I like having options.

I enjoy and celebrate diversity.

I seek out energies that bring out and affirm the best in me.

It has become clear to me that through many divisive tactics, diversity is being manipulated, suppressed and punished. This Presidential Race in America is just another example of giving the appearance of options, while the powers that be seek to silence opposition, leaving us with a mindset that it’s really only about the two major parties. This strategy has played out before us time and time again, and the environment created is quite bleak in my opinion. It has brought out the worst in us: a climate of fear, limitation and brutishness.

Instead of just looking at something terrible and assuming there’s nothing that can be done, some go another route. Some shine a light on disorder for the purpose of transforming it. Often attacked for merely pointing out dysfunctions and seeking greater freedom, we often fight those who are actually doing the good work.

But there is much to be said about the relentless spirit. That determination to be heard, to be counted, to be acknowledged. Obstacles and negativity may be multi-form saying, “there’s nothing wrong here”, “you don’t belong here”, “follow the herd”, “your path doesn’t work”, “you’re too different” or “we won’t let you in”. Despite strong contrasts, individuals come forth to strongly say, “I exist. I belong here. I have something to say. I matter”. In today’s case, I’m talking about U.S. Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein, VP Candidate and International Human Rights Activist Ajamu Baraka, The Green Party and the Social Movements they are in harmony with. These individuals and groups are pointing out disorder, while also presenting strategies and policies they believe have the highest possibility for positive transformation of the environmental, economic, political, sociological and justice systems in America.

2016 Full Platform

This is encapsulated in the phrase used by Jill and her campaign, “People, Planet & Peace over Profit”. People over profit, such as their commitment to not accepting money from corporations. Such as their commitment to indigenous people’s rights, lands and respecting treaties, most recently at the Dakota Access Pipeline (Bold Alliance Petition). Such as their willingness to address systemic racism, police brutality and mass incarceration in this country. Repairing communities, establishing community run police review boards, releasing non-violent drug offenders from prison and demilitarizing the police are a few steps they are ready to enact if elected. There’s also their call for health care as a human right, and their respect of all life regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or any other distinguishing factor. One of their boldest demonstrations of people first, is their call to end student debt in America and free 44 million people from economic slavery. If we can bail out Wall St., we can do it for the students who are being held hostage, unable to fully participate and contribute to the economy and to society with their skills and intelligence. They would demand education as a human right,  guarantee tuition-free education from pre-school through university and protect public schools from privatization.

Peace over profit, by having a foreign policy that’s based on international law and human rights. Fighting terrorism with a “Peace Offensive”, including a weapons embargo and halting funds to countries that fund terrorism. They call to cut the military’s budget by 50%, close hundreds of foreign military bases, transitioning those jobs to ones in renewable energy, transportation and green infrastructure development. They also call for the banning of drone use for assassination, bombing and other offensive purposes and leading the charge for nuclear disarmament. These are just a few elements of their Platform that stand out to me.

There are those who would scoff at such talk. But it’s that kind of strength, that kind of teamwork, that kind of intelligence and love, that empowered individuals and organizations to demand change for the better through the ages. When the powers that be say it’s OK to treat anyone and/or group as lower than human, it takes stronger collective positive energy to comfort, uplift, empower, inspire, bring justice and raise consciousness above bigotry, hatred and oppression. When the powers that be say it’s OK to treat the environment any which way with little or no regard for respecting Life and delicate balances of ecosystems, it takes the stronger collective positive energy of individuals to raise consciousness above recklessness, ignorance and destruction, towards greater harmony, efficiency and conservation. And when the powers that be say it’s OK in the “land of the free” to restrict the political system to only two sets of party voices, under the guise that they are diverse enough to represent the voices of this country and act on their behalf, it takes the stronger collective positive energy of the People to raise consciousness above limitation, fear and manipulation, towards greater freedom, and diversity of opinion and policy.

**Jill illustration credit: JGENNNillustrations

– Jimi Jaxon