Let Sage Light Shine

Uati
9 min readDec 3, 2016

Following my second self-deployment to Standing Rock, I am still trying to compose a compelling letter to President Obama, to beg him to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline by executive order… to be the American hero his reputation is based on. However, despite or rather perhaps because of the clarity of injustice involved and the ecological prudence this decision rests upon, I find myself tongue tied and trying not to shout when addressing a man who won the Nobel Peace Prize just after he was elected leader of the free world. A man I voted for twice, whom I have tended to endorse and support, in spite of the hypocrisy inherent in being the President of the United States.

But this, even from one of his super loyal fan base of black Americans, is inexcusable and unacceptable.

Dear President Obama,

Thousands of US citizens and millions of people around the world, including US senators, politicians, celebrities, human rights organizations, scientists, clergy, lawyers, lawmakers, children, people of all races and genders, hundreds of Indigenous North and South American tribes, and thousands of veterans of US wars have gathered to raise our voices against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). DAPL is a billion dollar investment of banks and other representatives of the wealthiest 1% of the US and global population in a future dependent on environmentally destructive, completely non-sustainable fossil fuel consumption. This is an unsound, unjust, and ultimately absurd financially exploitative initiative that threatens the lives of 18 million human beings who also happen to be US citizens, as well as the health and lives of our progeny for all generations to come. Construction of this pipeline is an invasion upon land that not only originally but still belongs to Native Americans, that threatens their sacred sites, ancestors’ burial grounds, their lives, health, and that of their children immediately.

Upon any basis other than greed, racism/white supremacy, destructive obsession and corruption, it is utterly illogical and completely unethical to allow this pipeline to be built. I say this emphatically noting not only what is at stake but also the powerful…

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Uati

making stories visual + leading outside yoga + telling art narratives patreon.com/whitneysparks