Protesters point out ugly truth about Y-12
Op-ed, Knoxville News Sentinel
August 3, 2012
Should a native of Roane County, Tennessee — or any of us, as citizens of the United States — be proud of the nuclear warheads made possible by the uranium processing done at Y-12?
Pam Strickland has written a beautiful op-ed for the Knoxville News Sentinel answering this question. A job with the Department of Energy (called the Department of Extinction by some, for their role in producing nuclear weapons) at Y-12, Oak Ridge, was considered wholesome and respectable. It was considered life-giving work, helping to fund schools and other community institutions.
As Strickland grew older however, her views changed. What was the cost of using nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki? What is the cost of holding this power to be “the destroyer of worlds,” as J. Robert Oppenheimer said, quoting the Bhagavad-gita?
How do we respond?
Are we proud? ashamed? do we simply go about our business?
Strickland outlines the Plowshares movement, which takes its mandate from Isaiah 2:4: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Finally, Strickland asks the most important question: in the wake of Greg, Megan, and Michael’s action, will more of us stand up for what we know to be right?
Strickland ends with a rousing call, sending the ripples from this action out across the world and asking us to do the same: Let us all stand for life and against nuclear weapons, each of us in our own way. Let us band together.