I read E.J. Dionne’s Aug. 27 column, “Can religion strengthen democracy?” with much interest from an Indigenous perspective, being from the Lumbee Indian Nation of Robeson County. While I identify with the tribe as blood, we agree to disagree when it comes to religion.
I see religion and all the problems that come with it: capitalism, exploitation, racism, greed and even more greed, not to mention the bloodshed of not only my ancestors, but many other cultures and people long lost through the prism of time and history. Modern authoritarian religion with its unchecked power and influence does the thinking for you.
As for me and the rest of my Indigenous brothers and sisters, we quote the late great Indigenous author, whom most of your readers have never heard of, Vine Deloria Jr., a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and the title of his famous book, “God is Red.”
Joel M. Rogers
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene went on the most popular right-wing cable TV show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” on Aug. 31 and threatened to shut down telecom companies if they cooperate with the U.S. House’s investigation into the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The investigation that Republicans refused to cooperate with.
“And that’s a promise,” she said.
My first thought was that she doesn’t have the power to do that. She’s just spouting off nonsense because she’s scared.
My next thought was, why is she scared? What is she trying to hide? Is there more to this than we already know? Are congressional Republicans complicit in trying to overthrow the government?
My next thought was, whatever happened to Republicans who believed in free enterprise? They seem nowadays to only like corporations that shut up and donate to their campaigns.
My next thought was, just how corrupt has the Republican Party become? Are they the fascists that Democrats claim they are?
These are all questions that deserve answers.
In 1969, I found my freshman-year roommate on the floor, bleeding profusely from a “back alley” abortion. I will never forget that evening or the smell of that blood.
In 1973, Roe v. Wade changed that.
So rather than legalize violence against women as Texas seems to be determined to do, how about legislating that at age 13 all boys be given a reversible vasectomy and all girls be implanted with an IUD. Then put energy and money into effective sex education and free contraception, which would mostly eliminate the need for most abortions.
William Chavis Renard Miller Jr. is one of many who have unnecessarily lost their lives in our community recently. This destructive trend is worse now than ever. As a community, we must expect more from one another; we must work toward real change. Now is the time to engage our community and our officials in serious conversations about this violence and demand action that will become the catalyst for the change we want to see in our society.
Real change begins when we demand that our government institutions address the root causes of this senseless violence. Instead of addressing the root causes, the state legislature spends its time fighting over whether people should have a license to carry a concealed weapon or whether they must apply for a permit before purchasing a handgun. I’m talking about systemic issues regarding the lack of mental health resources for our community, a lack of opportunities for educational enrichment for our students, a deficit in jobs for our workers. Without these tools, how can we expect our children to grow up well?
Public officials on both sides of the political spectrum are guilty of using rhetoric and tactics that are unhelpful to resolving the issue of gun violence. What these government institutions should be doing — from city council to the U.S. Congress — is earmarking funds for community investment and to hire social workers. We must invest in the financial and mental health of our people and community.