Health Care, John Lewis, etc…
I’ve obviously been fairly skeptical of the Health Care bill, and can’t agree with those who consider the Bill to be The Greatest Progressive Bill Evah. Any bill that doesn’t mandate castration for health-care executives will probably fall a bit short for me.
That said, when the other side is running around calling Barney Frank a faggot and John Lewis a nigger, a bit of my tribal instincts comes out. As long as those people are opposed to health care reform, I guess I’ll be for it. Anyways… so is Noam Chomsky, so my left flank is covered.
(By the way, my personal biggest worry is what happens when President Palin or Bachmann takes over in 2012. The whole plan is premised on a vigorous regulation of insurance companies by the Secretary of HHS. As we saw under Bush, agencies whose original mandate was to regulate and oversee industries have an annoying tendency to get captured by those very industries, and then simply become the channel through which corporate interests use the power of the Federal Government for their benefit.)
It is, of course, unlikely that the brownshirts who were calling Lewis a nigger had any idea who he was. I’ve heard him speak twice, and he’s one of the few reasons I trust anyone in politics. To this day he votes against the pentagon budget because he considers himself a pacifist since his days in the Civil Rights Movement. And although he voted for the Afghanistan war, he now openly admits that was a mistake.
Anyways… here are some quotes from Lewis’ speech at the 1963 March on Washington, which he helped organize. It was quite controversial, as Lewis and SNCC were seen as too radical, and too critical of the Kennedy administration. This was, of course, the rally where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream Speech.”
“My friends, let us not forget that we are involved in a serious social revolution. By and large, politicians who build their career on immoral compromise and allow themselves an open forum of political, economic, and social exploitation dominate American politics…To those who have said, “Be patient and wait,” we must say that we cannot be patient. We do not want our freedom gradually but we want to be free now….
The revolution is a serious one, Mr. Kennedy is trying to take the revolution out of the street and put it in the courts. Listen Mr. Kennedy, Listen Mr. Congressmen, Listen fellow citizens, the black masses are on the march for jobs and freedom, and we must say to the politicians that there won’t be a ‘cooling-off’ period.
All of us must get in the revolution. Get in and stay in the streets of every city, every village, and every hamlet of this nation, until true Freedom comes, until the revolution is complete. In the Delta of Mississippi, in southwest Georgia, in Alabama, Harlem, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and all over this nation. The black masses are on the march!”
Listen to it here.