Protesting Injustice

I am 64 years old, the child of parents who lived through the Great Depression, fought in Europe and on the home front in World War II, fought for union rights in the post war years, had high school educations and managed to have 7 children all get higher education.

  • I am old enough to remember when this was a fairer nation, when one wage earner could support a family and have a little bit left over to save.
  • I am old enough to remember when what is normal behavior on Capitol Hill and Wall Street today was a crime, when criminals were arrested, tried and if convicted went to jail, regardless of their status or income.
  • I am old enough to remember when education was a right, not a commodity, when public education was viewed as the pathway to personal, economic and social growth.
  • I am old enough to remember what shared sacrifice really meant, when Americans didn’t argue about providing disaster assistance to their neighbors.
  • I am old enough to remember when the Republican Party put Country ahead of Party, when politics stopped at the water’s edge.
  • I am old enough to remember when the Democratic Party represented working people, when doing the greatest good for the greatest number actually worked.
  • I am old enough to remember what I was taught in elementary school, secondary school and college and to use it to help make my community a better place to live rather than taking advantage of it as a resource to exploit.
  • I am old enough to remember when tuition was free at the state colleges in Pennsylvania, for almost 100 years the 14 state colleges were prohibited from charging Pennsylvania residents tuition.
  • I am old enough to remember when people were encouraged to vote rather than see that right eroded, suppressed and at times violated.
  • I am old enough to remember a time when America had declared a War on Poverty and was actually winning it until another war took precedence.
  • I am old enough to remember what that war was like for those who fought in it, as well as those who fought against it since I did both.
  • I am old enough to remember the Republican Governor of Pennsylvania stopping by to visit my labor organizer dad whenever he was in town, simply because the two of them served in the same unit in WWII.
  • I am old enough to remember when America was truly a kinder and gentler nation, long before the birth of compassionate conservatism.
  • I’m old enough to remember where I was when Dr. King had a dream, when Ike warned about the Military Industrial Complex, when 4 little girls were killed in Birmingham, when a President was shot in Dallas, when man landed on the moon, when a President resigned, and to see a black man elected President.  Now I see a financial sector of the economy controlling the entire political, economic and social system of this nation and doing a corrupt and incompetent job of it.
  • I’m old enough and I hope wise enough to appreciate the history I’ve witnessed and to use that wisdom to help following generations use it to better mankind.
  • I’m old enough to be cynical, yet I’m still an idealist.  I’m encouraged by the young people I see who are carrying their idealism to new heights that may actually change society for the better.
  • I’m old enough to not care about the consequences of my action enough to do what I believe is necessary (non-violently) to help assure my grandchildren a life of dignity.

I may be old, I may have slowed down physically, but my mind still works and my idealism is still strong and my motivation strong enough to say that the only way I will give up is when I breathe no more. 

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