And so, T.C. pleasantly surprised herself this weekend by realizing that she is not too cynical to get inspired… Let me begin by saying that like most of you, I read the news every day, and it seems to me that we are experiencing not just a financial meltdown of epic proportions, but a cultural and moral one as well!
Now don’t get it twisted, I don’t mean “moral” as in “the cross” and “clutched pearls”, I mean moral as in we as a society seem to have lost our way. We seem to have come to place where the only people being rewarded and celebrated are the people with the most hate to spew and the worst public behavior! “I’m ready for my f%cking close-up Mr. De Mille”. *I am looking at you cast of ALL the Real Housewives, Paris Hilton, Mel Gibson, Pat Buchanan, Sarah Palin…and the list goes on*
The worst you are, the more fame, money, and followers you obtain. That my friends, is the New America, and it makes my stomach turn.
Last week however, instead chasing the headlines with a pack of Advil and a bottle of Pepto Bismol, I engulfed myself in something different. I decided to attend the Congressional Black Caucus’s Annual Legislative Conference. For those who are not inside the beltway, and don’t work in this dysfunctional circus we call “politics”, the conference is an event that happens annually when all the major Black thought leaders, politicians, policy wonks, and the like descend on Washington for a week of issue forums, “braintrusts”, films, and ah yes, the parties! Now generally this conference is an excuse to put on painful shoes and fabulous outfits and party hop—and yes, I still did all of that…I’m not dead! *wink* But, I also sat in on some of the most thoughtful policy forums I’ve been to in awhile. Where people were talking about issues and laying out plans…remember those, you know actual solutions instead of complaints!
The FLOTUS spoke, and the statistics that she articulated about America’s youth are still haunting me—days later. “The greatest threat to the sustainability of our society is the health and well-being of our children” she exclaimed, because 40% of our children are obese or overweight. Yet we continue to pump them full of high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and mystery meat, and call that “breakfast”. All the while locking them in their rooms with their computers and telling them it’s not safe to go outside. Then we scratch our heads and wonder why we have a childhood obesity epidemic on our hands??? Okay, I digress.
My point is that, this year’s forums highlighted headline issues in a thoughtful and eye-opening way. How refreshing!
The week’s events concluded with a gala on Saturday where President Obama spoke. He was and is absolutely captivating. As I watched him on stage (btw my seat was so close it was bananas), I had the Chris Matthews’ “tingling sensation” running up my leg, and held on to each and every word he uttered. His speech can be summed up with his final quote about moving America forward, “If you want a car to move forward, you put it in D; if you want it to move backward, you put it in R.” Classic! The President was finally fired up! And with his words I felt my spirits begin to rise.
The tea party has lulled this country into a trance—campaigning on hate and capitalizing on fear, hoping that we wouldn’t awake from our Bush-induced “my-life-is-in-the-shitter-and-I-need-someone-to-blame” stupor until they were in power—and adding anyone who disagrees with them to some neo-McCarthyist list! Yes, we are in the worst recession in decades, yes foreclosures are at an all time high, and yes millions are out of work…BUT, if you expected that the policies that this country had been operating under for almost a decade were going to miraculously disappear in 2 years, then you are as out of your mind as those lunatics with Lipton tea bags glued to their LL Bean shirts! We have become so accustomed to having everything we want, when we want it, that we forget that progress and change don’t happen just because you enter it into Google and hit search.
If you think we’re in deep “Barney” now, then wait and see what happens if you just continue to sit on your couch and wait… Wait until the headlines read “Tea-Party backed Palin wins the Presidency”. Oh you think it can’t happen??? Eight of the Republican backed candidates lost their primaries to Palin-backed Tea-Party candidates. Eight! Wake up and smell the Earl Grey my friends, they are coming… and if we don’t put down the remote and collectively put together a master plan…quickly and shake America out it’s “tea-haze”, this country could end up once again stuck in R with a bunch of crazed elephants at the wheel.
And that’s my Two Cents!