I just watched the Katie Couric interview of Lynda and and Lucy Johnson in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And I started weeping. I am a true product of the late 1960's, graduating from Duke in 1970, witnessing the revolutionary changes that occurred during this time period. I marched on Washington to end the Vietnam war, stood with my newly integrated fellow students at Duke to stand up against segregation and discrimination. And I weep because we have seemingly been halted.....our progress in the area of human rights is so pitiful. Our position vis-a-vis women's reproductive rights (and equal pay for equal work) has regressed to the point of oppression (I do not favor abortion as a preferred method of contraception)--why is the thought of denying birth control to any woman even a thought that is being discussed by our society?? Why is there a continued huge disparity between the budgets of intercity schools and white or Asian majority schools? Why are black teenagers been gunned down because of what they happen to be wearing on a chilly night? Why does the shooter go free? Stand your ground? Does not mean shoot on sight.
I'm still an activist....marching is out for the moment as I'm getting a new hip next month (dog park injury). But I march every day with my trusty lap top. I take my morning batch of petitions very seriously. I love the fact that we are so interconnected at this point in time. For the first time in history, my small voice and small single vote can be added to thousands of others (perhaps millions) and together we do make an impact.
I believe that my generation has betrayed the very principals on which the United States was founded...instead of being the instruments for change that we all promised ourselves we would be, we are the ones who control Wall Street and the crimes that have been wrought in that arena. We are the ones who, through greed, have decided that bottom line accounting should be bottom line decision making. We are the ones who sent our jobs overseas in order to make a penny or two. We are the ones who have been complicit in the destructive pollution of China and in the creation of intolerable sweat shops in that country, virtually enslaving millions of workers. (I know, China was not in great shape to begin with, nevertheless, we have been complicit).
It is time to stand up and accept responsibility for the destruction that we have wrought. My prayer is that, as a nation, we look deep within ourselves to become the instruments of change that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 envisioned. IT IS TIME TO END THE BIGOTRY, FALSE JUDGEMENT, HATRED AND ARROGANCE THAT HAVE BECOME THE CORNERSTONE OF THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCENE.
The Tao states that all must increase in order for there to be decrease. Well, I am more than ready, as are millions upon millions of other Americans, to witness the decrease.