If your dream only includes you,
It’s too small.
Ava Du Vernay
July 8, 2019
We cannot allow the abuse of power to continue. Nothing enhances power like the illusions of wealth. Somehow, we continue to think, or are tempted to believe, that wealth gives credibility to power. In fact, the opposite is true. The illusion of wealth blinds us to the corruption and dishonesty that threatens the well-being of other human beings. People who are privileged with the responsibility of authority and governmental leadership must, at least, strive to be persons of integrity and fairness. It is more than interesting to witness how the powerful complain that they are threatened when powerless people seek the basics of life and justice.
Our present American Government is a case in point. Anyone who does not pay homage to the lies based on racism, xenophobia, sexism, or nationalism is public enemy number one. The Interfaith Community must be alert to the attractiveness this display of power has on almost half the population. Almost everything the Interfaith Community stands for and works for is threatened by the policies this Governmental Administration puts forth. The environment be damned. The rights of the poor to eat and be housed are compromised. Asylum seekers are denied their human rights. Immigrants are labeled as less than human. Women’s rights are opposed, and any minority, except the rich, will be seen as threats to the absolute power this Administration seeks. This is not a matter of partisan politics. Responsible people can reasonably disagree on important issues. Regardless of politics, governmental leaders have a responsibility to be human and humane, respectful and dignified, knowledgeable and willing to learn.
That is why the work of people like, Ava DuVernay, is so crucial. In her new documentary series, “When They See Us,” Ava reveals the truth about the Central Park Five who were accused of rape and assault in 1989. The current President of the United States, then an influential business man in Manhattan, called for their execution even after they were found innocent. Unfortunately, the President sees no reason to believe he was and is wrong. His world of “alternate facts” allows him to implement policies that threaten lives, harm children, and degrade our sense of being a Nation of Law based on justice and fairness.
Thank God for women like Ava DuVernay who has the ability, the courage, and the willingness to stand up for what is right and just. She is one of many women throughout the World whose voice must be heard. We must not continue to normalize the madness that is plaguing our society.
We cannot afford to believe that the bad news can only be mastered by burying our heads in the sand of unconsciousness. Silence is no answer. We must courageously explore the world of social media and the Internet looking for voices like Ava DuVernay. We must raise our awareness of what is happening in our society. We must not be enthralled by simple-minded one issue concerns that mask a festering menace to the safety and well-being of so many people. Is there an Ava in each and every one of us? We think so. As Ave herself said:
Women have been trained in our culture and society to ask for what we want instead of taking what we want. We’ve been really indoctrinated with this culture of permission. I think it’s true for women, and I think it’s true for people of color. It’s historic, and it’s unfortunate and has somehow become part of our DNA. But that time has passed.
When we’re talking about diversity, it’s not a box to check. It is a reality that should be deeply felt and held and valued by all of us.
Be passionate and move forward with gusto every single hour of every single day until you reach your goal.
There is much wisdom to be found in times of darkness. Ava DuVernay, and many people like her, challenge each and every one of us to stand up for what is fair, just, and good. We are grateful for her creativity and courage. We pledge anew to do what we can so that the voice of the powerless might be heard.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P., with the
Board of Directors of
The Interfaith Peace Project