with it. Somehow, all of the parties are
going to have to see that they will be better off if they all work together for the betterment of the region. Right now,
it seems the sides are a millennium away from realizing that. There are Israeli actions the exhibit a fundamental
disregard for Palestinian life. And there are others who have a deep desire to destroy Israel and drive its people
into the sea. And it seems that the militants on both sides keep stirring the pot with violence whenever it seems
that some form of peace may be at hand.
I can’t help but believe that Barack Obama has the values, intuition, intelligence and experience as a community
organizer — yes, I did say community organizer — to bring some sense of higher purpose to the analysis and
discussions concerning peace efforts in this volatile region of the world, a seeming fault line of violence that
erupts from time to time threatening the stability of those around it.
As Barack Obama deals with all of the international crises that he must confront, I hope he will take Dr. King’s
word to heart. We have bankrupt our nation as we have created the most powerful military force in history while
our economic institutions have collapsed under the greed-inspired corruption that has driven our country for so
long. I hope that Barack Obama can return America to the use of diplomacy and reason. I hope that he is able to
show the world that while we have the might, we choose to use the right. I fear for this world unless we all get
some of that soul force going and begin to look beyond our narrow self-interest and greed.
Together as individuals, communities, states and countries, we can solve the problems that we face. They will not
be solved through violence. They will be solved through the creative application of the human spirit. And I can
think of no one more capable at this point in time than Barack Obama. Barack, may the soul force be with you!

Stories & Columns

2009 King Holiday Celebration:
Inspiration of Dreams,
by Jonathan Gramling

Ashley Brown interned with the
Obama Campaign in
Chicago: Opportunity of a lifetime
(Part 1),
by Jonathan Gramling

Policy challenges loom large for
President Obama,
by Paul Barrows

State celebration at the Capitol:
Dr. King's legacy lives on,
by Jessica Pharm

Simple Things/Perception,
by Lang Kenneth Haynes

Bobby McFerrin to perform at
Overture Center January 22:
Syncopatic emanations,
by Jonathan Gramling

Asian Wisconzine: WWOCN 25th
Anniversary/Environmental concerns
focus of conference
by Heidi M. Pascual

Centerspread: A look back at
2008 through the covers of The
Capital City Hues,
by  Jonathan Gramling

Rev. Trinette McCray to speak at
City-County King Observance,
by Jonathan Gramling

Marshall High School teacher
employs special bilingual
education: Hope and tough love
by Jonathan Gramling

Politicas de hoy/ Ed Rico: amigo
y colega,
por Alfonso Zepeda-Capistran

China Dispatch: Renewing work
visa in China could make you
by Andrew Gramling

Kwanzaa celebration at Olbrich
Gardens: Reflecting Ujima during
by Jonathan Gramling

Septi Fitness at Carroll Street:
Hard fitness, soft touch,
by Jonathan Gramling

reddie Clark leaves Madison for
his hometown Baton Rouge,
Louisiana: Long-time activist
fades into the sunset — almost,
by Jonathan Gramling


Editorial Staff
Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Heidi Manabat
Managing Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Paul Barrows
Fabu Carter-Brisco
Andrew Gramling
Lang Kenneth Haynes
Heidi M. Pascual
Laura Salinger
Alfonso Zepeda Capistran
Martinez White

©2008 The Capital City Hues