This building is condemned!
We have all seen this sight—a dilapidated building looking like it is going to fall in on itself, plastered with that ominous sign: Warning! Danger! This building is condemned. DO NOT ENTER!
So we tread lightly around this building, making sure we are at a safe distance, noting that at any time, this place will no longer contain the dangerous building. At that moment, we exhale, leaving behind the ominous sense that danger eluded us yet again.
Using this metaphor, can we say that America is in danger of being condemned? What is good about America? Do our systems of social change truly help or hinder? [Do] we accept racism, sexism, poverty, injustice and divide-and-conquer? [Do] we live in a society fueled by fear to keep us all in check? [Is] the weakest link actually becoming the largest link?
We, the people, need to take up the idea that we are the people. Or are we wearing that fluorescent sign that says condemned?
In Asheville, we are witnessing greed, mountaintop removal, the loss of our trees. Jobs are hard to come by, racism is rampantly woven into each institution, education is in total need of repair.
Does this building truly need to be condemned?
Kudos to those working hard to make Asheville one of the country’s most green cities. How about the title of most compassionate?
Complicit complacency or grassroots activism? One step towards kindness, humanness and peace leaves its footprint. In this new year dawning, let life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean all people get beyond the struggle for daily life and survival.
Peace: It needs to be the air that we all breathe.
— Ariel Harris