The following is correspondence from friend, correspondent, professor, and author Gwen Y. Fortune:
Nothing new. I said that on alternate days I THINK about sitting out/in the election. I’ve been actively, involved in political life, since 1954. Because, I care. I canvassed, campaigned, had a pistol pulled on me at a polling place, by a Daley machine precinct worker as I passed out literature for a liberal, anti-machine candidate (who won, the first to do so against the machine.) A machine/establishment precinct captain came to my house and threatened the loss of my employment with the city of Chicago, if I did not stop campaigning—on my own time. I had to have my principal intercede with a Board of Education member to defuse the threat.
As I review what was sent, I think that you ignore the historical basis, context and example for my thinking and writing. I view human events in a context. I am fully aware of consequences. Will they be swift—à la Mittens—or prolonged—à la Democrat proposition?
I think, after fifty years as an activist for liberal-progressive political life I can decide what I want to do in this election, as I have in all others.
As a child and teen I stood for justice. I had cops called on me on an interstate bus in South Carolina about four years before Rosa Parks, and I had no community back-up. I was born a rebel (not the Confederate kind) and, according to family, have always had a sense of righteous indignation, and acted on it.
It is painful, to have spent a long life working for justice, equity, freedom and peace, and to come to the end with the observation that little of substance has changed. One lifetime is not a nano-blip on the screen of universe. It is what we, consciously, know.
Example: Following what is happening at the University of Virginia—Jefferson’s “baby”—the university president has been fired because she is a “strategic planner,” not a “strategic dynamic.” The information is that students and graduates of the university around the world are protesting the take-over control of the university—all public education by privatization, with massive inroads into private education. “Private” education is, primarily church-related in the African American community, and it is being subverted by the corporate model, as everyone is buying into the “business model” as the only vision and version of life on the planet.
The role of the university has been changed from that of the nurture and advancement of the mind to the nurture and advancement of private money, from students as learners to students-everyone as consumers.
There is no concern with balance, and multiple valuation. One size fits all. The commodification of the world is as vulgar as the commodification of humans, as slaves, serfs, wage slaves, off-shore maquiladores, where the factory is the dormitory and workers arrive like cattle at the slaughter house to be used and discarded. Not to forget the denial of worth exemplified by factory farms and animal cruelty.
I, and those that I admire, such as Chris Hedges, and the people on LINK-TV, are of no more value than a bucket of hog entrails. I lived near the Chicago Stockyards—my daily odor. The stench in the current gamed world is identical—lemming-like death. I studied and taught the exposes of excessive privatization by the investigative writers of the 18th-20th centuries. As a former student wrote, “The Robber barons have returned.” I wrote, “They never left.” They licked their wounds and grew stronger, as a deprived, entertained public great more stupid. The UVA news yesterday caused me to say: “Alexander Hamilton has won. Thomas Jefferson has been beaten.”
I have observed, from the beginning of Obama’s election, that the advisers he brought on board were, actually, adversaries, particularly in an important area, the economy. Humans, and the planet, require air, water, food, and work to sustain themselves, their families and tribes. Breath and blood are nearly exhausted by the needle-eyed views of the controllers of our destiny, and few know, while fewer are able to move productively. The Rio De Janiero climate summit, last week, was a farce—as all have been. The “leaders” have no balls, no grit, and no guts. The people—99%—have no chance! Koch Brothers may as well be spelled coke/cocaine. Occupy and Arab Spring are being defeated in a consuming world of selfishness and greed. Bullies!
The current administration DOES have more humane instincts than the Repugnut-Tea Party, but there is a deep strain of “chicken,” called compromise, that is not respected by its adversaries. Mittens and co-conspirators have denied, lied, and taken advantage of every effort by the Obama administration, thrown it back in their faces, and laughed at it. The bulk of Americans are wishy-washy-topsy-turvy. I am amazed how, each week, sometimes day to day, polls report shifts by substantial numbers of citizens who have no core convictions as to what has value and is in their healthy interest. If a word, phase, a change in the direction of oil/gas prices, Wall street gaming, a word or phrase by a candidate, can elicit drastic shifts in decision making, where is the core-heart-soul in the choice. On what moral, ethical, factual, scientific, historical, principled bases are people deciding? Whims? No—FEARS, and ignorance. I do not have another decade to wait and watch—nor work..
I can envision that if on the night before the election, the news/media reports ANYTHING slightly up or downward in regard to the fears of enough people, voting on election day will reflect that minuscule, seismic shift. C’est tout!
I have one regret: that giving so much life energy to the socio-political-economic issues of a world in which I find myself, I have made myself sick with congestive heart failure. No matter what I do on election day, I will have no regrets. The enchilada has been left on the counter too long.
There are push-pins on all the “hot-spots” on my globe. Porcupine.