From Milwaukee Renaissance

MiramBenShalom: HomePage

Here is a place for the story and stories of Miriam Ben Shalom, starting out with an on-line interview by Godsil.

(Godsil) In my 37 years in Milwaukee I have encountered the “revolutionaries” and “radicals” of the movements of our time and allowed many of them to die before capturing their stories for the generations.

(Ben Shalom)I think being a revolutionary is an important thing. The status quo gets old very quickly. People tend to get complaisant and overly comfortable; before one knows it, much is lost and cannot be recovered. It is the job of those whom I call “the Howlers at the edge of the dark” to keep us from becoming vegetables. Howlers also serve another purpose: when those who would attempt to steal away with our freedom seek to hide in the dark, they meet those red-eyed Howlers who refuse perverted sanctuary. Examples? Robert Kennedy, Flo Kennedy, the women of the North Country who won the first sexual harassment case, Rosa Parks.

(Godsil) You are among about 20 of my heroes I hope to inspire to do on-line interviews with me over the years, when the spirit moves you. Below is part of a very long interview I hope to conduct with Milwaukee Public Theatre co-founder Michael Moynihan.

(Ben Shalom)I am honored and humbled, but I do not see myself as being heroic. Only that silence was not an option. That I could not live with myself if I had lied. That I recall no country stood up to be counted for the Jews during WWII, but that there were many individuals who did. I —just happened to be in a place and in a time where I somehow found the courage to do what I felt in my heart to correct action. And I was also moved to do so by those voices from the past. . .

(Godsil)Assuming you are game for this, here is my first question, which I hope you will answer with a paragraph, page, or essay sometime over the next 5 years. My first memory of you was when you ran for Mayor back in the 1980s or 1990s. Might you share the story of what inspired you do run for mayor?

(Ben Shalom) I never ran for mayor. I don’t know what to tell you, but it wasn’t me. I get “accused” of doing many things I didn’t do. Guess that’s one of the fees one has to pay for taking a stance. I have often thought of running for an office, but have never done so because I honestly believe I wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hades to win. I have had enough of harshness in my life and I just don’t think I have the strength to deal with the slash and run that goes on in a campaign. The issue would become the fact that I am a Lesbian and not the issues of importance. The public should not be further inundated with theocratic, evangelistic crap.

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