Here's the deal:
From a campaign speech by then-Sen. Obama ('07): "If American workers are being denied their right to organize when I'm in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes and I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States."
Right on! We'd just like to help him find those shoes. So, send in your shoes, grungy or clean, new or old, formal or not. We're not asking for him to walk with the protestors, for this is a grassroots movement. We simply want to remind him of his commitment to people, to unions. We ask Obama to "walk the picket line" with protestors, not literally, but with policy, with support, and with challenges to Governor Walker.
Here's the address:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Will you send your shoes? Follow on Twitter: #Obamaswalkingshoes or #shoes4pres
In the good old days, which really weren't that long ago, children played on playgrounds quite often. In fact, I played on a playground for at least an hour all the way through elementary school. And, yes, I went to public schools. And, no, it didn't harm me that I went outside and played everyday, used my imagination, and worked on social skills. Yes, the good old days before standardized testing. The good old days that valued creating thinking people, rather than regurgitating children (entire paragraph read: our education system, now, remains remarkably flawed). In the good old days there were schoolyard fights, but not just any old fight.
The elementary school I went to was built in 1954, and had the best playground I have ever seen. It had everything you could want: jungle gym, spiderweb climber, swings, giant slides, and tons of open space to run around. Yet a playground is more than a place for fun. Playgrounds were remarkable locations for imaginations to thrive. Yet there were social dynamics. There was always the antagonist, or the bully, that had to push other people around. One such fellow was Johnny. Now, Johnny always seemed to pester someone. He would push them down, say mean things, and fulfill what one might call a "bully."
In all the times he did those things, teachers rarely got involved. A group of us would, at least during the week, have to chase Johnny away, or stand up against him. Now, I'm sure that there's a backstory for Johnny, and I haven't heard from him since fifth grade, but those six of us that could not stand Johnny's bullying simply took matters into our own hands.
Sure, this was elementary school, not Libya, Yemen, or Egypt. Though I'm sure the point still applies: when you have an egregiously malicious force, and for someone who hurts and oppresses, you can't overcome them by yourself. One must band together with others to stand up to those that otherwise would see your demise. Playgrounds are hardly the Middle East, but have Americans forgotten playground days? Or do we simply hope that things will improve. For the kid who's bullied in today's schools, "hoping" doesn't suffice. For those who are oppressed in the Middle East, "hoping" will not suffice. Hope only works with committed action that focuses on the deeper issues.
Mubarak, Gaddafi, and the like are nothing more than schoolyard bullies. The oppression remains far greater than being pushed off the jungle gym. Lives hang in the balance in the global playground. When bullies act out, we need committed unity to declare that oppressive activity and dehumanizing words will not be tolerated, and are inexcusable. Perhaps we should put all world leaders on a massive playground and see what happens. Something tells me it wouldn't look all too different from the playgrounds of the good old days. If they would agree with it, I'd bet my lunch money that Mubarak would lose in a game of chicken on the jungle gym, and Gaddafi would try to throw pebbles from atop the slide.
I hope this finds you well, though if all the news reports and video footage is correct, you're probably pretty angry right now. Your agenda doesn't seem to be working out too well. Such is life, especially when you attempt to take away basic rights afforded within the historical American landscape. Yet, for all your bickering, whining, and political posturing, I simply want to say, "Your mom."
Yes, it's become the phrase of the Millennial generation. We revert back to it when there doesn't seem to be any other reliable comeback. In this case, it's not because we don't have a sound argument, or evidence, to support union workers. Rather, I say it because you don't seem to respond to anything else. You're stubborn verging on ignorant, and ridiculous verging on lunacy. So, I'm going to match irrationality with irrationality: Your Mom.
Though, it makes me wonder what your mother might think of you. I don't know her, and I don't know if she's around or was around, but she at least did one thing: she bore you. Yes, you're probably mad because you were brought into this life without asking to, and all these problems within the Cheese State weren't you're asking. Too bad, you're there, deal with it. Everyday normal people, people without clout, deal with more complex problems such as: feeding their children; paying their bills; worrying about student loan debt; and, making sure that they improve their communities. To make it simple, because I know that skull of yours is quite hard-headed, they care about life, about humanity, and about dealing with the problems that your policies create.
In fact, you may not think you share much in common with protestors, with those pesky Democrats that constitute a political minority. But know this, when I say "Your Mom," I can say the same to them as well. We all have a mom, we all share one thing, if only one thing: birth. You have found reason after reason to separate yourself from collective humanity. If you were a child, which you might be, I think your mother might send you to time out for how naughty you've been. Yet, she's not here, and you must make "big boy" decisions. Don't be scared, now.
Yes, Governor Walker, I say to you two simple words that bring together all of humanity: Your Mom.
Have you called your mother lately? If not, you should.
Enjoy the Company,
Not Your Mom
With CPAC and President's Reagan's 100th Birthday Celebration we, the United States of America, have seen another chapter in the Neo-Conservative Myth take shape. This grave injustice reflects the undoubtedly ignorant, and displaced understanding of what stories, histories, can do. If anything, the larger history within America portrays story after story of incorrect stories in order to propagate and secure power. The more the story is told, the more it is believed.
As reports of violence against journalists stream in, and the Egyptian people continue to organize, we must affirm that the Egyptian people are in the right. This affirmation is made not in an attempt to only repeat what we've already heard, but to remind us, the free-world, that we must stand on their side. As this lingers on, as the violence grows, we must not waver in our support. Indeed, if those protesting are remaining strong, we too must not waver.
As the uprising in Egypt grows deeper and more widespread, so do calls for Mubarak's abdication of power. It remains interesting to me, however, that three voices of rabble rousing remain largely out of the media spotlight. Typically their opportunistic tendencies would have us expect them to be leading the charge in commentary and fiery rhetoric. But, it seems the chants of the Egyptian people are so loud that they reach across a continent and a sea to silence usual voices of ignorance.