Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Five better ways: A challenge to myself...

... though you're all invited to come along for the ride.

Last night (and by which I mean January the 17th in the year two thousand and six) I was watching the Daily Show (and by which I mean the last reputable news outlet on cable) and I had the opportunity to see a clip from Senator Clinton's speech onMartin Luther King Day. Not that it needs much rehashing, but in case you didn't see any of the replays, she chose the occasion to compare the Republican controlled House of Representatives to a plantation. I am neither African-American, descended from a plantation-owning Southern family, a Republican, nor a member of the House of Representatives, so I can safely say that I'm outside the group of people who ought to be offended by the Senator's comments. Thus, the purpose of this post is not to outline the myriad ways in which people could or should be shocked and horrified--I'll leave that to others.

Instead, I've challenged myself to take five minutes and come up with five better ways to link the legacy of Dr. King, the history of racial inequality in this country, and the inept (and perhaps corrupt) Republican congressional leadership. Oh, and I'll do it all without making the hypothetical speaker sound like a fool.

Time - 11:16 PM
1. There have been times in this country when the leadership has not always done the right thing. In these times it took courage and determination to stand up and say "No." It took courage to make the voice of the people heard in the halls of power.
2. Looking back at the legacy of Dr. King I cannot help but be confronted by the terrible difference between the leadership he showed and the leadership we have now in Congress.
3. The Republican party may have been the party of Lincoln, but they are not his party anymore. Where, now, are leaders with the moral courage to stand up for justice, to stand up for racial equality, to stand up for progress and change? On this day I ask where are the leaders who can carry on the legacy of Dr. King?
4. It has been nearly 40 years since the death of Dr. King. In those years we have done much, but there is still so much to do. Instead, the Congress is tied up in scandal and war and desperately trying to point the finger somewhere else. We don't need the Republican leadership to find someone to blame, we need them to find someone to lead. If they can't do that, we need them to step aside.
5. Dr. King taught us that to bring about change in our world we must have courage, dignity, and character. Now, perhaps more than at any time since his passing we have need of those qualities once again.
Time - 11:27 PM

Ok, so it took 11 minutes, and they're not great. But on the whole I think they're a bit better than the alternative.

2 Comments:

Blogger 23skidoo said...

Rockin'. I need to read this again when not sitting between classes in need of food, too much caffeine in the veins, with an exciting occult-related paperback and a book on EU law next to my keyboard, both demanding my attention, and one before 2:00. AAAAAAAAARRRRRAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR

10:47 AM  
Blogger 23skidoo said...

Now that I have re-read the post, I hope nobody will object too strongly to my tossing in a tuppence.

I seriously doubt that the Democrats actually have more scruples than the Republicans when it comes to funds and soliciting--they may simply be better at hiding it, or with greater prudence at who they reveal their practices and methods to instead of revelling in the old boy's club frat where money, power, and politics serve as status. Not status symbols, but actual social status. The Clintons themselves, with whitewater, the death of the Foster, and shady property dealings at their old firm, do not to my mind have significantly cleaner hands than their Republican peers. The Republicans may be bad, but that does not mean the Democrats are better in every way, if in any way. The Republians run Congress as a majority, so if Congress is riddled with scandals, it seems like the probability is higher that it will connect to the Republican majority since there are more of them, they have more votes, more power, and will thus attract more money from those currying favor. This may be a bit backwards, but I stand by the point that the two party institution lends itself to decadence and a race to the bottom as what one party does in terms of violating morality and principle to gain money and power, the competition must then imitate or improve upon to remain competitive. In such a race to the bottom, wealth and power become concentrated and those not at the top all lose.

Speaking of MLK, let us not forget the circumstances of his death. James Earl Ray was a lone nut, the same as "lone nut" John Hinckley Jr (whose father apparently had friendly connections to Bush Sr.), Sirhan Sirhan, Jack Ruby, and Lee Harvey Oswald. In each case, we can connect in some way find similarities among the behaviors of the shooters and often also CIA or even occult connections. Bush sr. was a head honcho at the CIA during the Bay of Pigs. "Operation Zapata" had the same name as his oil company, and the two transports for the Cubans were "Houston" and "Barbara." The Bush family is connected with intelligence, oil, wealth, Nazis (Sr.'s father traded with German companies around WWII), freemasonry assassinations, and the White House. Dare I suggest that Jr. is a tool or agent, maybe unwittingly? Of course I do!

It sounds insane, but believe me, I am quite rational. I do not wholeheartedly endorse or accept theories or ideas without evidence or verification, but consider how much of what you consider "knowledge" to be second hand or third party, not derived nor verified by you personally. Much of what we "know" is taken on trust and faith, and it is necessarily so. However, this provides us no basis for excluding what seems extreme simply because it lacks congruence with what we think we know and our comfortable worldviews.

When thinking about MLK, we ought to think in context of the power establishment which has not changed significantly since the early Cold War, when the ends justified the means and America's survival was (supposedly) at stake. The times have changed, but the institutions have not, except perhaps to consolidate and centralize their own power. Again, the nature of the beast. Who willingly gives up power and control once they have obtained it except the most principled, magnanimous, and selfless? Secondly, how are such people created, and are there avenues by which they may garner public attention in this day and age?

11:29 AM  

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