What if ‘Enough’ Really Meant Enough?

Commentary
By Kaitlin Curtice 10-25-2017
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) walks past journalists after announcing he will not run for reelection. Oct. 24, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
 

Yesterday, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said in a statement, “Mister President, I rise today to say: enough.”

Enough.

I wonder what it might mean if we said that and really meant it.
As Christians.
As Americans.
As human beings.

Maybe if we said, “Enough!” we’d fix things that have needed to be fixed for a long time, a lot of the things that got us to where we are today.

Maybe we’d say enough to cyber and school bullying.
Maybe we’d say enough to teen suicide.
Maybe we’d say enough to the mistreatment of refugees.
Maybe we’d say enough to a legacy of broken treaties with indigenous people.
Maybe we’d say enough to overcrowded, money-making prison systems.
Maybe we’d say enough to institutional police violence toward people of color.
Maybe we’d say enough to the mistreatment of LGBTQ people in the church.
Maybe we’d say enough to patriarchy.
Maybe we’d say enough to the mistreatment and harassment of Muslim people.
Maybe we’d say enough to gun violence.
Maybe we’d say enough to the silence and stigma of sexual assault.
Maybe we’d say enough to corporate greed.
Maybe we’d say enough to that unreachable glass ceiling.
Maybe we’d say enough to the mistreatment of Mother Earth.
Maybe we’d say enough to our failing school systems.
Maybe we’d say enough to the wall we want to build.
Maybe we’d say enough to people not getting the health care they need.
Maybe we’d say enough to our lack of care for the poor.
Maybe we’d say enough to the sin of white privilege.
Maybe we’d say enough to our ignorance and arrogance.
Maybe we’d say enough to our addiction to war.
Maybe we’d say enough to denying our legacy and history of genocide.
Maybe we’d say enough to rape culture.
Maybe we’d say enough to alcohol addiction.
Maybe we’d say enough to the stigmas surrounding people with disabilities.
Maybe we’d say enough to shaming depression and anxiety.
Maybe we’d say enough to a church that doesn’t open its doors to everyone.
Maybe we’d say enough to corrupt politicians.
Maybe we’d say enough to white savior complex in Christianity.
Maybe we’d say enough to power plays.
Maybe we’d say enough to a corrupt system.
Maybe we’d say enough to the emotional, egotistical tweets of leaders.
Maybe we’d say enough to racism, discrimination, and hate.
Maybe if we say enough, a loud cry of all of us from every corner of this nation, we might become united in something, and that cry might begin to change things. But it has to start here. It has to be something we truly want, or we are still divided as we’ve always been.

The cry of everyone who hasn’t been heard time and again has always resounded as enough.

We are at a crossroads in America that we’ve never seen before, and we have a choice. We can point our fingers at people of color, indigenous people, the poor, the outcast, widows and orphans, LGBTQ, those with disabilities, and we can say, “We’ve heard enough from you.”

Or, we can point our fingers at the people leading this country, the people leading our corrupt faith systems, the people causing offense, perverting justice, committing sexual assault, addicted to power, and we can say, “We’ve had enough.”

We remember that day that Jesus threw tables over and said in his own way, enough.

So we rise up and continue to say it, even today.

We continue to speak up and we continue to let it be known that what has been should no longer be.

Next month is Native American Heritage Month, and I’ve been thinking about what it might mean for America in 2017 to really pay attention to the histories, stories, cultures of indigenous people in a way that has not happened before. In Potawatomi and many other indigenous cultures, there is the idea of the seventh generation or the seventh fire. According to the prophecy, the seventh generation of young people will rise up and begin learning again their ways, language and culture, and will teach them to their children. They will revive the parts of indigenous identity that were killed off by boarding schools and assimilation, by removal, oppression, and genocide. It is a time to learn to respect the earth again, to begin to fix the things that have been broken. It is a time that we stand up to say enough to years and years of targeted, institutional hate and to work toward reconciliation.

As indigenous peoples, we can’t do it alone.

The cry of enough must be loud. It must reach across racial and systemic and social divides. It must stretch from the walls of the church to the synagogue and the mosque, to the temple and the meditation center. No one group can do it alone, and so no one senator can say it without the rest of us hearing it.

It has to mean something, and so today, we get to choose what our enough is.

May we be willing to throw off power and privilege, to take on humility for the sake of others in order to make that choice.

Kaitlin Curtice is a Native American Christian writer, speaker and worship leader. She is an author with Paraclete Press and writes at www.kaitlincurtice.com, on the intersection of culture and spirituality. 

Don't Miss a Story!

Get Sojourners delivered straight to your inbox.

Have Something to Say?

Add or Read Comments on
"What if ‘Enough’ Really Meant Enough?"
Launch Comments
By commenting here, I agree to abide by the Sojourners Comment Community Covenant guidelines and acknowledge that my comment may be published in the Letters to the Editor section of Sojourners magazine.

Must Reads

Subscribe