Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Truth Continues

Truth 4: A Slope Doesn't Have to Be Slippery. In the deliberations on HB 287, one concern in particular was voiced repeatedly by some committee members in argument against the legislation: the slippery slope. Representative Johnson used the analogy of "the camel's nose under the tent." Apparently, if you let the camel nose poke under the tent, before you know it, you'll be sharing your sleeping bag with a smelly ungulate. Is that really inevitable? We at Save Darfur Anchorage argue that it's not.

The slippery slope is only as slippery as it is allowed to be by the people in charge. The people in charge, in this case, are our state legislators. They have in the past, are now in the present, and will in the future hear legislation calling for an evaluation of how our state invests, and they, our legislators, will be the ones who determine where that slippery slope begins and ends.

A slippery slope has no life force of its own. It is not some sort of autonomous being lying in wait for someone to step upon its red gooey blobness so that it can devour him and grow in power and destructive force. It is nothing more than what the people in charge (yes, our legislators) determine it to be. Our legislators should not fear something that they have control over.

We believed when we approached Representative Lynn with the idea for state divestment that our legislators would see the import of this legislation to address the genocide of today. We did not expect so much fear of the future. So many people throughout history have allowed their self-serving fears to prevent them from taking action against genocide, and the cost has been countless lives.

Our hope is that our legislators will move beyond the fear of the future and what it might bring, so that Alaska can do something powerful about the genocide that is happening today.