Letters 1/13/2022

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The world does not hear

The COVID-19 virus eludes identification and capture. Relentless efforts by science has not found the origin or cause of the virus. This is a telling of the longtime self-imposed limitations by science and western medicine. There may be a not-so-complicated explanation, but one with complex content.

Before the pandemic, humanity was in trouble. The climate crisis was choking life out of the planet, the racial dynamic between a minority of white folks and people of color was ugly. Now, as the world struggles to get past the pandemic, these troubles have gone from critical to imminent danger. The climate crisis is overwhelming, the extractive industry in complicity with most governments obstinately and exponentially continue to do what they do; make more money irrespective of the environmental and human devastation they leave behind. 

Across America, the fervor of white supremacy metastasizes, brazenly flying its flag of racism, neo-liberal capitalism, conspiracies, and mean-spirited policy across the country. The coveted United States is uncompromisingly polarized. White folks are imploding their government and society. Some who never imagined themselves to have inclinations of “white is right” find themselves aligned or sympathetic with the agenda and rhetoric of white supremacy. It must be genetic by now; the notion of white superiority is rooted in ancient history. 

Even while her skin scorches, the Earth is alive, her spiritual essence continues to pulsate. She may die or she could live; humankind decides her fate. This reality is unfathomable, of zero relevance to the majority of white folks, particularly those of the white supremacy persuasion. They imperil the future of the grandchildren. 

The COVID virus is a phenomenon of nature. It is a living organism; it is alive with death. 

Any living thing when threatened with injury or death will defend itself. The Earth is fighting for her life, engaging her defenses. The virus appears to be a defense mechanism of the Earth. If that be true, it is commonsensical to think that the severity of the virus will be proportionate to the severity of injury inflicted on the earth and the extremity of injury perpetrated by the inhumanity of hatred. 

A mother instinctively protects and defends her children. The Earth Mother defends her children who believe in truth and want to live being who they supposed to be. The Earth is rebelling against the extreme exploitation of her body entity and the brutal oppression of her victimized children. The message from the Earth is clear but the world does not hear. 

Chili Yazzie / Shiprock, New Mexico

Organized labor challenges racism

The strike at King Soopers stores should remind people in Boulder County that unions still exist and fight for the working-class. But there’s one thing that has been missing in that discussion that is also missing in the discussion of racism in America, and that is the role of unions in rolling back racism among the white working class. For about 25 years now the leadership of America’s unions is mostly if not almost totally anti-racist.

In a column included in a 1998 collection of his work in previous decades, Northern Ireland journalist Eamonn McCann wrote that the labor movement had the most potential to eradicate religious bigotry in Northern Ireland. He wrote: “No other institution brings Catholic and Protestant workers together on a regular basis in pursuit of a common purpose which is antipathetic to sectarianism.” McCann’s columns have been published by an average of two professional publications (magazines or newspapers) at any given time in the last 40 years and he has held senior positions in Ireland’s labor movement for three-to-four decades and he was one of the main leaders of the Northern Ireland civil rights movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 2016 he was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly. He is an expert on fighting sectarianism in Northern Ireland and believes that organized labor has a crucial role to play.

Many people believe that there are great similarities between the conflict in Northern Ireland during The Troubles and the conflict over racism in this country. This includes people like Angela Y. Davis and in 1972 the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. I believe unions here play a role in combating racism and that that can be escalated when they return to the level of strength they were at before their decline began decades ago. If racist working-class whites see multi-cultural anti-racist unions negotiating collective bargaining agreements that they benefit from, many of them will start to question racism.
Unfortunately many fiscally moderate and conservative Democrats have declined to vote in favor of strengthening labor unions. I’m sure these same Democrats are alarmed at the rise of Donald Trump and at the existence of the Proud Boys. What’s more important to them—protecting capitalism, or fighting racism?

Tom Shelley / Boulder

Test the pee!

If this “idioture” wants more COVID testing, the first thing that must be done is to make the tests themselves less obnoxious. I mean, seriously, sticking sticks up noses—in the freaking twenty-first century? Goddess bless!

Okay, Star Trek medi-scan tricorders are still unrealistic (although they really shouldn’t be!). But surely with all the “techy-types” running around loose, someone could come up with cheek-swabs (works to collect DNA) and urine tests, which have been used for decades to find other types of infections.

Many colleges and universities tested wastewater from dorms early in the pandemic and focused testing based on the results. Why wasn’t this pursued to create “at-home” type testing? People pee naturally… or is there actually desire to keep this procedure painful and unpleasant?

Lora Hansen-Beard / Boulder

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