Sunday, October 22, 2006

taxation without representation...

as kids in class we learned early on that denouncing such a practice became the rallying cry of our budding nation. well, those of us fortunate enough to have a textbook of our own, and a classroom with lights and without puddles and exposed wiring, and a teacher being paid according to the importance of their position...we learned it early on. those that did not have those things, those that went to school wondering which of their classmates they would learn was the latest victim of senseless violence, those that missed that day because they had to help in the fields when the family farm no longer provided enough for help, those that missed that day because they had to wait all day at the emergency room when it was the only place for their sick grandmother to go, those that were forced into crumbling schools with decades old textbooks not plentiful enough for more than every third student to have one, those forced away from their families to bording schools to teach them the white man's ways, those that were left behind...they did not learn such things. but they did learn a valuable lesson tied to that rallying cry...they learned that a nation founded on such a simple idea as not making anyone do anything without giving them a say in it has now embraced that which its founders fought against centuries ago. for them, everything in this country is done without representation...for them, there is no end to taxation without representation. and for them this country must do better.

barack obama was elected to the United States senate in a landslide a few years ago. he was the second black american to serve in that office in the last 134 years. 134 years...two black senators. are we to believe there have not been more than two black people since 1870 willing and able to serve in the United States senate? not that things are much better for hispanics with a whopping two senators and 24 representatives in congress. and they both are heavily representatives in comparison to the hundreds of indian peoples...who have none. how do we allow this to continue?

perhaps it is because anyone who points out that our representative democracy does not represent democracy when it comes to non-whites in this country a whole bunch of white folk stand up and point fingers and yell "race card!" then they go on to wax poetic about how this nation should be "color blind" as they try to use the words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in their linguistic arsenal. unfortunately, the vast majority of the time it is because of a new racism, a less overt racism, and a divisive politics played mostly by the Republican Party in an attempt to find an imposing "they" for the growing number of whites who are losing ground to blame to justify voting against their own interests. they forget that MLK dreamed of a color blind society, but that he repeatedly pointed the need to address the effects of societal racism on people of color which had worked over centuries to slow the stream of opportunity for them to nothing but an occasional trickle.

when minorities are consistently locked out of the political process, but for the nominal representative that our leaders like to point to as "proof" that they aren't building upon and expanding systemic racism (the political equivalent of "one of my best friends is black/latino/indian"), they are repeatedly subject to taxation without representation...largely because the few areas that minorities are represented, over-represented, in this nation are in poverty and prison.

which is why it is so important for political leadership and their cronies to continue to play "the race card" by decrying anyone who wants to honestly talk about race as someone "playing the race card" and use their talk of "color blindness" to give losing whites a "they" to fear and blame rather than examining just how much they too are being subjected to taxation without representation.

taxation in the form of a growing tax burden on the middle and lower class while the wealthiest pay less and less of their fair share whilst enjoying almost exclusive access to political leadership and policy making...

taxation in the form of being forced to work harder for longer hours for the same pay while prices rise...

taxation in the form of suffering when energy costs soar and skipping meals becomes a necessity to stay warm...

taxation in the form of having to live without adequate health care and spend hours in line at the emergency room because it is the only place they will not be turned away...

taxation in the form of miserable, crumbling, failing schools with inadequate resources and burned out teachers once full of idealism, but now only full of bitterness and sorrow...

taxation in the form of criminal sanctions increasingly designed to put them out of sight and out of mind while responding to the destruction of lives by the elite with wealth and access with a slap on the wrist...

taxation in the form of sending their loved ones to war to fight for a system that excludes them from its benefits while the elite pull strings to keep their loved ones at home (or awal in the national guard)...

taxation in the form of going to war and risking their lives for a system that excludes them from its benefits while noticing that the men and women fighting shoulder to shoulder with them never seem to come from the gated community on the hill...

taxation without representation is alive and well. the nation is shutting the door of opportunity on the poor while asking them to sacrifice more and more to keep the system rolling along for the limited elite who receive the windfall.

of course the same people that claim examining race in this country is "playing the race card" while it threatens their hold on the nation through a politics of fear and bigotry will claim that examining poverty in this country is "class warfare" - another catchy tune to whistle for the elite while they line their pockets and the poor support the policies that are destroying them. well, it very well may be class warfare...declared by the elite and their leadership in the White House and Congress against the working people of America.

so this november, when someone tries to write you off for "playing the race card" or boldly denounces you as declaring "class warfare"...remind them we did not declare this war, but rest assured we will see it done...remind them with your vote by refusing to throw it away on politicians that support the elite over the rest and that refuse to deal with the lasting effects of racist policies.

vote New Whig.

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