B o r d e r l a n d s   D i g e s t
Reading and Writing about Social Justice
Craig Rock, editor, duniterock@gmail. com

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"What is a rebel? A man who says no, but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation.
He is also a man who says yes from the moment he makes his first gesture of rebellion.
A slave who has taken orders all his life suddenly decides he can not obey some new command.
What does he mean by saying "no"?
He means, for example, that this has been going too long.....
In other words, his no affirms the existence of a borderline.
Albert Camus, The Rebel, 1951

March 1, 2019

What is this Borderlands Digest?
by Craig Rock, Editor

Welcome to the online journal Borderlands Digest. Although Tucson-based, we will attempt to cover people and their communities along our southwest border states and around the culturally diverse communities of the western United States. This is not a news site that rants, raves, and reviews the madness of Donald Trump. Although some of that will certainly be included as this magazine covers borders and border walls and how they are used to keep people apart. This site is really an attempt to capture the spirit and humanity of people who, since the 1849 Gold Rush, have lived in regions heavily influenced by the migration of new settlers from every country in the world.  When you read about borders on this site, the articles will usually concern the environment, immigration, criminal justice or injustice, and healthcare, four major issues facing us today. The borders are not just the physical borders separating countries but the borders in our minds that we all bring with us from our respective rural and urban backgrounds. This is better defined by artist and Stanford University professor Enrique Chagoya, “Now, the borders are in our heads and within us. Social, religious, gender, economic and class borders (that) are hard to cross.” 

I've been living in California, Nevada, and Arizona for almost fifty years. I've heard many stories that haven't been covered well by the media. Stories that shed a more positive light on our chances of surviving these troubling times.  Every month a story will be featured involving people working together to improve their communities. Sometimes the stories will involve non-profit organizations, or faith communities, or neighborhood associations, or a combination of the above. Other times, we may focus on an individual or a small group of people. This journal will be more interesting and effective with your personal stories, poems, photos, and observations.

I will also include stories and poems about my own ups and downs, the tears and humor, of my career(s) from a 21 year old Army enlistee living with radical students in Berlin to jobs as a human rights coordinator, a criminal defense investigator, a  museum curator, and a middle school teacher. 

I hope all of our stories encourage the use of ingenuity and patience in building bridges across all kinds of borders that keep us apart, keep us in our people caves, and keep us from working together. Please accept my invitation to contribute your work.  Ask your friends to participate as well. Email your contributions in a word document or as a jpeg file to duniterock@gmail.com.  If you wish to unsubscribe from this monthly mailing, email me as well.

Note: As a retired 8th grade civics and history teacher, I have to give myself failing grades after seeing that 74 million people recently voted for Donald Trump. And that was after he was in office for four years proudly demonstrating exactly who he is. Of course, I will share that failing grade will all civics teachers across the country. Don't get me started on grades for science teachers, we can't get millions of people to see how lives can be saved during Covid-19 by wearing masks and safely distancing.