Rev. Valerie's Reveries

This blog contains personal reflections from Unitarian Universalist minister Valerie Mapstone Ackerman.

Friday, February 18, 2011

If a movement does not get any press does that mean it isn’t moving? The Wisconsin labor uprising got no national press for the first two days—except from Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Now the Green Bay Packers have joined the team to support public employee unions in Wisconsin! That’s smart politics for them since the NFL players are rising up against their owners to demand a bigger slice of the cheese. I hope they succeed but that isn’t a middle class fight, just more rich guys squabbling, but I always side against “the owners” of anything when they think they don't need to share their wealth.

Seeing actual public servants and teachers getting their knickers in a twist should give me hope that middle class people are finally realizing that their solidarity has been misplaced for too long. Instead of identifying UP the economic ladder and defending the right of corporations to enjoy the civic benefits equal to humans, we need to rise up and FIGHT THE POWER. (OK I just heard Chuck D talk last night so forgive my re-radicalization.) No time for dreaming of the day when we too could step over the down-and-out man sleeping on the grate. Soon enough if the Republicans and DINOs have their way, we will BE those down-and-out grate-sleepers. First the banks took homes, now they’re after our jobs…what else can we give to the oligarchy?

Now we know what else is wanted---our very freedom from oppressive intrusive laws--we can give them control of our wombs! Now the dignity of the American woman has been taken. Finally, though they have tried in vain for decades, the forced- pregnancy politicians have de-funded Planned Parenthood.

The President’s proposed budget takes money out of the heating assistance program: HEAP. What does he expect? For Hugo Chavez to send more money from Venezuela to keep impoverished Americans from freezing to death?

The Repugna-crats new budget eliminates WIC subsidies that boost the nutrition of poor children AND PREGNANT women, while it tears away at Social Security and Medicaid and every other “entitlement” program designed to keep the poorest Americans alive (but not well).

America as a great nation is over. That ship has sailed. We are now in full class-warfare. Perhaps if the middle class and those in poverty build solidarity we can salvage something of the dignity we once enjoyed. But if we do not stand together, we are toast.

Take away the annual $330 million from family planning support for Planned Parenthood when we are spending A BILLION DOLLARS EACH WEEK ON THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN? How can any thinking person accept this? They can’t. Only thoughtless automatons and robotically equipped heartless bastards can.

In the past 25 years I have marched on Washington for reproductive rights several times and a couple of times for housing rights; more than ten times for peace and once for gay rights. I would go again in a heartbeat, but it gets harder and harder to believe that marches on DC help.

I’ll go back to Washington and protest when---
--the college students rise up against unconscionable tuition and lousy loan programs,
--and small farmers protest a lack of effective subsidies and policies that do not give agri-giants an unfair advantage
--and Wal-Mart workers unite to demand the right to unionize (and bring their brothers and sisters from Target along too)
--and nurse’s aides explain that wiping your grandma’s ass for a poverty wage is not sufficient job satisfaction
--and the 10 million discouraged workers who stopped hoping for a job and who have nothing better to do anyway
--and the officially unemployed take an interest in their own plight
--and women in the military are ready to fight back against universal rape
--and women of all ages and backgrounds throw off the shackles of mandatory pregnancy without mandatory child support

Maybe then we can ALL go together and TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY.

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