We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis Brandeis
Trickle-down economics is the first cousin of austerity economics. Austerity is nuts when so many millions are out of work. And as we’ve learned before, trickle-down is a fraud. Nothing ever trickles down. - Robert Reich, "A Story for May Day"
I didn't mean to allow the day to pass without some mention of what Martin Luther King, Jr. and his followers meant to our society and to the world, but I've faced a few obstacles lately...
King? Some liken him to Mohandas Gandhi, and I won't deny the similarities, but King brought an American perspective to an age-old battle. Someone remarked (who? sorry; can't remember) that King's speeches were so numerous and effective that the American media confines its attention today to his "safe" speeches, to topics scarcely controversial, and avoids those that confront the evils of racism head-on. And who among his followers can ever forget "Beyond Vietnam: a Time to Break Silence," and who in today's mainstream media deliberately presents this centerpiece of King's antiwar stance, delivered in the turmoil of 1967?
In short, our society has not wholly absorbed the full impact and meaning of Dr. King's work, and may not yet do so for several more generations. A nation born with a dual classification of human beings... slaves and slaveholders... is guaranteed trouble for its life as a nation. Dr. King offered hope, but not even he could offer solutions to race/class behaviors evoking that much hate.
We must take up the battle as best we can, and not expect it to be won in our own individual lifetimes. A dream? that we indeed have. But what we may actually expect does not include full racial equality any time soon. All we can do is push onward... and push back against the racism newly resurgent in the era of the first Black American president, no matter what we may think of the latter's presidential career.