Artful Land Care

The Tyranny of Hateful Language

In Doctrine of Discovery, Theology on January 14, 2018 at 7:41 am

The first three days of this week I lived and conversed with family, friends and neighbors about our human need to become family with the fullness of Creation.  I was at Winter Talk and this was a time of imagining with a hint of visioning of whom we might become if we could set our heart and spirit to hearing the voice of soil and water, plant and animal, and wind.  There is great hope in having a group of people wander the outskirts rationality, look beyond the logical ridges that have bounded us for generations, and wonder a grace which includes that Creation which we could not dream as kin.  Yet a truth still lies at the feet of such inspiration.  We can never know such wonderment until we first get it right with that Creation which most looks like us, smells like us, and feels like us.

I’d hardly returned home when the comment came over the radio.  “Goddamn reservation.”  The phrase was not word for word “goddamn reservation,” but word exactness was not the point of the comment I’ve heard many times.  The incendiary comment has one purpose, to instill anger, fear, and agreement.  Calling a person’s place of birth “shithole” is to call the person a pile of shit. When most everyone around the President’s table is of white skin (maybe all?) and the folk of the country being called “shithole” are mostly folk of color, a clear message is being sent as to the President’s mindset.  This mindset is little different than Phillip Sheridan’s “the only good Indians I ever saw were dead,” and George Wallace’s “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”  From segregation to shithole, these three speakers are making the same point, goddamn those people who look a little different than me, who smell a little different than me, and who feels a little different than me.”

This centuries old divisive language, based in the Doctrine of Discovery, is language which has and is killing our neighbors, kin, and friends.  We should tire of leaders who equate our kin from Haiti and Mexico and Kenya and reservations, and, and, and, and, and, as people who are little more than shit.  We should take a moment and look at our children and allow our ire to be raised.

Each US person of consciousness, of faith, of care, of love has a stand to make in the days to come.  Their stand will be known through their action or inaction and their voice or muteness.  Their stand will speak to their children and grandchildren of what they believe important or unimportant.  Once standing, taking a walk is only natural; and when two or more gather the walk becomes a march; and when the march begins—like tomorrows local Martin Luther King Peace March—the possibility of justice becomes the likelihood of freedom and the tyranny of hateful language is overwhelmed by the language of love

Hope springs forth from those whom wander the outskirts of rationality and imagines the falling of walls that have bound us for so long.  Our destiny is not manifest, but rather what we choose to make it.

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