Sunday, May 16, 2004
::: A Peak Into The Past Through An Email To A Friend :::
::: The Sixties And The Anniversary Of Brown V. Board :::
I think this GrannyRant Email is self-explanatory.
I was on your site a few minutes ago and read the post to your "lost love."
I found it beautiful and honest. I understand perfectly the desire to talk about what we do (as politically active bloggers) and the response from nearly everyone (hubby, Mom, friends) that results in the thousand yard stare. It is truly frustrating to know there is something so horrible wrong and watch everyone blithely go about their daily business ... seemingly without a care.
What will it take to wake people up? Will it be too late?
I used to be a Sheeple myself and was very happy as such. But a combination
of the shattering events of 9-11, an empty nest, the old hippie inside me, and
most of all .... the TIME to do it, set me on this path of knowing.
Knowing is an unusual thing, and after I set about this journey ... the one to
discover (at first) a welcome home for my fear, sorrow and emotional skittishness,
(and then) a search for answers to what was happening, (and then) a dialog and
debate on issues, I remembered something learned painfully when we were
marching against the Vietnam War, marching for Civil Rights ... there is no
unlearning or unknowing and you take with that knowing all the pain
of that knowledge.
It was a surprise to re-learn those lessons and the anguish of it brought back
the incredible difficulty of that time. But in those moments, love beads round
our necks and ankles, grannie glasses askew, bell-bottoms that were frayed,
fringed and worn to the point we constantly stepped on them with bare feet,
there was also something else ... possibility, optimism, energy, and the
wonderful absence of mortality.
My best friend and I have often said ... just out of wonder .... because someone
is always mentioning the Sixties, ...
"Now what was all that about? Did we accomplish anything?"
The answer is always a resounding YES!
Why? I am not sure. The time was right, perhaps. And I remembered it was not
only about the things we were criticized for ...
"... damn filthy hippies, running around half naked, exposing decent people to their, uh, their ... nasty bodies. The should get a job, do things right, the American way and quit causing all this upheaval. Just look at how they've got the Negroes all stirred up, and burning draft cards and burning the sacred American flag, wearing it on their bodies, ruining our government, protesting, marching, speaking out, clashing with police and national guard. Why? There are already 4 dead at Kent State. What is wrong with them? What did we do wrong?" ...
The fabric of that time was far more rich than my paltry words can describe. It was a time of hope and determination to change things for the better. And we did.
The War in Vietnam was ended ... but only after we lost 50,000 young Americans. The fight was so bitter, our country became divided. We dishonored not only our returning dead veterans, but the wounded and the ones who "seemed ok" on the outside. But they were not ok. We spat on them and called them baby killers and war-mongers. Were they? No ... no more than the brave young men and women who fight for our freedom today.
Some ideas were changed. Civil Rights took another step forward ... and the citizens still infected with the wrong-headedness of white supremacy went to work ... they tried to push the minorities back, but in very subtle ways. They sat on them and refused to allow real progress. Today they do the same. They discuss, legislate maneuver and plot to saddle the "three-fourths persons" with the yoke, by making sure the funding is unequal for the public schools, through the War On Drugs and unfair incarceration of people of color, through a racial psy-ops program of intimidation and rhetoric just barely above the sickening words of the past that discourage black children, make them doubt themselves and destroy their self-esteem.
But ... some crawled over the top of every hurdle, some fought their way out of the poor neighborhoods, used the advantages offered as crumbs ... gobbled those crumbs and soared to the top of many professions.
And We The Hippies became just bums. So we "sold out," picked ourselves up, married, had children and sold insurance or became teachers and took our place in society as best we could.
Can we do it again? (well, no, I am too tired to do much more than raise my voice with flying fingers) Or will it take the children ... with all their energy and conviction to move this democracy forward.
But I do not hear their raised voices.
We cannot wait much longer. But ... instead of marching in the streets, the children are fighting and dying ... for what? Elitist political ideology and a greed so all encompassing, so systemic, it has become a cancer.
How we can convince people of the imminent threat posed by the sad state of our political system. It is rotten to the core and has no concern for We The People. Politicians with no thought for the ordinary people strut the halls of Congress and make disastrous policy, gut our political structures and make a mockery of our Republic.
We have to get the money out of Washington. No, I do not know how. But if we wait much longer, there will not be an honest man left to steer this country.