Reverend Rolen Womack, chairman of the African American Ministers Leadership Council of People For The American Way, and Reverend Willie Brisco, president of Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH), a Gamaliel foundation affiliate, crusaded with me from Madison to Milwaukee. During the exile of the legislators who were civilly disobedient, we were fighting against the horrible laws proposed by the republican legislators that seek to kill collective bargaining, layoff teachers, firefighters, police and public service workers. Reverend Edwin Rowe of the Central United Methodist Church and I spent time organizing and supporting Occupy Detroit activists. In both cases, our message was simple: get up, get into it and get involved! Kudos to James Brown and the Reverend Al Sharpton. During these last couple of years, there has never been a more defined line between the haves and have nots. With Wall Street Occupation and Wisconsin demonstration and mobilization, we see that folks who hung out in the middle no longer care about the left or the right, but now have been driven to the bottom. Only to seek a way up and out.
Why is this? Simple. It doesn't take a genius to see that there are those who seek to exploit us. We at the bottom: we don't have million-dollar yachts or houses, don't have maids, don't have lavish expensive parties, don't have super expensive cars or even a couple of Cadillacs like Mrs. Romney. What we do have is the ability to collectively find our interest in a candidate, and get him elected. When the manufacturing line worker, the city tree trimmer, the retiree living on social security, and college student on financial aid come together, it becomes an insurmountable task for those who seek to destroy and abuse all of those titles that regular everyday people hold. What we, who are newly titled as the ninety nine percent, know is that we can and have elected a president who believes in healthcare, social security, accountable banks and government support for higher and K-12 education. Those who are newly titled the one percent acquire their wealth by exploiting us that have foreclosed and short sold houses, that count every penny we put in gas tanks, that seek student loans to acquire employment for a livable wage and that seek to stay alive past pre-existing health conditions. However, we are benevolent because we purchase their pens, use their toothpaste, and buy their energy, while they seek deregulation and no governmental oversight. We invest our 401k's and pensions dollars while they try to raid and privatize our retirements. Meanwhile, they take millions in profits from products we buy, and thanks to citizens united, now they can place them in super pacs seeking to use those dollars against our own interest.
Although the ninety nine can't match in dollars, we answer in everyday people simply engaged in democracy.
As we watch the election this week unravel in the State of Wisconsin, our hope is that our collective voice of organized people will win. Not by millions and billions of dollars spent on advertisements of the politics of fear, but by our only worth in the democratic process: our vote. This election in Wisconsin will tell a story about what should happen in November's presidential election. Either Koch brother dollars will prove a successful swift boat, or the massive wisconsin rally's chants will ring out "the people united will never be defeated." I hope that those investing these dollars in massive amounts never see the return on their investment and then truly we will show them, not just in our protest and demonstration, what democracy really looks like. By this, we will send a message to the one percent, and send Willard Romney and Scotty Walker to a place where they can nest in peace.