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The People of Wikileaks Versus Malala Yousafzai

by Jose Vilson on October 8, 2013

in Jose

Malala Yousafzai at the United Nations

Malala Yousafzai at the United Nations


This is why so-called liberals get me mad.

Someone posting under the Twitter handle Wikileaks believes Chelsea [formerly known as Bradley] Manning should win the Nobel Peace Prize over “pro-war favorite” Malala Yousafzai. Specifically, they said:

Here’s another instance of how privilege plays itself covertly. Wikileaks seems to believe Chelsea Manning, hidden from the public under charges of espionage and a host of other offenses to the US government. She was one of Wikileaks’ point people, transmitting confidential wires to them from confidential databases she had access to as an intelligence analyst in the US army. To some, she’s a villain who didn’t understand that some of the secrets she gave to Wikileaks might have compromised US missions all across the world. To others, however, she’s a hero for blowing the whistle on needless battles against countries with no ostensible animosity towards the United States or its people. In a time that the general public has grown weary of the chest thumping associated with the war in the Middle East, Manning’s story strikes a chord with people longing for a more substantive world peace.

On the other end, Malala, at least in Wikileaks’ eyes, is just another excuse for hawks to invade / bomb another Middle Eastern country. Malala Yousafzai currently tours the world advocating for girls’ rights to education after getting shot almost to death by the Taliban in her hometown of Mingora, Pakistan. The world waited days before getting the news of her successful surgery. After her recovery, she’s written a memoir (ironic since she’d be shot for trying to read that in Pakistan), received numerous prizes (including one named after her), and inspires people of all ages to see education as a vehicle for peace, action, and resistance. Yet, their argument, as others flooded in, is that Malala is just an excuse for war hawks to go to war with Pakistan, or any other country deemed terrorist vis-a-vis their culture. What hope does such a country have if they shoot a girl almost to death for trying to read. Let’s save them! At least that’s the message you hear from people who call themselves “radical,” or “lefty.”

Wikileaks, for all its self-professed activism, makes me shake my head at their feet stomping. They sound more “What about us?” than “How can we find peace?”

Here’s why Wikileaks is wrong:

a) They’re wrong.

b) She’s a little girl. What’s wrong with you!?

c) She’s advocating for free compulsory education for all.

d) They can advocate for Manning without knocking Malala.

e) War hawks don’t need an excuse to go after a country. A fake PowerPoint slide show are enough to engage in some form of combat. At this point, our country drones, provides weapons to, or occupies any country that is strategically in the way of the US government’s interests.

More importantly, Wikileaks doesn’t need to make the case for Manning by going after Malala. If anything, the idea of Malala alone speaks volumes about the connection between education and world peace, for understanding and knowledge are the keys towards pacifying the never-ending threats of missiles and guns. We should throw our full weight behind her as so many of us have. Where others take the idea of reading books for granted, she doesn’t.

So many other people, especially girls, wish they had equal access to information, which I assumed is why Wikileaks was founded in the first place.


photo c/o


A few notes:


It takes courage to stare down those who have profited so handsomely from this wretched state of affairs and realign our national budgetary priorities to match our rhetoric (viz-a-viz, “Children are our future”). According to The Nation, ending the U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan means $44 billion that could be spent on something else. That same article notes that $1 billion spent on education produces over twice as many, and better-paying jobs than the same amount spent on the military. What it would take to put every child in America in a well-built, well-staffed, well-run school could be easily shaved from the Pentagon budget with no danger to our national defense.

- Renee Moore


Malala Yousafzai

A few notes:


“I just say to him, ‘You’re Alex Rodriguez. You’re A-Rod. You’re one of the best to ever do it. I think sometimes he kind of forgets that and wants to try to do the right thing all the time. Which is the right team attitude to have. But other times you really have to put your head down and say, ‘Hell with it’ and just do your thing. Hopefully the next game they’ll kind of give him a chance, maybe put him back at third and let him respond to the pressure, which I think he’ll do….

We’re different, but you’re talking about, ‘He’s one of the best to ever play.’ I think really the difference is, sometimes he forgets he’s the best. … Where, I don’t.”

- Kobe Bryant, regarding Alex Rodriguez


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The Power of We: In The Memory of Malala Yousafzai [On Thinking Globally] #BAD12

October 15, 2012 Jose

Have you ever felt like the things you do in the classroom connect to some other, higher purpose? Sometimes. When I read about stories like Malala Yousafzai’s, it puts everything I do in the classroom in its proper perspective. For those of you who are unaware, Malala’s shown up in the news recently after Taliban […]

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