For a long time, the progressive movement has been maligned, denounced, villifed by those who not only stole the power of the people in this nation but sought to move it eternally into a place of oppression. Well, they're gone. But for what it is worth, I'd like to counsel you that their absence is a very brief one. At this moment they are working tenaciously not only to understand what happened, that they should have lost thir power, but how to regain it. It is up to us to be proud of who we are, proud of being liberals, proud of being progressives, proud of being gay, proud of being black, proud of being women, proud of being workers, proud of being young, and know that we can shape the future. Each and every one of us has that task.... the last thing Dr. King ever said to me before he was assassinated was when we stood in a room and he reflected on the state of the nation. He looked at the war in Vietnam. He looked at the sluggish economy. He looked at the pain and the anger and the rage that existed in America on the issues of race. And he said rather solemnly, "Harry, I believe we are integrating into a burning house." And when I asked him what would he have us do, if that be his thought, he said, "We are just going to have to become firemen."Each and every one of you here tonight represent the firemen. We have to walk into the flames of right-wing mischief. We have to walk into the flame of opposition. We have to take stock of what's going on in this world and be rooted in the belief and the knowledge that we can change this and that we will change this.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Firemen stand up
i know there's been a lot of folks swept up in the awe of Obama's inauguration -- myself included, albeit with a certain hesitancy. on my way to work listening to "Democracy Now," I couldn't help it to be moved by actor/activist Harry Belafonte's words at a post-inauguration gala. I don't know if I agree if "they" are truly gone -- Bush is gone, but not gone are the fucked up police, among others -- but I was still moved by Belafonte's timely and inspiring words: