Sunday, January 30, 2011

To Keep From Crying In The Midst Of It All

Sometimes we have to laugh to keep from crying because the tears won't fix this problem.

What problem?

Several.

Our country has been overtaken to an enormous degree by multinational corporations whose only loyalty is to the bottom line.  It is destroying us from within, and even more so, since it also brought our latent racism and classism to the surface with the election of President Obama.  And the boogyman is hard to pinpoint now.

Right now, the people are taking to the streets in Egypt to say "enough is enough" against their 30 years-in-power leader.  Bands of young men, understanding the boiling point of being fed up, have armed themselves with sticks to protect their respective neighborhoods, because when protest emotions get high, sometimes things happen, especially when those protests are because of years and years, generations of mistreatment.

As I thought about our people, for all people who want a decent middle class living, the right to live, are my people, I also thought about this country and what is happening, and wondered, where are the "huddled masses" who came to this country to escape the Lords and Ladies of the Manor in England, only to find a deeply classist, caste system in this country?  That caste system grew over the years to not hold down the ethnic Europeans but to put laser focused vision on keeping black people in servant roles.  This has now come to the 21st century and the same "invisible hand" that Isabel Wilkerson wrote about in The Warmth of Other Suns now trying to keep anyone of Hispanic descent in those subserviant roles, or simply, not in this country at all.

1% of the population controls 34% of the wealth in this country and the Republicans in office, masters at public relations and advertising, are demanding even more for the same corporate tycoons who destroyed this country through their endless greed.

The commission that was formed to study the crisis concluded that it was preventable, well, duh!  We knew that when it happened.  Some would say they knew that going back to 1980 when Reagan set out a systematic approach to destroy the great middle class, all those internal immigrants who made it North and worked, toiled even, in cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, and Washington DC, only to see it dwindle away in their children's generations.  I think the elders Wilkerson profiled in her book, even my late father, are turning over in their graves to see where this country is going.

No, we don't have Jim Crow, officially, but we do have the same evil spirit lurking in every part of our country.  I keep saying Republicans, because they have been the banner, the carrier of this evil and only for their corporate gain, for greed, not for some precious ideal like religious freedom or the right to life, for it that was truly their aim like they snookered the sheep in the conservative religious denominations, then they would follow the teachings of Jesus Christ to help the least of these, to share, and to render unto Caesar what is Caesars (Jesus wasn't running around demanding a tax cut for the uber wealthy only to pile on the debt to the utterly destitute).

The human condition demands more from this country than just making a profit, more than just the bottom line for these new "citizens" now declared "human" by our supreme court.

I think reading and hearing more about the complicity of corporate america in this great recession and enduring evil against humanity is one of the reasons I have wanted to stay away from corporate america and seek my career in sustainable business, entrepreneurship, efforts to help people.  Yes, an M.B.A. graduate like myself could have pursued a career in brand management in Minnesota or Battle Creek, to create yet another brand extension of yet another box of cereal, but is that serving humanity when people are starving in this country, when health care is seen as a privilege of the few and not the right of the many?

The realization is that this country has always been economically divided and a place for the "haves" over the "have nots" and the desire of the "haves" to suppress at all costs the "have nots" to make sure they protect their gold, much like those refined and dressed people on the Titanic still trying to carry away their furs and diamonds and gold when the ship was sinking in the freezing Atlantic, to the point of denying a seat to the less wealthy and working class on the ship because they weren't seen as worthy of life.  It is all a sad testimony of this country.

It makes one sad when they look into the great horizon of the future and see the basic caring of individuals is non-existent, missing from the common lexicon, so caught up in the distractions of the Golden Globes and the Oscars, pacifiers, to keep people from emerging from their rooms and engaging in real dialogue...then taking to the streets to demand change.

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