We have reached a precipice in today’s society regarding race in America. In a time when we should embrace the fact that we elected a half-black President of The United States, we live in a society with so much overt hate and racism that I am confused at what to do, or what to say. Now, to be fair, most of these racist do not even know they are.
For those of you that think there is a honest debate going on regarding health care are dead wrong. Anytime people organize to deny someone else a moral right that should be granted to every citizen of this Country is a bold face coward. Of course, they will lead you to believe that they are patriots. Patriots who hide behind the American flag, and patriots who boldly strap a firearm to their hip to an event that The President of the United States is speaking. These are the same people that called the acts of Henry “Skip” Gates, the Harvard professor, totally disrespectful towards Sgt. Crawley in an action that resulted in the arrest of Skip Gates. In his own home!!!
It is also not respectful to show up to a Town Hall meeting, sponsored by an elected official, and spew hate and vitriolic rhetoric over a complex issue like health care. A complex issue in which the details are not present. By opposing a moral right for all, without knowing all the facts does not make sense.
But, we live in a democracy. I decided to use a lower case “d”, because sometimes the voices of the minority can drown out the majority. And, it is up to the majority to not let them get away with it. Look at what happened in California over prop 8. A simple issue of gay marriage was put in front of the voters on a ballot. It was partly rejected by the complexity of the poor wording of the question on the ballot. It wasn’t put in a language that everyone can easily understand. Also, the major opponents of gay marriage made sure that it was that way. Polling was taken after the election and 52% of the people surveyed said they were in favor of gay marriage, but didn’t understand the question. The road to equality for gay marriage is going to be a fight. An uphill fight, but equality for gays will happen. If health care for all does not pass it will be our fault. We mustn’t sit on the side lines and think that this will be an easy win. If health care reform, with a strong public option, does not pass then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Former President Bill Clinton spoke last week at the Netroots.org conference. One quarter of the way into his brilliant speech he had a young man in the audience stand up and yell at him about “don’t ask, don’t tell”. In typical Bill Clinton fashion he responded the best way he knew how. He began to tell a story, some would say it was made up, but the content was important. President Clinton told the young man, “you know why I couldn’t get a bill for gays to openly serve in the military? You didn’t get me the support!”
This is an important fact that must never be overlooked. We must never be complacent in society. We need to choose our battles and must never quit, despite the difficult obstacles ahead. I was amazed at all the support of the American people towards the Iranian people in the rigged election that took place there. Blood was shed for an attempt at Democracy. People on Twitter were organized to spread information and support for the people of Iran. It was amazing, and now our President needs our help. The 50,000,000 people without health insurance need our help. And, people who are under insured or on the verge of loosing their jobs need our help. I will do my part, and I hope you join me. Democracy is worth it.