‘Nothing changes until you make yourself uncomfortable’

In my experience there has never been an election that has presented a clearer choice of which direction to go. It has been deeply concerning to see the current Republican administration’s policies that have attacked our democratic norms, consistently not told the truth, and created policies that favor the wealthy.  That has relentlessly attacked the freedom of the press. That has demonized anyone they felt were the “other”.  That has worked to elevate authoritarianism and white nationalism, spreading messages of hate and fear mongering.

And perhaps never an election when we have greater concerns about the vote itself. There has been blatant suppression of the vote. And although it seems some agencies and social media companies have been doing some work to reduce the possibilities of interference with the election by foreign governments and perhaps others in our own country, the President has not seemed interested in working on these problems.

On the other hand, it is very encouraging to see more women and people of color become candidates for so many different offices in this election. And to see the large number of people paying attention to the issues, and coming out for early voting.

It is also encouraging to see many progressive candidates, instead of those from both parties that would continue with politics as usual.

As Diane Randal, Executive Secretary for the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) writes: Whatever the election results, FCNL’s advocacy for peace and justice will persist relentlessly. Our vision endures: for a world free of war and the threat of war; for a society with equity and justice for all; for communities in which each person’s potential will be fulfilled and an earth restored.

Manape LaMere, who provided security for us on the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March speaks with his father, who visited us during the march, on this video. “I’m with my father Frank LaMere today. We will discuss indigenous people involved in politics. It’s trajectory. And why we need to be active.”   https://www.facebook.com/RiverlandNativeVoterProject/

Frank LaMere says “healing begins when the talk of healing begins.”

“Nothing changes until you make yourself uncomfortable. Make everyone uncomfortable.”

“We have to coalesce because we have someone in the White House that is coming after each and every one of us…We’ve got to unify, we’ve got to speak out. And I’ll go so far as to when they send the army down there (to the southern border)  the Indian people, the people of Turtle Island, they need to go down there and meet them. And greet them. Because that’s us.” 

“I don’t care what you do, just act.”

“You have to have a long term vision. Some people say I want world peace. I want to end world hunger, too. But you can’t get all the way over there if you don’t deal with what is right in front of you.”

“You want to change things, you set your sights on what it is you want to change and you stay with it.”

“I think the creator said if you can learn and understand, I might let you change something. I might let you do something for the the family, for the people, the nation.”

Frank tells the story of young parents who wanted him to shake their baby’s hand, so one day they could tell him he had shaken hands with the man who had stopped the sale of alcohol at White Clay, Nebraska.

“Maybe all that was done so I could shake that young baby’s hand.”

“It might not be much, but do the little things you can do. Because at the end of the day it’s the little things that are so important.”

“There is no coincidence. We are to be here at this place and this time. We are to be here talking about these things.”

“We have to elevate these discussions. If you don’t get marginalized at least once every week, you probably aren’t saying much.”

“I’m afraid of the President of the United States and some time this will be a prophet discussion.”

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