Us Not Forget
By W. David Jenkins III
Michael Moore has done us all a large favor. His latest work,
"Stupid White Men," contains something I needed to remember.
Something we all need to remember. A day we need to relive
whenever we feel like we're losing our grip. The day that
redefined a collective sense of community between many of
us in the face of something we never thought could take place
in America. Something many folks refuse to admit took place.
January 20, 2001. The day "The Coup" became reality.
The first chapter in Moore's book recaps that dark and rainy
day a little over a year ago. I remember feeling somewhat
satisfied with the weather in D.C. that day. It seemed so
appropriate and, at the same time, foretelling of things to
come. It was as if Nature decided to cast a vote seeing that
our votes, especially those in Florida, had been blatantly
tossed aside. Nature took it upon herself to stand up for
most of us and rain on the thief who would soon lift her garment
in search of another dollar. And she followed him for months.
Some of you may recall that many of Dubya's outdoor appearances
were plagued by rotten weather early on in his "residency."
Like the old margarine commercial used to say, "One should
never fool with Mother Nature!"
Do you remember where you were on that day? Do you remember
how you felt? I remember hearing how Washington D.C. was going
to have to add extra security on Inaugur-Auction Day. I remember
hearing about the masses of expected protesters that were
coming. I remember channel surfing and net surfing looking
for hope. Looking for signs that the rest of America was as
angry as I was. I remember seeing a sign reading DemocraticUnderground.com
but the clip was so quick, I had to call a friend to make
sure I'd seen what I thought I'd seen. I remember spending
the months of the campaign going through Bush Watch and then
zipping over to Voter.com and wonder what the heck was wrong
with people? All these polls showing Bush either a little
ahead or neck and neck with Gore. Of course this was before
I knew what a "freeper" was and what they do to polls. And
now, here I was with so many others, staring at my television
in disbelief. Do you remember how sick and angry you were?
Then came that magic moment. I had switched to C-Span because
I was growing sick of the commentators yakking it up or cutting
away every time Dubya's motorcade came across one of the many
thousands of robbed voters who booed him. C-Span was showing
just sound and pictures, no talk. Then it happened. I had
to look twice to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing.
But there it was. So beautiful and so appropriate on this
The egg. That wonderful angry egg.
I remember the feeling of satisfaction seeing that blessed
projectile slamming into his limousine. I tried to remember,
did Clinton get egged at his inauguration?
Did Reagan or Bush I get egged at their inaugurations?
But there it was. And soon it was joined by another, and
another. I remember wishing that the limo would be turned
into a raw, dripping obscenity on wheels but soon the driver
realized what the gas pedal was for and they sped off.
In the crazy days since 9/11, it's been difficult for some
folks to re-visit the anger and sense of despair we all felt
that day in January. For some reason, some people feel that
Dubya woke up on Sept. 12th and became FDR. The media kept
telling everybody that he had somehow "grown into the presidency"
while we all shook our heads and said "Excuse me??" The underhanded
way Bush had stolen away the will of the American people caused
many to speculate as to what really happened on that tragic
day last fall. We were and are being constantly told how united
we are without ever once hearing somebody, anybody, speak
on behalf of the misgivings many are having concerning all
this mess. We find ourselves identifying with a roach like
Trent Lott when he said in 1999 he could support the troops
without supporting the president.
But unlike Senator Toupee and his jab at Clinton, it is not
blatant partisanship which makes us question the actual motives
in Bush Inc.'s policies. It's because we simply do not trust
him or any of them! They do not now, nor did they then, have
anything resembling a mandate. Yet they continue to prey upon
our weakness and grief over September to try to make this
country an ugly place. Whether it be a unified hatred for
all things Muslim or foreign to the wanton rape of this country
in the name of "security." From the plundering of our civil
liberties in order to advance a government sponsored form
of xenophobia to the denial of access to information concerning
who really runs this administration.
Bush and Company have desecrated the memory of lost souls
in September by using them as a vehicle to do what we wouldn't
have allowed them to do prior to that horrible day. And every
time somebody says "wait a minute" they have the audacity
to point to the wreckage in NYC and say, "This is why. This
is why we want you to stay paranoid. This is why we are going
to raise pollution limits. This is why you must spy on your
neighbor. This is why you should stop asking questions about
Enron. This is why I'm going to make Daddy rich with weapons
the military says are useless and out of date. This is why
you shouldn't pry into exactly how terribly I screwed up."
It's not even a matter of reading between the double-speak
anymore. They are being shamelessly conspicuous about it.
And, so far, they're still getting away with it.
So we go back to Democrats, Bartcop and BuzzFlash.com to
make sure we're not going crazy. We watch garbage passing
as news on television and wonder if these journalists are
really that stupid or merely being manipulated. We zip back
to Liberal Slant, Common Dreams or America Held Hostile because
we crave to hear the voices of those who speak how we feel.
Or we run to MWO and FAIR just to be sure somebody else knows
that Rush and O'Reilly are ignorant shills. It's so easy to
begin to feel like we're alone and that nobody is hearing
how we feel. Then writers like Moore or Carville come out
with something that reminds us that we're not crazy. That
we're not alone. So what if Barnes and Noble or Borders hide
these books in the back of the store. That doesn't stop us
from bringing them back up front where they belong does it?
That's what I did. They only had five copies of "Stupid White
Men" left so I brought them up front and placed them on top
of O'Reilly's and Buchanan's books. I like to call it "Stealth
Activism." Try it out sometime because I guarantee you'll
There are signs recently that the worm is beginning to turn.
Daschle and others, including some Republicans, are beginning
to ask questions and put up roadblocks when it comes to Bush's
War. People's tolerance for the secretive operation that is
Bush Inc. is starting to fray and wear thin; much like the
cheap flags they spent $14.99 for back in September. No matter
how much the "freepers" have tried to discredit Moore's book,
it's still a number one best seller. Things are starting to
change for the Smirking Chimp (yes, another good site to check
out) that we've been forced to call "Mr. President." Spring
will be here soon and somehow it feels like this winter wasteland
of a sham presidency may thaw with the ice and snow as well.
Like a woodland pond in April the ice will thin and George
and Company will fall into the still frigid waters. It would
make a great Hallmark card.
"Sorry to hear of your loss...you Thief!"
But, alas, we know Bush won't give up. Not easily. He's going
to keep on going and the media is going to keep on white washing
and we're going to keep on getting frustrated. The little,
fortunate draft-dodging AWOL-er is going to keep nauseating
us with his "Let's Roll" garbage while the folks from Fox
will still become orgasmic when they speak of Bush's leadership
qualities. That's when we need to remember January 20th. That's
when we need to embrace the above mentioned and other web
sites which remind us we're not alone. That's when we need
to remember "The Egg." That's when we need to go to the local
bookstore and practice a little "Stealth Activism.
Trust me. You really will feel better.