Having been off for a week, listening to crashing Pacific waves, breathing salt air, reading, reading, more reading, and getting my head straight (kinda, sorta, pretty much), Mr Blow asked me, via facebook, to read his column for tomorrow. I agreed to do so, and, for me, this column is very powerful. What do you think?
I strongly reject the concept of respectability politics, which postulates that a style of dress or speech justifies injustice, and often violence, against particular groups of people or explains away the ravages of their inequality.
I take enormous exception to arguments about the “breakdown of the family,” particularly the black family, that don’t acknowledge that this country for centuries has endeavored, consciously and not, to break it down. Or that family can be defined only one way.
I don’t buy into the mythology that most poor people are willfully and contentedly poor, happy to live with the help of handouts from a benevolent big government that is equally happy to keep them dependent.
These are all arguments based on shame, meant to distance traditional power structures from emerging ones, to allow for draconian policy arguments from supposedly caring people. These arguments require faith in personal failure as justification for calling our fellow citizens feckless or doctrinally disfavored.
Those who espouse such arguments must root for failures so that they’re proved right. They need their worst convictions to be affirmed: that other people’s woes are due solely to their bad choices and bad behaviors; that there are no systematic suppressors at play; that the way to success is wide open to all those who would only choose it.
Any of us in the country who were born poor, or minority, or female, or otherwise different — particularly in terms of gender or sexual identity — know better.
Please read the rest of the article here.
This is our daily open thread — How is everyone?
This might be why:
The blue line represents the average overall wages of the bottom 99% — you, me, neighbors, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Tea Partiers, etc.
The green line represents how productive we are. If we’re lucky enough to have a job, our work load has tremendously increased, as in we’re doing enough work for two or three employees AND we’re not being paid more for the privilege. Wages have been flat for over thirty years, and that’s insane!
The red line represents the average income of the top 1% in this country. You know, the “job creators.” Except what they’re really good at is buying political representation, whining for tax cuts (so they can create those mythical jobs), dodging taxes, checking the bank balance for their latest dividend payment, and TURNING THE REST OF US AGAINST EACH OTHER.
Sure, we have our ideological differences: abortion, gay marriage, religion in schools, social programs, racial issues, etc., but the one thing all of us in the bottom 99% have in common is the fact that we are hanging on by our fingernails (to one degree or another), hoping that our jobs don’t disappear, hoping we don’t get sick, hoping the car doesn’t break down, and on and on…
Our problem today is not Republican vs Democrat vs Tea Party; our problem is that the top 1% is waging a class war against the bottom 99%, and since they’ve managed to get us at each other’s throats over ideological issues (aka shiny objects), they are fucking winning!
We’re either going to find a way to work together to get things back in balance, or we can continue to fight among ourselves for the amusement of the super rich, while they continue to suck this country dry.
Frankly, it’s difficult to be optimistic…
Right now, people are killing in Libya, to keep a ruthless dictator in power.
Right now, people are dying in Libya, for a hope of freedom for their fellow people.
Right now, Gabrielle Giffords is struggling to re-learn how to live.
Right now, people in Guantanamo prison face military tribunals and indefinite detention.
Right now, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, et al, are free to make millions on the lecture tour circuit while avoiding any scrutiny from the press.
Right now Bradley Manning is being held in isolation, stripped naked every night, because he is suspected of leaking information to Wikileaks.
Right now, the American people are a frog in a pot of water, and it’s getting hotter. Those of us who see what is going on are silenced. The working class is pitted against itself, and even “progressives” fall into the trap.
Think about it. Of the few rich people who have spoken out against the abuses of the rich, how many have said, let’s buy out Rupert Murdoch? Let’s buy Limbaugh’s contract and put him out to pasture? IT HASN’T HAPPENED!
So, what’s the choice? Follow the path of Ghandi, and many will be killed, as is what is happening in Libya right now. Follow the path of rebellion, and many will be killed, as well.
Follow the path of Christ: turn the other cheek? And you become a subservient population, but live. Remember, Christ wasn’t marked for execution until after he overturned the tables of the money-changers.
In the longer scheme of things, those who love will triumph over those who hate. But those who hate will kill millions in the interim.
So, let’s live in the moment, and give a toast to Love!
This is our daily open thread — What’s happening right now in your world? How does that fit in, in the grand scheme of things? Do your challenges seem insignificant in comparison? Or are you one of he unsung heros that never makes it into the limelight? Are you the Wind beneath someone’s Wings? Feel free to post on this or any other topic that comes to mind, right now.