Thursday, November 10, 2016

Humanity Is What Makes America Great

What does it mean to be human?

I ask myself this question frequently, especially when confronted with so much hate every time I turn on the television, go online, or scroll down my Facebook feed. Sometimes it's too much to bear.

I hear men berating and belittling women, or bragging about "grabbing them by the pussy." Women are treated as second-class citizens and viewed as nothing more than ornate objects to be used at men's wills. I hear the voices of black and brown people cry out that their lives are valued less than white lives and voice the fear they've always lived with because of it. My heart aches for them because I know their perceptions are truth.

I see Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and United Nations reps monitoring the activity of the National Guard, City Police, State Police, and Border Control for human rights violations on the treatment of our Nation's first people at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Cannon Ball, ND. It scares the absolute shit out of me.

Human rights violations on U. S. soil. How did our country come to this?

Endless live feeds on FB and Periscope show Natives against the Dakota Access Pipeline being ripped from their tipis, taken from sacred sweat ceremonies, beaten, and maced. Sacred burial and cultural sites are bulldozed and horses shot. Water Protectors are hit with flash grenades, arrested, and kept in dog kennels for 12 hours or more for occupying their own Treaty Land. All of this for trying to protect water, not only for themselves, but for millions of Americans along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. If you just caught a passing glimpse, you would think it was a war-torn foreign country. Yet, the resiliency of the people and their prayerful, non-violent resistance against the desecration of more Treaty Land fills me with so much hope.

The unified encampment of over 300 different Tribes and Nations from across the Earth and the community they've built together is nothing short of amazing. The Oceti Sakowin Camp represents what it means to truly be human. No sex or color is greater than another. A sign at the camp reads There's no place for __isms here, and everyone works towards a goal that benefits all, not just the individual. That is humanity.

If people truly want to know what "all lives matter" means, then they need to visit the Oceti Sakowin Camp. The peacefulness, prayers, singing, and dancing are the backbone of humanity working together to achieve the same goal - to cause no harm to anyone. Isn't that what we should all be working towards?

Hey America, let's make the U.S a country without __isms and it will truly be great again.

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