By Rev. Charles Williams II
As Republican legislators seek to kill collective bargaining and lay off our teachers, firefighters, police and public service workers, we have to get up, get into it and get involved.
Think Occupy Wall Street and the Wisconsin demonstrations and mobilizations.
It is a well-known fact that folks, who hung out in the political middle, no longer care about the left or the right. They have been driven to the bottom. Only to seek a way up and out.
Why is this? It doesn’t take a genius to see that politicians and corporations seek to exploit those of us at the bottom. We don’t have million-dollar yachts or houses; we don’t have maids or lavish expensive parties; we don’t have super expensive cars or even a couple of Cadillacs like Mrs. Romney.
What we do have is the ability to collectively find our interest in a candidate, and get that person elected. When the manufacturing line worker, the city tree trimmer, the retiree living on social security and the college student on financial aid come together, it becomes an insurmountable task for those who seek to destroy and abuse us everyday people.
We, the newly entitled 99%, know that we can and have elected a president who believes in healthcare, social security, accountable banks and government support for higher and k-12 education. These who are newly entitled the 1% acquire their wealth by exploiting those of us who have foreclosed and short-sold houses, for those of us who count every penny we put in gas tanks, and we who seek student loans to acquire employment for a liveable wage or try to stay alive with poor health.
But we are benevolent because we purchase their pens, use their toothpaste and buy their energy, while they seek deregulation and no governmental oversight. We invest our 401k’s and pensions dollars while they try to raid and privatize our retirements.
What the 99% can’t match in dollars, we can answer in everyday people simply engaged in democracy. As we watch the election this week unravel in Wisconsin, our hope is that our collective voice of organized people will win. Not by millions and millions of dollars spent on fear-mongering ads, but by our only worth in the democratic process – our vote. This election in Wisconsin will tell a story about what should happen in November’s presidential election.
I hope the corporate thieves never receive a return on their massive investments. Then truly we will show them, not just in our protest and demonstration, what democracy really looks like.
Reverend Charles Williams II is a civil rights activist and Pastor of the historic King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit.