Is it me or does what's unfolding in response to the health care reform legislation vaguely resemble protests of the 1960s, when people were fighting for and against civil rights? Spitting on members of Congress, shouting the "N" word (in a way that's not related to this column) and the "F" word, brandishing firearms, hurling threats and screaming at the top of their lungs?
Where was this rage when the insurance companies were gouging Americans? Where was this rage when children were being denied health care because of pre-existing conditions i.e., ailments they were born with? Where was this rage when folks had to choose between paying for their homes or for medical treatments? Where was this rage when working Americans could not afford health care or didn't have it as an option? Where was this rage when the prior administration pushed through legislation that created the dire economic conditions under which we're currently suffocating? Where was this rage when thousands of American troops were killed when fighting a war that we entered under false information? Where was this rage when veterans with catastrophic injuries were returning home and couldn't get the health care that they needed to fully participate in society again? Where was this rage when female veterans could not receive the same health services or gender-specific treatment as their male colleagues in VA hospitals?
I could go on, but I won't. The question is, what is driving all of this rage? There's a lot to be pissed off about, but universal health care is not one of them. I wish folks were this interested in our public school system; even though we are failing our children on the education front, there is very little rage or protest. What is it about health care reform that has so many folks' panties in a bunch?
I have a sneaky suspicion that it has little to do with health care and a lot to do with prejudice. What exactly do the words "nigger" and "faggot" have to do with health care anyway? Why is that type of venom being spewed? Oh, let me guess: Some people think the "niggers" and "faggots" will benefit most from this measure. Sorry -- try poor white people, many of whom are uninsured and unemployed. I still don't understand why many poor whites are siding with the political party that is hell bent on keeping them unemployed and uninsured. I'm just saying, they had jobs under President Clinton and voted for President Bush twice who drove the economy into ground, so why all the hate for President Obama? Don't tell me they're cool with white men cramming legislation down their throats as opposed to a black man. We can't be that lame as a society ... or can we?
If you're unemployed and uninsured, the last thing you should be protesting against is a measure that will help you out in one of those areas. But hey, the way our world has gone mad, I'm not so sure anymore.
There is a system in place to challenge this law. Has anyone noticed that 13 attorney generals from various states have come together to file suit against the health care reform law, not to mention those states that are filing separately? There is a system in place that can actually work to pass laws and to challenge them, but we won't let it work because we're stuck on stupid. We're so busy repeating false information and acting on emotion instead of common sense that we look like a so-called Third World country during its first Democratic election. Vandalizing political offices, threatening people's lives, severing gas lines, and mailing powdered white substances to members of Congress. More than 10 Congress people have to have around-the-clock security. Is this Iraq or America? Can you say embarrassing?
Folks are claiming that they're hopping mad because they didn't know about the impending vote. Really? Where the hell have you been? Universal health care has been a topic of discussion for decades and in the news constantly for the last two. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton nearly got run out of the White House as first lady for trying to introduce the idea of health care reform as her project. America told the then Tammy Wynette of politics to walk on by (in my best Dionne Warwick voice). You haven't been paying attention, so other folks are up to no good? Maybe you need to read more or watch something other than Fox News occasionally. I'm just saying.
Whatever the case, health care reform is a scapegoat for something else: hate and hostility, which has never been dealt with in a meaningful way in America. Hopefully this escalating hysteria will not boil over into violence we can't take back and further divide our already clearly divided country.