Guest Column: Non-Violent Protests – An Honest Leader Missing in Action, by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN, CLNC, Assistant Editor

“A nation built on greed is not a nation, it is merely a legal framework for rape and pillage, slavery and exploitation, theft, murder, genocide.” Rivera Sun

Organized protests serve to cast a light on injustice. As injustices mount so do the protests. The current protests were initially organized as non-violent demonstrations.

When violence purposefully occurs under the actions of others not aligned with the organized non-violent protests, scapegoats are purposefully targeted to deflect from actors working behind the scenes. And the President formally identifies the Antifa (anti-fascists, meaning far left, left of center and liberals) as a terrorist group, and by lumping them all together he divides and conquers while the Ku Klux Klan remains unlabeled by him. These become dangerous times for people of thought.

The brutal death of man at the hands of a police officer breeds anger and frustration and expresses a deeper malaise in society.

Are we seeing a paradigm shift in the meaning of what we held dear in the past that’s no longer relevant? Or was that just a myth like so many other myths we live by?

Evolutionary changes can occur in bursts – the merging of technology and people where religions appear not able to keep pace; where climate change, a pandemic, endless wars and the real, senseless increase in poverty and hopelessness envelope the spirit of an increasing majority of humans struggling merely to survive on an overpopulated planet.

The challenges that confront us in the recent killings of innocent people are symptomatic of continuing shift in consciousness. We are wary that we are condemning  our children, our friends and all our fellow citizens to the same fate as those who are identified as less than human. A shift in conscience is required that insists we remain vigilant for our survival and personal growth. The causes are real. Non-violent, non-cooperation has merit as does bold action. We must channel our anger and tears into a force.

In the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

When does one’s person’s cause supersede another’s when one of them is laying breathless and bleeding on the road? It’s difficult to continue to watch this pain and suffering, the constant intimidation that prevails within our culture. We ask ourselves “how have we continued to allow this total disregard of the human spirit”. This hurt and contemptuousness leaves us paralyzed.

We question how best to break this change of discrimination and the injustices we continue to witness. How can we talk of American exceptionalism when such injustices and violence continue to be part and parcel of our day to day actions? Who gains the most under the mask of exceptionalism? Is it those with the most money and power?

Where are the policy makers? Who do we see when our brother and sister, daughter and son die from the stranglehold of violence and poverty and cannot even afford to see a medical doctor?

The greed and bullying tactics utilized by “Trump” cloaks the corporate version of ‘national security” and “for the good of the economy.”  The greed steals from all people- children and adults. Sayings from sacred books may help you initially but are useless on an empty stomach and sleeping on the cold earth while insects crawl over your body. The malaise remains deep. We are in the mist of paradigm shift in conscience.

The culture hero and associated worship is no longer relevant. Hero and celebrity are obsolete and should be buried as relics from the mythical past. Merely being human may be the shape of the 21st century hero and celebrity under the new paradigm that’s emerging as humans and machines have already begun to merge.

Meanwhile the rich increase their wealth. An attempt at trust for the remainder of believers is a matter of building upon the foundations of justice and knowledge that validates a civilized society and the cultures under which that civilization flourishes.