Saturday, November 29, 2008

Grace on Living for Change (#29)

Maiya Grace with Big Grace in April 2007

Here is an excerpt from Grace Lee Bogg's new article in the Michigan Citizen (Nov. 30-Dec. 6):

"Two weeks ago in my first post- election column, I wrote that I will not be among those organizing or participating in protest demonstrations against Obama’s actions or inactions, trying to hold his feet to the fire. Neither will I wear a hair shirt, regretting that I voted for Obama instead of Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney whose policies are more in line with mine.

That is because my support for Obama was never based on his policies or promises which, with few exceptions, are not that different from those of other Democrats. From the outset my eyes were on the people at his rallies, especially the youth who, inspired by his persona and his eloquence, shed the fears instilled by the Nixons, Reagans and Bushes since the 60s and, imbued with a new hope, began organizing on his behalf.

For me, not just Obama’s victory but that transformation of “we the people” from Fear to Hope, from passivity to activity, from looking on as spectators to participating as citizens was what was so historic about this period.

As I wrote last week, “Every time Barack insisted that it was not about him but about us, we were reminded of our potential for becoming a better people and a better country. When he talked about change we can believe in, and we shouted back “Yes we can,” we were discovering the room for growth in ourselves.”

Now that the campaign is over, let’s not turn all our attention to the Oval Office, constantly comparing Obama and his actions or inactions with FDR and the New Deal, refusing to face the reality that our time is not the 30s. and forgetting the millions who were transformed during the campaign and who need to continue this process of transformation into active citizens if we are to save our planet and ourselves.

Instead of throwing billions at the economy in order to get our financial system working again, we need to take steps, however small to begin with, towards creating a local sustainable economy that enables us to work, eat, and take care of our families, bring the neighbor back into the ‘hood. and slow down global warming. Together we can create a local food system, local health clinics, local safety and security committees – and happiness."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jenni. I just read another article by grace from earlier in the month. Thanks for including this one.