Amongst the terror of recent news a common theme of these stories are selfishness, intolerance, and greed. In today’s day and age it is unheard of for a group of people to congregate and protect the sanctity of another’s heritage because of their own not heritage not being affiliated. It seems most Americans are apathetic to issues that don’t directly affect them. In addition to the apathetic voice, investors stop at nothing to create jobs (an obvious positive, I would be silly to oppose this idea) and make a quick buck. Many peers have pointed out the disconnect they have with their neighbors, and the american society’s inability to “promote the general welfare” as our founding fathers would have wished.
Like a white flag raising from a metaphorical ship of society, citizens in North Dakota have been raising awareness and gaining media attention for doing what Daniel Kemmis places the utmost importance on in “Barn Raising” for weeks.Kemmis was born and raised in Montana in the late 1940s, and was brought up in a community that greatly helped each other. In “The Barn Raising” he paints a story in the reader’s mind of neighbors coming together and raising a barn when his family was in need. His mother disapproved of one of the Albert, a neighbor assisting in the barn raising, and the stories he told. She was forced to bite her tongue, because the family needed Albert to raise the barn, because of the neighborhood “pact” or so to speak. All in all, the barn was raised and the moral of the story Kemmis paints is that the barn couldn’t be raised alone, and the neighborhood came together on the great plains of Montana. After news of an access pipeline being created from North Dakota to Illinois, directly passing through an ancient Sioux burial ground, protests erupted. Regardless of Sioux tribe affiliation, ecologists, ethnobiologists and justice seekers came together and let Energy Transfer Partners, the pipe’s developer know of their disapproval. As we discussed in class, republicanism has an objective standpoint to it. If we are observing a pen from one corner of the room, we can’t understand what the pen looks like from the opposite side without the help of someone who can actually view the pen from the opposite side. We are dependent on each other, and there is mutual agreement and respect to share our ideas. In a way, the various occupations of protesters coming together and sharing the knowledge of their field in relation to the outcome of the pipeline’s creation requires objectivity.
As awareness raises for the Dakota Access Pipeline, as does protestor strength. People of various ethnicities, religions, professions and races are coming together to prevent the Sioux tribe from the destruction of an ancient burial ground. Kemmis tells readers “whether they liked it or not, a certain tolerance for another slant on the world, another way of going at things that needed doing. They found themselves an unsuspected capacity to accept one another” (Kemmis 24).
Kemmis, Daniel. Barn Raising. 1990.