“He with the gold …rules.”
That is a line spoken by Bill Moyers in his documentary: “State of Conflict: North Carolina.”
It is a fascinating but troubling documentary, exposing the right-wing takeover of government in North Carolina, bankrolled by one Art Pope, among others …which is resulting in an extreme erosion of rights of people in that state.
Specifically targeted are voting rights, women’s rights, and public higher education. There are consistent “snips” to social safety nets in the state. Medicaid was not expanded in the state, seriously affecting “the least of these” and compromising, if not outright preventing, the very poor to have access to health care.
There is a minister, Rev. William Barber, president of the state chapter NAACP and a key coordinator of the multi-issue, multi-ethnic movement which has taken on the state. Barber began his public protest with a small group of people last year; that number of people has swelled to thousands, gathering in cities all over the state, protesting and fighting what is going on.
There will be a mass rally on Saturday, February 8, in Charlotte.
Those are the facts of what’s going on. Here is my gut-wrenching reaction about what’s going on.
I have long thought that “justice” comes most readily to those who can pay for it. What’s going on says that “government” is defined and shaped by those …who can pay for it.
At the end of the day, is there such a thing as a democracy, where, theoretically, there is “liberty and justice for all?” Is the notion of government “of the people, by the people and for the people” a pie in the sky? How can a select few of wealthy people be so cavalier about the lives and welfare of the masses? How can legislatures so blithely cut away services that will make live more bearable for so many people?
Somehow, a small group of wealthy people, and a larger group of not-as-wealthy-but-wanna-be people have gotten the notion that if one is poor, it’s because he or she is lazy. They have bought into the notion that in America, anything and everything is possible if one is willing to work hard.
Scores of people would refute that, people who are working two, three jobs to make ends meet and who still can’t make those ends meet. Scores of people who do have low paying jobs but with no benefits would refute that as well, stating for the record that they work as many hours as possible – at minimum wage, many of them – and are still living below the poverty level.
That the wealthy cannot see this, or perhaps more stridently, do not believe this or care about the truth of what’s being said and experienced, is troubling. It pulls at the very seams of a nation that prides itself on being morally superior to other nations.
A nation which forgets and exploits its poor cannot be said to be moral, not in any shape, way or form.
A candid observation …