As we prepare for Holiday feasts and celebrations (even if smaller and more isolated), don’t forget the millions of people who had to wait, for hours, in line for their meals. They didn’t wait in grocery lines, but in parking lots, awaiting the gift of food from mutual aid networks. While some politicians boast of record stock market numbers, many millions of Americans are in record long lines awaiting a test to confirm if they, too, have Covid 19 — which some are still dismissing as a minor issue, like the flu.
Last Thanksgiving, many of those in line bought their own food for Thanksgiving.
But, for Covid19. But, for pundits, politicians and preachers, who have politicized and demonized mask-wearing. But, for those who believed them over common sense. But, for those who STILL tell their households & constituents that Covid19. But, for those who are so committed to a lie, that they ignore restrictions — to death. But, for politicians who gave U.S. tax dollars to corporations and the wealthy a few years ago — to “help the rest of us”. But, for those same politicians who call support for everyday Americans “socialism”- even as millions of people are newly unemployed and in deep need.
Reverend William Barber and others have re-launched the Poor People’s Campaign, but there are folks who ignored the call to action that was launched by Martin Luther King, Jr. before his asassination. The stories of the poor were ever-present — yet ,ignored by many of us — before Covid-19. It’s said that the estimated 15 million have been joined by 20 million of those suddenly in need, because of the consequences of the great American leadership failure when a pandemic landed on our shores. Now, those numbers of poor have more than doubled. The good news is that antidotes are coming — but, that won’t erase the deaths and pains we have experienced. There will still be more poor people in need. And, there will still be politicians who demonize compassion — Until, you vote otherwise.
A Poor Past Is Prologue
I DARE you watch this 1968 CBS report, called Hunger In America, hosted by the esteemed journalist, the late Charles Kuralt. Think about it this Thanksgiving season. It will stick with you. In fact, send it to your elected officials and agency leaders, who are hired to address these issues of need.
The 1968 report on Hunger In America should have influenced every future Election Day. We will see if Election Day 2022 & every future Election Day will influence the electorate. We will see if those 20 million, suddenly poor Americans will remember their food insecurity & commit to stop others from having similar fears. Poverty was here long before Covid 19. You cannot unsee these stories. What will you do going forward?
Your Vote is always for Your Future
Record numbers showed up on Election Day 2020. They voted for a change OR the status quo. The majority wanted change, but why were so many comfortable with a troubled, sick, racist, divided nation? We need to figure out how to deprogram the hate & polarizing biases, that divides based on more than political ideology that fuels the racism pandemic in our midst us.
A new Congress and President won’t change the state of the union without OUR demand. There are folks still in office, who want to cut more from an already Covid19 weakened safety net. When will we elect more people who care — and oust those who don’t? When will you tell your elected employees to STOP demonizing sustainable support systems for humanity?
Poverty should never be accepted as a norm — Anywhere in the world. For years, there has been global calls for societies, where sustainable development goals are the our rules, not the exception. Yet, our engagement with global humanitarian efforts have been ignored because we had a president (and friends) who declared, “America First”. Mind you, poverty in America has gotten progressively worse under their plan — except for the rich, who have gotten progressively richer. They continue to celebrate the stock market rise, while millions are waiting in line for a meal.
Are you winning yet? And, if you are, don’t you want others to win, too?
The Future Starts with You
Who knows where you’ll be next Thanksgiving. I’m sure there are millions who never imagined they would have to wait in line for food this year — but here we are. What might your story be, next Thanksgiving? What will you do to help make next Thanksgiving better for you and for others?
What does your FAITH teach you?
Wouldn’t you want to support sustained, human victory? Peace on Earth? Love for humankind? Liberty and justice for all? When you’re on the same team, you want all your teammates to win. We need to all be better teammates for Team Humanity if we really want to win.
“You can pray until you faint, but unless you get up and try to do something, God is not going to put it in your lap.” Fannie Lou Hamer
Happy Thanksgivings…call Congress & demand they do their jobs FOR Americans — 202–224–3121.