Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds
Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, has also taken part in the protests against the Dakota pipeline. Banks also was part of the 1973 Wounded Knee standoff:
DENNIS BANKS: What’s happening here is equally as important, because of the stand that you’re ready to make. When they threaten the environment, they’re threatening you. We are part mountain. We are part ocean. We are part river. We are part flower and grass and tree. All of this, we are part of all of it, so that when they threaten the environment anyplace, they’re threatening you. You have to be in that mindset like that. That’s who you are. That’s who we are. And our culture, our heritage is what has made us warriors.
Here Dennis Banks speaks a truth that is akin to the dharma of interdependence. We humans are part mountain, ocean, sky, river, fish, bird, otter, wolf, ant, bee, grass, flower, tree, and so on. Are we not then also part African or “black”, North European or “white”, Southern Mediterranean or “Arabic”, Asian or “yellow”, Indigenous or “red”? Are we not carrying within us all of these human traits? Are we not all gifted by this rich heritage of human diversity?