|Jingle dancers at Standing Rock gathering 2016|
The Power of the People: A Mass Movement to Address Runaway Inequality and Save Ourselves and the Planet
by the Rev. Connie Yost
December 27, 2019
Read the book, please. I cannot do it justice here, only to say that runaway inequality is the over-arching defining issue of our day. We have to be willing to take it on, on a massive scale, or no other issue can be solved. Leopold writes, “…no matter what our individual identity…, we also need to take on the identity of movement builder. We all must come together or we all lose.”
There have been spontaneous risings, like Occupy and rallies for Bernie Sanders, which show that people can be moved into action. But this kind of massive movement will require some kind of organization, and right now I don’t know which organization has the potential for this. My dream is that perhaps the National Poor People’s Campaign can take this on. (I’m working on it!)
We were blessed to have Les Leopold come to Portland to present Runaway Inequality at my church. He is a dynamic speaker and I encourage you to invite him to your city. He has inspired and empowered many of us to sign up to be trainers of the Runaway Inequality curriculum (available for free on www.runawayinequality.org), doing what we can to educate and mobilize people.
Maybe our salvation will come in another rising like Standing Rock. Standing Rock gives me hope. One of the protector conveners, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, said that
When I look at our indigenous people, I think, “Oh my god, we must be the smartest people on earth.” Because we know all the components of our environments. It is time for the young people to share this and learn from the stories, because I truly believe it will save the world. When you came to camp, the first thing security said was, “Welcome home.” That phrase just threw people off. I had no idea it was such an amazing phrase.
“Welcome home.” Where do we get that in the “real world?” Even in church communities it is talked about a lot, but rarely achieved. Even in families, it is easier to exclude than truly welcome. I am so sorry that I didn’t get a chance to go to Standing Rock during the gathering; for sure, I will be at the next one. For sure, I will be doing what I can to address runaway inequality.
Moving forward from greed to compassion, doing what we can together, and changing lives in the doing. Protecting, loving and praying together. May it be so.
Copyright 2019 Constance B. Yost. All rights reserved.