I was watching on Democracy Now a group of homeless mothers who have moved with their children into a home kept vacant for years by real estate speculators in Oakland. There are many such homes, the Mothers 4 Housing said: It’s not right for them to be kept vacant as their value builds past affordable limits and excludes working class families. As hundreds of families are without shelter. Now they are breaking a law, a law founded on private property and the “American dream.” But they are standing for another law, activating a deeper ethical principle: equality, and the incalculable value of “investing” in each other’s well-being.
I was listen to an interview with Varshini Prakash the founder of the Sunrise Movement. Millions of young people around the world likewise are breaking laws, written and silently entrenched, about privilege, privilege of humans over animals, plants and all living beings. They are unleashing a force, a disruptive force for good.
At a memorial for Toni Morrison, Oprah read a moving excerpt from The Song of Solomon: ‘Stop picking around the edges of the world. Take advantage, and if you can’t take advantage, take disadvantage. We live here. We live here! On this planet, in this nation, in this county. Can’t you see that? Can’t you see? We got a home right here in this rock, don’t you see! We got a home in this rock, and if I got a home you got one too! So grab it. Grab this land! Take this land, hold this land, my brothers. Ain’t nobody crying in my home. I want you to take this land, make it, my brothers, shake it, squeeze it, turn it, twist it, beat it, kick it, kiss it, whip it, stomp it, dig it, plow it, seed it, reap it, rent it, buy it, sell it, own it, build it, multiply it, and pass it on — you hear me? Do you hear me? Pass it on!’”
Unleashing good, indeed.