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My letter to Obama, Bill Nelson, Alan Grayson and the Orlando Sentinel on HCR

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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:43 PM
Original message
My letter to Obama, Bill Nelson, Alan Grayson and the Orlando Sentinel on HCR
To the Editors of the Sentinel:

"There were those who said this is an old injustice, and there is no need to hurry. But 95 years have passed since the 15th amendment gave all Negroes the right to vote.

And the time for waiting is gone.

There were those who said smaller and more gradual measures should be tried. But they had been tried. For years and years they had been tried, and tried, and tried, and they had failed, and failed, and failed.

And the time for failure is gone.

There were those who said that this is a many-sided and very complex problem. But however viewed, the denial of the right to vote is still a deadly wrong.

And the time for injustice has gone." -

Lyndon Baines Johnson,
36th President of the United States
upon signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.



Change "vote" for "medical care" and "Negroes" to "working class Americans" and this statement exactly describes both the history and the current state of healthcare in this country - the system is for the "haves" and the "have-nots" like those Negro voters have systematically been excluded from access.

Unlike the current administration's approach to the issue of medical care however, LBJ did not settle for small changes around the edges of the issues of civil rights and voting rights - as he observed "they had been tried for years and years and years and they had failed and failed and failed."

Johnson's passage of the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act (along with others such as Medicare and Medicaid) was a monumental and an extraordinarily difficult task - moreover it was a highly unpopular task in the South and in his home state of Texas - yet he did not shirk the responsibility or delay and dilute the reform.

Had it not been for the Vietnam War, Lyndon Baines Johnson might well have been one of our greatest Presidents, perhaps worthy of becoming the elusive "fifth face" on Mount Rushmore.

I wonder what Johnson would think of the current administration and the current United States Senate which find it so easy to compromise cardinal principles just so they can pass any watered down bill that might be passed off as "health care reform"?

I wonder if he would have been so very willing to back a shamefully watered down HR3200 or whether he would have pushed and cajoled, arm twisted and shamed a reluctant Congress into doing the right thing by passing a bill guaranteeing health care to all Americans such as in HR676?


Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. - Martin Luther King, Jr.


Respectfully,

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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. .
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. Good letter, but... the loaded N word
even if in a historical document, will make the editors take a back step
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. ?
Not so fast.

That's NOT the "N" word.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I am speaking as both an editor and historian
the word Negro is almost as loaded as well the other version.

This is an unfortunate reality of the modern US... but the word Negro is loaded.

Hell, even twenty years ago when studying those documents of the civil rights movement it was clear it was... remember why African American replaced Negro.

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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I'm sorry but that's carrying it much too far...
There is STILL a United Negro College Fund - it is not the United African American College Fund.

http://www.uncf.org /

There is STILL an NAACP it is not the National Association for the Advancement of African American People.

FYI: There was a transition in or around 1968 to "Black" and the term "African American" is something that came out in the 1980's. While the terms "Negro" or "colored" may be antiquated, it is NOT the "N" word and in the historical context of my Johnson quote it is entirely appropriate.

:eyes:
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Yes and as TA I had to explain THAT to Black kids
who saw these HISTORICAL documents as an insult to their race.

Not just my experience. Every faculty member had to spend the obligatory ten minutes per semester explaining this to the class.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Well I am not responsible for other people's failure to learn history
you can say it is so but saying it is so does not make it so.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Of course and this is a failure of the HS system
but if the editor did not have a proper education, or chooses to avoid controversy...

We live in a fucked up ignorant country and people are proud of it... sad but true.

I did and still do my part trying to educate others... but I feel like a fish going against the current... or the general migration.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Martin Luther King, Jr. himself used the term "negro" at least a dozen times in his "I have a dream"
speech.

It may antiquated and not politically correct but there's a vast difference between that term and the "N" word which in the 1960's was considered vulgar and derogatory and racist whereas "Negro" was considered acceptable even for the President of the United States and the leaders of the civil rights movement to use publicly.

I do not ordinarily use the term "negro" and I try to be politically correct by using the term "African American" but in this specific instance it is the correct term to use in reference to a historical speech which used the term.

When I fail to use the politically correct term, I slip and use the term "black" - I was born in 1966 and grew up in the 1970's and that was the term in favor at that point so it is the manner in which I personally slip up.

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I know that
And I will take to the grave the horrified look of one of my kids when I played the speech in history class...

It was kind of Mr. Sager, play the music of the Twilight Zone, this has to be a damn joke. We are only removed one generation.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Well then the point is when you hear MLK using the term, it's NOT MLK who was wrong..
:eyes:
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. And I will be shocked if they run it, pleasantly surprised
but still

And it has nothing to do with you, but the general stoopid in the culture
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