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Lions Roar : May 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2007 53 simply because humans are able to write about Nature, they are somehow, therefore, superior to it. So this is the way I was going to start the talk. But then I thought: it is more honest to start with the harder, more col- lective stuff. The stuff that makes addicts and slaves of Africans a hundred and fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation. For I knew while sitting in that courtroom, having read the story of George Slaughter and acknowledging the young men before me as today’s version of him, that the pain I was feeling is the same pain that sends our people reeling into streets and alleys looking for a “fix” to fix all that is wrong with this gruesome picture. It is the pain that undermines our every attempt to re- lieve ourselves of external and internalized white domination. The pain that murders our every wish to be free. It is a pain that seems unrelenting. A pain that seems to have no stopping and no end. A pain that is ultimately, insidiously, turning a generous, life-loving people into a people who no longer feel empathy for the world. We need only listen to some of our African Ameri- can comedians to see that our traditional compassion for life has turned into the most egregious cynicism. Cottonfields, Sunflowers, Blackbirds and Quilting Bees