Things are getting very interesting out in Egypt. Well, for that matter all across the Middle East. Seems we are witness to a great bit of human history here and I, for one, don't want to miss any of it.
Truth be told, I hope it catches on everywhere... especially here!
Human beings have a genetic need to be free. We are a natural conundrum. Solitary creatures who crave the company of our own kind. That said, we are lazy bastards. We allow the loudest amongst us determine what direction we turn. Thankfully, the smartest ones have prevailed and we haven't gone extinct - but not for the want of trying. How many times has humanity taken itself to the brink of extinction only to back away at the last minute? Too many to count, I'm afraid.
I guess we are also lucky bastards.
Here in America, we face a threat quite similar to the one in Egypt. But, where are the protests? Why aren't millions of Americans crowding the streets of Washington or New York calling for the heads of those who pound at the nails of our coffins? What will be the trigger that will set off the American people to take to the streets?
I'm old enough to remember the protests of the 60's and 70's. I remember the tears shed for the four students killed at Kent State in 1970. I lived in a rural town that wasn't completely cut off from the events unfolding in the bigger cities. At my school (Catholic parochial) there were VISTA volunteers, young college students, who wept for those in Ohio. The discussion that followed and the Christian teachings of the nuns had a profound effect on me. I learned how to see through the rhetoric and embrace the humanity of the moment. I also remember the cold, heartless people who, when hearing about Kent State, cheered and said that was a 'good start'. It was my first exposure to the hate-filled mind of the conservative.
We've come full circle. We see the Egyptians experience their own Kent State. It could be their Valley Forge too.
It's a damn shame it's only happening in the Middle East. Because of eight years of the corrupt policies of a Republican president and corporatist Congress, America has nothing to say. Our words ring hollow in the ears of the Egyptian people. We sit next to Mubarak on his precipice. Lessons of our struggles against oppression, our history in defense of liberty and justice go unlearned because of the cozy partnership our government had with a cruel and hated Mubarak. President Obama can make the most inspiring and patriotic call for democracy and liberty for the Egyptian people and no one will listen. All they see is the hand of our government on the shoulder of Hosni Mubarak as he stands on the throat of his own people.
After living through the last 30 years, I'm embarrassed to say that we have nothing to teach those who seek freedom.
In nature, all things change. If the environment gets too toxic, you adapt. Either you learn to live with the toxicity or you filter it out and make the environment healthy again. Or you die. It's that simple. Evolve or die. No one is immune to this, whether you believe in it or not. The choice is unavoidable.
Heads or Tails?
So Mote It Be,