Friday, November 09, 2007

A day of commenting over and over again...

I am pleased my piece about Tammy Baldwin has been picked up and redistributed over and over again. One of the deep satisfactions I have doing this work is to know people are reading, taking it in, and feel it's valuable enough to share.

I have spent most the day responding to comments, over and over again. I don't know if my piece really explains how devastated I was at the loss. How hard it was to admit I would have voted for the legislation, meaning I was leaving friends, colleagues behind. I am reminded of the poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller

"When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out."

I know. You've heard it before a million times. The familiarity makes it lose it's impact. No one is being rounded up and sent to the gas chambers. Hate and bigotry are more refined now, handed out with sound bite ultimatums. But Niemoller was right in assessing how easily fear will keep us contorted in uncomfortable positions, watching our neighbors leave, hoping we will be safe.

I keep hearing Rodney King on the television, "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?" I want to say the same thing to everyone who will be left behind, to everyone who thinks this is a great step forward... Please. We have to get along.

The reality? We lost. We lost the argument in the community to have a inclusive ENDA.

And we are so few, with so little money and resources, we cannot let this create an irreparable rift. If we do? We will ALL lose. I, for one, am sick of the Right Wing spanking us mercilessly over and over in votes because when it's roll call time? They stick together.

That doesn't mean give up and I don't think that makes me a sell out. I hope it makes me a participant who will not be shooed away from the table.

I'm not waiting for them to come to take me... and I really want to all get along.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Well, at least you were would have voted to save yours and not ours. Credit where credit is due.

Sorry if I can't celebrate, rgough. I'll have bigger fish to fry.

Sleep well.

12:00 AM  

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