Letter to My Daughter
Greatest Love

January 15, 2003



For those who come to this page directly or want to print and share this with others, the explanation and link from my personal page at www.BuffaloPeacePeople.org/whitlock/ follows:

Letter to My Daughter, Bitsy - 20030115 - So much of what we now do, we do in the names of children; our own and those everywhere whose world we may destroy if we if we hesitate for a moment to stand tall and resolutely with our convictions.  Sometimes, the words we share with those we most love inspire those still silent most of all.  Bitsy, eleven years old and sweet and thriving as all children are when we allow it, is my dearest love and only child, living apart with her Mom.  If you're still silent and nothing else moves you to reconsider, please read this and see if it helps.  And if you're already speaking up, consider sharing some of your most personal words to your own special loves with others -- that they may more clearly see and resonate with the heart that moves you to do whatever you do to stand-up for what you know and believe to be right, fair and just for all.


Update as of January17, 2003:  The correspondent identified below simply as "[a mutual SUNY-Central colleague]" has since then freely and courageously offered the use of his name but I did not want to alter source documents in any way and so provide it here.  He is Theodore (Ted) Phelps and, strictly for identification and correction of my own error, he advises that the correct name of his employer is SUNY System Administration.  Ted misrepresents and downplays his own courage and convictions and is a master poet and wordsmith besides.  I'm sure you'll be seeing and hearing more of him soon.  And what an inspiring blessing that will be.


Bitsy My Dearest Daughter,

You will not understand this exchange with colleagues of mine
now I'm sure.  But I want you to know in later years that for all
my failings as a parent, I did try to stand up tall to be counted
when counts were important.  And in doing so, I seem to be
inspiring others.  I don't know where this goes.  Only that I have
no choice but to do all I can to have faith and to go wherever I
must.  Maybe Mom can print this and save it for you somewhere
for whenever you need to find courage to speak-up yourself; or
simply to remember that long ago your Dad did all he could to try.
In the end, it is your generation that will be most impacted by the
terrible mistakes I believe our Nation is making at this time.  I
know of no greater gift to you that I could possibly give than
the work I am doing now.
I'm so proud of you for applying yourself to your own responsibilities
as much as you are -- both at home and at school.  God willing,
we adults will not destroy the prospects for your future.  Please be
patient with me as I invest whatever I have to see that we don't.
I love you more than you can ever imagine and will always be
with you in your heart and mine.
God bless you and your world.
I love you so.
----- Original Message -----
To: [a still-silent UB friend and colleague]
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 12:45 PM
Subject: Fw: We CAN stop this, friends, but only if enough of you ...

This exchange is with a highly placed and mutually respected
colleague of ours in SUNY Central.  I deleted identifying information
for what I trust are obvious reasons, not really knowing your own
sentiments on these issues.  There are, however, growing numbers
responding throughout our midst.  Give it some thought and please
forgive and advise if this is an inappropriate intrusion.  I will not intrude
on you again in this regard unless you indicate interest.  -- Jim
----- Original Message -----
To: [a mutual SUNY-Central colleague]
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 12:27 PM
Subject: Re: We CAN stop this, friends, but only if enough of you ...

Thank you, my friend, for your encouragement and clear
support.  I've never before in my life walked so blindly on the
edge.  I have no idea where my path goes or what I must do.
I only know that I have no choice but to walk it with all the faith
I can muster.  Friends like you are a good part of what staves off
all the fears that gnaw at me in the dark of night.  Thanks, so
much for being there and for speaking up as you do.  We can
do this and we shall prevail.  I have no doubts at all.  If only we 
find the faith to continue.  Big hugs back and thanks again and
best regards -- Jim
PS: I do not now have and may not get to a general distribution
listserv for friends not otherwise engaged with local efforts, being
spread thin as a wisp as it is.  But please feel free to subscribe
to the UB faculty/staff news list for occasional general interest posts:
I rarely have time now for broadsides to culled addresses from
my complete address book as I did for this one.
Also, let me know if you would like to be included on closed
private lists for the regional Organizers' Network or the UB Faculty/
Staff for Peace Planning group, both of which I support and work to
encourage.  I try to observe a pro-forma protocol for list inclusion to
respect the concerns of members but can easily and whole-heartedly
vet you if you're at all interested.  If nothing else, they might give you
a sense of the local pulse and a small bit of inspiration.  FYI, I do
circulate a revised roster, without email addresses, to members of
the growing regional Organizers' Network whenever I update
membership but the Faculty/Staff group has not yet addressed that
----- Original Message -----
From: [a mutual SUNY-Central colleague]
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 9:27 AM
Subject: RE: We CAN stop this, friends, but only if enough of you ...

A loving hug to you, friend. Thanks for your leadership. 
I agree with every word in your statement and am on the petition.
This issue is a filter separating those who put principles aside
when they are in danger from those who use principles to deal
with danger. We have a good bunch of both in America. 
I heard Scott Ritter speak at Siena College in December. He said
that given the way Europe's leaders have even been cowed by
US pressures regarding Iraq, the only force left in the world to
stand against America is Americans.
[a mutual SUNY-Central colleague]

 -----Original Message-----
From: James O. Whitlock [mailto:whitlock@buffalopeacepeople.org]
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 5:26 AM
To: Undisclosed Recipients; BPP-Organizers; UB Faculty/Staff Planning; UB Faculty/Staff News List
Subject: We CAN stop this, friends, but only if enough of you ...

We can stop this, friends, but only if enough of you and your own
friends and colleagues are willing to act, to stand resolutely and
to speak clearly.  Most of you are more eloquent than I.  Please
add your words and voices to the MoveOn petition right now. 
And share what you say with others who may be inspired to find
their own voices in turn.  There's still time -- but not much.   --   Jim

As you know, next Tuesday, in over 500 congressional offices across
the nation, MoveOn members will meet with their representatives or
key staff and encourage them to join our message to President Bush:
"Let the Inspections Work."

In each meeting, we'll be delivering a copy of everyone's comments
and signatures.  We're trying to get to at least 200,000 before the
end of the day Wednesday, when we'll be printing the comment
Please ask your friends and colleagues to sign the petition at:

To make this goal, we need just 3,000 more signatures
from New York.  Country-wide, we're already up to 171,000.
The Web page for scheduling meetings is:
My own personal note on the petition to President Bush follows:
I have never before been so concerned and worried about
the behavior of my own elected government.  I'm concerned
about our Nation's extremely unseemly unilateral behavior
in a world increasingly aligned against our officially
expressed views -- which so few citizens seem to share --
and worried for the future well-being of our children, not
to mention those of the world at large, if you continue to
pursue such an arrogant and untenable course.  With so many
of us so clearly in opposition, how can you continue?  Please
stop now, while you still can.  And, with all due respect,
don't think for a moment that you represent me in your
apparent hunger for war, disregard for your electorate, and
flagrant disregard and lack of respect for world opinion;
not in the least, not an iota.  Not in *my* name -- not at all. 
I believe it is people like you who will be responsible for
the next 9/11 - and surely there will be another if you
"In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies
but the silence of our friends.Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

                                           Not In My Name
                 James O'Connor Whitlock
                                               Bitsy's Dad
                                        Buffalo, New York
     whitlock@BuffaloPeacePeople.org -- Cell: (716) 698-1232
      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed 
           citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it's the only 
                       thing that ever has."  Margaret Mead



"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead

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