Just one of those random questions running through my head this morning as I have the luxury of sitting in my home sipping strong coffee in the warmth of my kitchen while there are those in great need of food and shelter who have nothing this morning because the politicians in the fortress of solitude in DC can’t get it together to stop being children in a playground. Anyway, racism, classism, and all those other -isms are too easily used to excuse the behavior of the men and women in Washington (and those who pay them in the various ways our system allows). If Obama were blonde haired and blue eyed and with the same ideals there’d still be a fight … because indeed there was one. Look at the Clinton Years.
Politicians aside with their blinders, fat pockets, or indeed “righteous ideals,” what bothers me most are the people who sit back and do nothing. And maybe that’s because there are too many distractions. I mean, on the morning news, immediately following one story of government shutdown, there was a story of a movie star’s fight with his girlfriend. Really? That’s the next important story?
One of my favorite letters in American history is Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. It was not a letter written to Klansmen or segregationists or to all those others who outright hated; it was a letter written to those who expressed a desire for change but were waiting for the right moment or not wanting to make any waves or simply did not understand the gravity of the situation. I fear that people have lost sense of our interrelatedness, and thus do not understand the implications – the ripple effects – of the actions (and purposeful inactions) certain politicians are pushing. If you have a well-paying corporate job with great benefits, why engage in a dialogue about health insurance or food stamps? But as MLK wrote, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
I am proud to be an American, of its landscapes and its peoples and of course its opportunities. Or at least of those opportunities that I perceived as a child growing up in Virginia. And I was proud of its politics. Probably using a different set of text books than are being allowed in school today, I thought I learned in World History, Civilizations, Civics and Government courses that, my goodness, what a wonderful system of government with its checks and balances, and opportunities for dialogue and debate (and yes, negotiation and compromise). What a wonderful system. What has happened?
Anyway, no more caffeine for me today. Caffeine plus anger gives me a headache. Perhaps I will be able to take another walk by the Mystic River, the source of these images. I hope where ever you are, you find a peaceful moment too. Have a good Tuesday.