I don’t often engage in political discussions with my coworkers, but this morning, one made light of the government shutdown, saying most government workers don’t work and deserve to be furloughed. I was infuriated by those comments and the Tea Party-esque mindset. Let me just say, this guy isn’t rich by any means. In fact, he has trouble paying his bills, but he still manages to look down on the least among us. Sadly, there are many on the right who share his views and it is very troubling at how callous and self-righteous some people are. Until trouble presents itself on their doorstep.
America is in an ugly place right now and I am very, very worried that the country will slip into another recession. That will have an impact on the black community that is still grappling with unemployment rates in double digits. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has ordered that state funds not pay for any services that the federal government normally foots. The Miami Herald reports that “federal assistance programs that serve foster children, veterans programs, and small to medium-sized school districts are all expected to be short of cash, beginning Oct. 14, state documents show.”
A Bloomberg article sums up the feeling many have, that this dangerous place we find ourselves in is anchored in the American South. “The current fight, a budget standoff that threatens the creditworthiness of the U.S, has vestiges of the secession from the union that started in South Carolina and led to the Civil War. It carries echoes of the nullification crisis over tariffs in the 1830s and the so-called ‘massive resistance’ movement to oppose desegregation of public schools in the 1950s.”
The Civil War-era is an eerie throwback to a period in which blacks meant nothing. This time around, the poor, including many blacks and the middle class, mean nothing to the Tea Party extremists in the Republican Party. Whatever happened to taking care of the least among us?
Will we stand up for what’s right and just in this country? Or are we going to let a handful of extremists politicians, who cater to the fringe elements in their constituencies bring us to our knees as a country with no qualms?