Friday, February 10, 2006

Coretta Scott King's Politics

It's not a "major address" just a little speech to a community charity and lobbying organization [via]. But it's Coretta Scott King and I'm now regretting very much that I didn't pay more attention to her before. Here's an excerpt:
All organizations working for human rights and social justice should now work more closely together in coalition for social change. We have to work harder for the broader vision of the compassionate and caring society that demands decent living standards for all citizens. Every advancement in human rights that helps an oppressed group really benefits everybody because it elevates the standard of compassion and decency for the entire society.

With the 2002 election behind us, we must now turn our full attention to building an active coalition which can help bring impact no matter which party controls the political institutions. Politicians can be persuaded to change their positions, particularly when they know they can be replaced. Yes, we have to register and turnout more voters in the next election, but we also have to do a better job od educating people about the need for the reforms we are seeking.

The 'interrelated reality' my husband spoke of also applies to the legislative agenda we seek in coalitions of mutually supporting groups. We need to pass comprehensive hate crimes legislation. But, to create a genuinely nonviolent society, we also should work for stronger gun control and for an end to the death penalty. And we need more proactive education against bigotry and intolerance in America's schools, so young people are not seduced by the poisonous propaganda of hate groups.

Most importantly of all, if we want to create a more nonviolent society, we should be very concerned about our country getting involved in war. A war with Iraq will increase anti-American sentiment, create more terrorists and drain as much as two hundred billion taxpayer dollars, which should be invested in human development here in America.
Instead of trading blood for oil, we need to develop alternative sources of energy and mass rail transit, so we don't have to depend on mideast oil for our energy needs. And we can create plenty of needed jobs in meeting this challenge.

The interrelated reality of our legislative concerns also applies to the struggle against homophobia. We need the Employee Non-Discrimination Act to protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender. But to create a society free from bigotry, as well as violence, we also need to protect and strengthen affirmative action. In addition, we need more funding for diversity education, so young people are inoculated against the toxic viruses of racism, sexism and homophobia before they enter the workforce.
Interrelated reality of our legislative concerns applies with a burning urgency to the global crisis of aids. We need full funding for aids research, prevention and treatment. To eradicate AIDS, we must give our medical researchers and scientists all of the support they need to find the cure. But we must first and foremost cure our own hearts of the fear and ignorance that leads to ostracism of people with HIV and AIDS. The real shame falls not on the people with AIDS, but on those who would deny their humanity. AIDS thrives on ignorance, bigotry and fear. In fact, I have no doubt that homophobia has worsened and prolonged the AIDS crisis. We don't have to search for the cure for ignorance, because we know that it is education.

The AIDS pandemic is an interrelated part of the failure of our national health care system. We've got at least 44 million people with no health insurance whatsoever, and millions more with health care insurance that will not protect them against a catastrophic illness. I would appeal to everyone who is concerned about AIDS to also work for national health care reform that covers every person for every illness.
Finally, she finished up with some words about "Homeland Security"
It seems to me that true homeland security ought to be more about providing health care for every citizen and less about reshuffling bureaucratic agencies and undermining our civil liberties. True homeland security should be about protection of liberties. True homeland security should be about protection of pension assets for retired people. Genuine homeland security should also be about gun control, protecting americans against domestic hate crimes and getting serious about reducing the pollution of our air ad water. And homeland security should mean feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and making sure there is quality education for every child and job at a decent wage for everyone who wants and needs one. That's how we make our country safe and secure for all citizens.
There. That's the stump speech for the next Democratic candidate for President. It ought to be, anyway. Any candidate who can't or won't stand up and say these things with conviction is going to lose, anyway.

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