Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Been Really Busy!

































Sorry for the delay in posting again. I'm working on at least three different fronts every day -- often day and night -- so my ability to blog often falls by the wayside.

I have a heavy Elance workload right now -- have for more than two weeks -- and it looks like that isn't going to slow down any time soon.  I'm also making at least 50 calls a day for OFA and riding herd on some volunteers who are doing what they can to keep the ball rolling for OFA. The third front is LIFE -- you know, the stuff we all need to do: eat, sleep, get in a wee bit of entertainment whenever we can shoehorn it in.

I went to see THE GRAPES OF WRATH on Sunday -- a live play put on by Lakewood Playhouse. Based on John STeinbeck's novel, it's a real downer of a story about the Dust Bowl years and the hundreds of thouands of American who were displaced and forced to relocate during that decade in our history.

What seemed very fresh and contemporary to me about the story was that, the moment the beleaguered, transplanted Okies tried to organize to keep themselves from being paid almost nothing for their labors, the people in power --  Californians with land and fields to harvest -- started calling them "Reds" to demonize and marginalize them.

That happens today. Progressive and Liberal (and even moderates like Obama) are called Marxists, Socialists and Communists by the people whose positions of power are being questioned and "threatened" (their term, not mine) by the notion that all Americans should be able to rise to their highest potentials without having roadblocks placed in the way, beyond the obstacles that come to us naturally.

JFK and RFK were called Liberals (and worse) by their opponents because they insisted that black Americans and Native Americans and Hispanics should be able to share the American dream, since they too had bled and died and suffered in every war we ever waged... even though some of them came here as slaves as the result of brutal kidnapping (blacks, Chinese). (The term "being shanghied" came from the brutal custom of kidnapping hardy young Chinese workers in Shanghai and tossing them into the bowels of a ship bound for San Francisco.)

Ted Kennedy was a Liberal eventually-- but he grew into the role as the decades developed after 1970; he didn't start out the way he ended up.  He grew into the role of a liberal as his heart developed and matured. 

His two brothers, Jack and Bob, were trying to move the ball forward during more primitive times. They recognized that it was patently unfair to deny the same opportunities to non-white Americans. We can see and acknowledge that now. (Well, most of us can. There are still a few clueless Neanderthals around. I met several of them during 2008 when I was phoning voters and heard them say, "I will never vote for a black man.")

So if being for equal justice and equal opportunity is socialist, I guess you need to count me in. I just see my belief system as being an inseparable part of my Christian upbringing.

I don't believe in people getting what they don't earn (although that happens often enough via lottery, inheritance and luck), but I do believe that anyone who works hard, gets taxed (this eliminates a lot of rich people, who write off their taxes and pay next to nothing!), and does everything he or she can to contribute to move the ball forward for him/herself and others ought to have an equal opportunity to succeed, unfettered by his or her race, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or political affiliation.

But that's just me.  How about you?

4 comments:

Carl Rylander said...

You've hit the bullseye!!

Kristine M Smith said...

Thanks, Carl!

MJ said...

true Kris..quite true...
some of my older relatives were Okies and were poorly used by the growers in California who brought them there to harvest crops and then refused to pay them...
They refused to use banks till the end of their days and lived subsistence...yet most of them had thousands of dollars stuffed in their mattresses, which could have been used to make life better...in the end they were victimized again by neighbors and family who would raid the "mattress banks" while thier elderly friend/relatives lay dying.
The whole point of this current government change is to prevent this sort of thing from happening again. The republicans would want us to go back to this....

Kristine M Smith said...

I hear ya! I hope everyone does...