“Safety and Security is ripped out of the soul”. This is exactly what an individual being interviewed on We The People 2.0 expressed in having a voice towards their rights for their communities. As I listened closely and carefully to the individuals who shared about their current situations in their communities, my heart was burdened by their genuine concern and desperation. It is greatly evident that there is a fundamental conflict between the individual and the community. If there was not a conflict, then there would not be dissensions or disagreements rising to the surface. The community plays such a pivotal role in regeneration, and if the government wants to blindly say that they “know it all” then that is not working holistically or as a system. It was devastating to see the amount of people killed by the oil refineries and mining systems placed in many cities. In the video, there was a description of the cancer clusters in Pennsylvania due to the chemicals and toxins dumped in the lakes and waters. Not only are there clusters in Pennsylvania, but they are everywhere in the United States.
Once the communities began to become more aware of the situation, they stood up against all the companies and industries partaking in the deadly acts of Fracking and other things. However, the voices of the people just became a bothering noise for the government. Instead of listening to the people’s concerns, what did they do? They created the House Bill 278 that, “stripped any communities wanting to stand up against oil and drilling”. In simple terms, the people could no longer have a say in anything that the government has control over( which is pretty much everything)! Why? why? why? It is as if the higher-up people are creating a road leading to a painful drop into a ditch. But then again it is important to trail back to the reasons why there are oil refineries, pollution, mass production and many other things hindering the building of sustainability. It goes back to the root of being a consumerist society. Not only a consumerist society, but a society that became so dependent on finding identity in materialistic things. What social media so subtly and keenly tells the people is “The more you have, the better you are”. The consequence of making materialistic things as an idol is making us blind to the harsh realities and damages caused onto to the ecosystems, earth, and even health of people.
It is a scary thought to know that we are part of the issue in oil refinery and Fracking. However, it is not enough just to know the issue, now it is time to take action. This is where community playing an important role in regeneration is necessary. Democracy is built by the people, so why not begin to play our roles in standing up against the things that we know will damage the future generations. One important example noted by the interviewees is the example of the Civil Rights movement. He said, “In order for there to be change there has to be people that step out of the law”.
Aiming to make sustainability is the goal, but does the public choose to be a bystander at what the actions of the government are doing or do they actually speak up and act upon the propaganda being displayed? Noam Chomsky, a highly recognized political activist, is able to elaborate on this issue by providing a broader picture of what this actually looks like. It was interesting to hear how he explained the history of the Labor Movement and how labor was crushed. He helped me dive deeper into critically thinking about the government’s actions. By the actions of the government, there are no interests on the welfare of the people. It is so difficult because a person would assume that a government would care about their people so that there is unity and collaborative work, but this is not the case. Take for example curing Cancer. There is research that has been made that the government already knows the cure but does not want to release the information to the society. It is so difficult to grasp the fact that a person who has the cure is selfish enough to keep it to himself. If there was an aim for a regenerative system, there would not be a higher authority being resistant towards releasing information. On the other hand, there would be a collaborative work as a collective.