Makes you wanna holla!
The world, or more accurately, events in the world are moving at an ever increasing rate of speed. If I had to describe it in terms consistent with the general hyperbole of the typical television news reports, I’d say today’s world events are cascading in ever increasing and more bizarre terms than anyone would have expected 10 years ago.
I can only wonder if the “average” American can consume the volume of shocking news we receive every day without feeling overwhelmed and questioning what or where their place is in the world. War going on in the Middle East, turmoil and health crisis in many parts of Africa, Eastern Europe teetering on the brink of war are all part of the emotional dis-ease experienced by many of us.
Add the “crisis” in the United States to those other considerations and it’s almost enough to drive one to the brink of emotional instability. Our president and attorney general are victimized by never-ending politically motivated verbal assaults. The progress of governance is brought to a stand-still by those motivated by political loyalties or racial animus. Women’s reproductive rights suffer under on-going gender warfare, while policy-makers debate the efficacy and “fairness” of providing women pay equity.
We see the hatred and vitriol of the public discourse spilling over into what’s essentially armed revolt and assault against the government and the welfare of our fellow citizens. The armed standoff against the government in Nevada by Cliven Bundy and his supporters or the unprovoked attack against individuals based upon their perceived ethnicity are clear examples of how low some are willing to take our nation.
On the economic front, we see the Supreme Court of the U. S., once known as the last hope for social justice in the U.S., selling the birthright of the nation to the highest bidder by allowing unfettered contributions by the wealthy. In his written decision, Chief Justice Roberts asserts there’s no evidence that suggests an influencing quid pro quo would be created by removing the amount of money that could be donated by a single source!
While they diddle in session voting over 50 times to repeal Obamacare, we also see Congressional Republicans continuing their war on the middle class by refusing to extend long-term unemployment benefits or refusing to vote on an employment bill that would bring thousands into the workforce, while refurbishing our crumbling infrastructure. Republican Paul Ryan continues to press his Ayn Rand-influenced budget that would gut programs designed to provide a pathway to upward mobility for the ambitious or maintain a safety net to prevent the most needy from falling to the depths of societal deprivation.
To those watching with an open eye, these efforts seem brutally vicious, while multi-national corporations, billionaires and millionaires are allowed to hoard wealth and resources while paying little or no taxes in repayment for their bounty.
Those of us who are listening hear the reverberation of cries from those ever-present neocons who wish to squander the human capital and financial wealth of the nation on a never-ending series of wars against any who would demonstrate the temerity to challenge or question a position taken by the United States. At the same time, we’ve seen these same neocons and their allies in Congress denigrate the current administration to the extent our opponents in the world feel it safe to challenge any effort to negotiate greater balance in the relations of nations.
As Marvin used to say, “It makes you wanna holla and throw up both your hands.” As the president said, and I concur, “Don’t holla! Organize and vote!” Our vote is the only weapon we have to overcome the life-impacting challenges confronting us.
Dr. E. Faye Williams is National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women. She can be reached at 202.678.6788 or www.nationalcongressbw.org