Saturday, March 01, 2014

Path to Redemption

Generosity and compassion aren't terms one normally associates with major corporations; it just isn't in their nature. Giving to philanthropies for tax benefits sometimes helps remove some of the tarnish on their nefarious reputations, but that doesn't really qualify as generosity or compassion in the true sense of the words.

Most of the time, corporate behemoths and their public relations bodyguards throw their weight around with impunity. The revolving door of corporate to government back to corporate positions ensures they are rewarded for their misanthropic mischief, time after time.

In the case of the Gateway Pacific Terminal scandal, though, there is a remote possibility that once the tragedy associated with unmitigated hubris subsides, a path to redemption might reveal itself. It won't happen by itself, but perhaps with a push to observe the Protocol of Atonement, a resolution to the longstanding wrong perpetrated against Lummi Nation can begin.

While Peabody Coal, SSA Marine and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad are merely the latest in a long line of corporations to abuse their power in dealing with the Lummi Indians over their burial ground at Cherry Point, they occupy a unique position to alleviate the harm they have collectively caused. While we should not expect the Lummi people to forgive SSA for bulldozing their sacred burial site in the dark of night, it is possible a partial remedy is attainable.

The partial remedy I have in mind for the cultural trauma, intentionally inflicted on the spiritual well-being of Lummi society by SSA, is giving the land at Cherry Point back to Lummi Nation. SSA, Peabody and Burlington Northern don't need it; they already have enough money. Why not do something right for a change?


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