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A Call for Civil Dialogue

This past weekend, I participated in a public forum entitled, Utah Citizen Summit, a public meeting session on dialogue and discussion about the results of the recent presidential election. One of the points I made was that it appears that the election results revealed to me that my white brothers and sisters have not been heard. Although their fears of losing their country are unfounded, the that fact that they believe this perception to be true is very compelling and perhaps even dangerous. My guess is that had these fears been addressed, at the national level, such drastic measures would not have been necessary as reflected in the election of a mad man. My guess would be that they have been very unhappy seeing successful black people on television in roles that vary from professional athletics to music entertainment and other glamorous portrayals, all the while, we have black president. Then, when that see thousands of immigrants allowed into the country, most of which are worshippers of a religion that is contrary and in some ways challenging to the U.S. brand of Christianity; they feel threatened and fearful. That was the motivation behind Trump and his strategists…and it worked.

The other point I made was that my people (the native peoples), have not been heard…to this day! The brave native people up north, the “water protectors” resisting the North Dakota Pipeline (NDPL), are still not being heard! Their message is very clear, “Stop polluting the water (our life blood)…and mother earth!” This message is not limited to the benefit of native people but “all” people! As Arvol Looking Horse said this weekend, “the mother earth has a fever, she is sick.” And, we my friends, have become sick as well! We are ignoring the warnings of not only the native people but scientists who say it is almost too late to save our planet due to global warming caused by human activity, mostly the result of large scale fossil fuel development. Big corporations are responsible for most of this destruction! And now big corporations have installed their leader, in the form of Donald Trump, in the highest office in the United States and world for that matter. The scale has been tipped dangerously against anyone or those who seek harmony with nature, harmony with man and universe…all because we refused to listen to one another and take each other seriously, to learn of our fears and inspirations. We have failed humanity and we are violating our birthright, our home, our mother earth.  

There is still hope. My friend, world famous primatologist, Jane Goodall, said it best. “There are four things that give me hope: our youth, the resilience of the earth, the power of the human mind, and the power of the human spirit. Let’s hope there is time enough to put these powers to work!

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