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A time to act

I spent a portion of my night calling people to help with the speak out event MoveOn.org is planning for the 24th of February to give voice to the budget cuts. (
http://pol.moveon.org/event/invest2011/). My field organizer had pre-warned us not to take any of the comments personally.

However, I did take one call to heart. Warning this post may be a bit racist. I got a return call from a number that had no answer when I originally called. The young black man on the phone seemed dejected that I was not calling for a booty call. He was somewhat offended that I would be calling about political activism. I was offended by his lack of awareness.

I live in Mississippi a state where if not for political activism, my black butt would not have received the education I did receive in Mississippi. I think to my mother, uncle, and Jewish father who risked their lives to make Mississippi a place of equality for all. I think to being called a nigger in the first grade by the superintendent's wife. I remember standing up to her demanding an apology. I think how on job interviews the interviewer would be shocked to learn I am black. I think how people are shocked I speak english. I think how I have seen poor black children systematically routed to the path of menial labor before fourth grade. I think of the pot holes in black communities. I think how it is so freaking amazing that on both sides of my neighborhood broadband access is available while I am forced to use dialup. I think how there are whites who really believe blacks have a special government supported social safety net. All of those thoughts when through me when I heard the abrupt dismissal of political activism in this young man's voice. I was offended.

The proposed budget cuts will hurt many in the United States. Mississippi which has created a cottage industry based on federal financial stimulus over several decades will feel the impact of these budget cuts extremely deep. Our private highway and home construction businesses work on projects funded by federal funds. Those in the healthcare industry are paid from government funds. Private grocery stores receive massive amounts of federal funds. Some of the farmers here have learned how to enjoy more doing less via various federal grants. His lack of awareness beyond his own immediate gratification just had me seeing red.

The people in the Near East and the UK have marched and protested 3 to 18 days straight. Many came out, on a moments notice, to protest the injustice of the economic inequality in their countries. I am having to pull eyeteeth to get Americans to give up a lunch hour to express his/ her anger over the proposed budget cuts. The gulf between the have and the have not in the United States is greater than either Egypt or Tunsinia. Yet we sit at home tweeting or blogging our anger that a Canadian did not get best new artist at the Grammys. We have a problem.

The problem is not the Tea Party. The problem is not the GOP controlled House. The problem is not even President Obama not being progressive enough. Our problem is our lack of get up and do something. We accuse conservatives of using fear to control but we allow fear of discomfort to control us to the point of paralysis. There has been no movement since aids. Once the AZT cocktail came out we just all got quiet. No longer taking to the streets. We just sit in our homes occasionally looking out the curtains at the train wreck in our front yard giving thanks it did not happen in our homes.

I shall end for truly I am ranting as the song "Tired" plays in my ears. People we must be active if we desire a change in our country.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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