Racism and white supremacy, the malignant cancers plaguing America today, are a joint system destroying black and brown bodies. In the past, the Klan did that destroying. Today, statistics do. Those statistics amount to the erasure of people.
Run for public office! It’s the best way a single person can influence the decisions that affect the citizens of your community. You and your opinions will be taken seriously. You will influence public opinion. If you win the election, your vote won’t be just one out of thousands. It will be one out of five-to-nine members on a governing board.
The following article was excerpted from the text of a presentation that Bill Durland made to the Colorado Regional Society of Friends,
April 23, 2017. To read the full text of this presentation, see: westernfriend.org/media/resistance-resilience-and-restoration-unabridged.
Part One: Chios, Greece, May 2017 – Each morning we wake to the contrasts of this place. A sea of luminous blue, rugged mountains, and clear skies – these surround a lively tourist strip along the water, with its overpriced but friendly cafes and restaurants. From the vantage point of a cafe chair, it is hard to imagine the underside of this place.
Surely life is more than waiting at the center of a wheel of fortune that spins and stops repeatedly to point out countless causes and concerns. Finish one task and then hang on as the wheel spins and points out the next one. Will it be immigration, prison reform, nuclear disarmament, climate change, indigenous rights, racism and white privilege, or . . . ?
Three members of a Quaker meeting answer the question, “Why are you here?” The first says, “To benefit from group meditation, which helps my personal well-being.” The second says, “To be part of a community that benefits the world.” The third says, “To seek and serve God.”
Wanna buy baby?” I was eleven years old and traveling with my family in Latin America. We were climbing up a dirt path in the humid heat when we passed a young woman, perhaps only five or six years older than I was. She was holding an infant in her arms.
Somehow, my idea of a kid picking up a small plastic grocery bag of neighborhood litter proceeded to a $10,000 anonymous donation and a fulfilling volunteer occupation. Incidentally, I didn’t work this hard at any of my paid positions throughout my “real” working life.