My father was born in May of 1919, so by my calculation he would be 93 years old if he were still with us. I've said many times, he taught us that there are some White folks who don't sleep at night trying to figure out new ways to keep Black folks down. I never knew my paternal grandfather as he died when my father was 8 years old. However, my mother's father was a fire-brand Methodist preacher, named Shaw, and while I never talked to him much, he published a magazine called "U-NAM–IT" for the people residing in rural Oklahoma where my family lived.
The world is watching certain racist governors of states like Texas, Ohio, Florida, Indiana and a number of other states fighting to turn back the clock to a time when Black folks couldn't vote. These antics remind me of what my father said. I found in my grandfather's writings an editorial on voting where he writes, "So long as America is reported to be 'A government of the people , for the people , by the people' no one who refuses to vote may truthfully say, 'I am an American.'" Refusing to vote is a measure of disloyalty to the government, and to an equal degree, morally disqualifies one from enjoyment of rights and privileges of an American citizen. Failing to vote repudiates the principles for which Americans have died, since 1776, and shows contempt for those who sleep beneath mounds on battle fields of this and foreign countries where Americans have died fighting for freedom . . . Register and vote!
I think my grandfather said it well when talking about those who refuse or fail to vote. There is, however, a difference when people are denied the right to vote. At that point his description of disloyalty and being morally inadequate and contemptuous of those who fought for the right to vote should be turned on those who deny us the right to vote.
I find the blatant efforts of the racists who are working to prevent Americans from voting because a Black man can win again, a declaration of war against Black, Brown and other so-called minority voters. I am pleased, however, to see the ACLU, NAACP, and other organizations with members of all colors and races suiting up to fight the war. But I must say, to paraphrase Fannie Lou Hamer, that I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of fighting racism aimed at keeping my people down and out.
In addition to fighting to keep our folks down, the new Klan which I call the Republican/Tea Party talks about trimming the size of government. I hope it is now beginning to take hold that the words, trimming the size of government, means government jobs will be trimmed. We at the bottom get fired while those at the top contract with the government to privatize government, so they can call it something other than socialism, but something like profits for the already rich through vouchers and subsidies.
"Time" magazine, this week (September 17, 2012), wrote an article entitled, "One Nation Subsidized." The sub title was "How big government underwrites your life." It lists the number of ways that government subsidizes the various elements of our lives. We live in subsidized housing, drink subsidized water, wear clothes made of subsidized cotton, travel on public roads, learn by attending public schools, listen to subsidized public radio, play basketball or tennis on government subsidized basketball or tennis courts. We use subsidized electricity for our various appliances. We use government subsidized health facilities, we utilize medical science health research solutions, play in public parks, we are defended by a government funded police force and a government military.
So, as you agree with the small government theory, remember that that involves jobs . . . jobs as postal workers, police officers, teachers, fireman, school custodians, and water/power company employees, unless you privatize all those jobs. As you privatize, you should remember the owners of the private companies may change the rules about who gets hired and who gets fired, and they will add their profit margin to the price of services. Good luck with that. I prefer to count on my father's caution and watch the people who don't sleep at night.