03 February 2004

Democracy is Not a Spectator Sport

What's being done by this administration, in a government of, by, and for the people, is antithetical to our best interests as individuals and as a nation. Though it's being done under our noses, most of us don't find out what happened until the event is run through the spin machine of mainstream media and comes out the other side as meaningless pap.

Like many others, we are consumed by work, paying bills, attending school, finding a job, caring for aging parents, paying rent, dealing with sullen teenaged children, maintaining a marriage, etc. Living one's life takes all 24 hours in the day. Just be aware, the proverbial powers that be count on us being too blinded by the daily grind to see their malicious political manuevering for what it is.

As I am wont to do, I encourage everyone to take time and find out what's going on around them. To paraphrase Booker T. Washington, "cast down your buckets where you are." Simply put, do what you can, when you can to ensure this country lives up to its ideals. We have a participatory democracy in this republic of ours; if we don't participate, it will cease to exist.

If it's an online petition, sign it.

If an effort you believe in needs donations, send in your ONE DOLLAR—those single dollars add up to millions.

If legislation is being proposed and you're solicited to send an email in protest or support, learn about it and send it!

Make use of online news sites (most offer free email notification of new editions). You'd be surprised how much information is not televised, or excluded from major print publications. A short adviso: avoid internet sites that encourage "barbershop talk". Those are topics about things like interracial dating, best rap video, nappy hair vs. chemically-treated hair, Black "racism", etc.

Here are some sites to sharpen your critical thinking:
If there's a zoning committee or city council meeting coming up that affects your part of the city, attend it.

When school board or city commission meetings are televised on your local PBS station, watch them if you can't attend. Remember this: All politics is local; national politics is a reflection of city & state politics. Ignoring local elections is done at the expense of national elections.

When Dubya or his cronies propose a program to help you, be afraid, be very afraid.

Though the journey is long and the burden is heavy, our backs must remain unbent.

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