How Many More Must Die.

Posted on September 20, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-28Father Clyde Harvey spoke at TEDx Talks about what he experienced after hearing about a 6-year old girl being murdered in Trinidad. He had other topics to present before hearing that bad news, but then changed his talk after becoming profoundly moved upon learning of another child’s murder. He admits that days earlier, before hearing the news of the 6 year-old girl’s death, he learned a 1 year-old boy had also been murdered, but regrettably he had fallen into our world’s wide-spread apathetic state and “brushed it aside”.

Mr. Harvey shares with the audience his self-critical analysis and remorse for “brushing aside” such a great tragedy, and asks the men and women there to change; to stop acting in what he called, “the theater of our lives”.

One gets the impression while listening to this spiritual man that he is fighting against possibly displaying anger or righteous indignation, and restraining his emotions over how he feels about a society and world that allows such madness and inhumanity to persist.

He asks the audience, “Will we become discomforted enough to change?” He shares what he’d heard about the situation in Syria, where “children have become targeted and killed”, because the next generation cannot be allowed to become born and live. He talks about a writer/friend who coined a phrase, “Some are guilty, and all are responsible”. Father Harvey turns the phrase around: “All are guilty, and some are responsible”.

Referring to the TED Talks, Mr. Harvey points out that participating in them are about much more than feeling good about ourselves, but about real transformation of ourselves, our society, and the world.

It seems he is directing his talk in equal measure to the audience and himself, with the intensity generated from his personal experience of receiving very disheartening news. During the talk, Father Clyde Harvey said, “You do not deal with corruption by fixing it. You deal with corruption by removing it; you’ve got to move it out”.

For a short talk of 18-minutes, it is extraordinary in that Father Harvey conveys a universal message applicable to almost every undesired, difficult situation – whether consequential in small, medium, or large measure. Extraordinary, focused, ever-current, and memorable.


(Thank you to TEDx Talks at YouTube)


2 thoughts on “How Many More Must Die.

  1. Sounds like a classic example of an activist struggling with The Dissent Conversation.

    I have just started a master class on more effective community organizing. I have an assignment due Nov 5 to present The Dissent Conversation to the class. When people are unable to express dissent, it’s absolutely deadly to political change. According to Peter Block, who wrote our textbook people have powerful defenses they use to avoid The Dissent Conversation. Denial and resignation are the most common.

    “In a patriarchal world, dissent is considered disloyalty. Or negativism. Or not being a team player.”


    1. Stuart,
      That seems to be an accurate “diagnosis” and certainly Mr. Harvey has to struggle with coming across as negative. Although his talk was more of a general, non-specific nature, the ground he covered was of some large importance. Makes you wonder if he’s heard of the concept you describe, but hasn’t studied it yet. The idea of trying to find his email address and suggest Peter Block’s “The Dissent Conversation” came up, as it seems such a book would benefit Father Clyde Harvey in his struggle, and perhaps allow him to get over the hump, amplify his voice, and join Cornell West, Desmond Tutu, and the spiritual progressives.


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