Occupy Elgin will gather on Saturday, March 26th, 2016 at the corner of Kimball Street and Grove Avenue in Elgin from 1:00 PM till 2:00 PM. Please join us. We will hold signs and distribute a flyer with the following text.
Choose Love! Oppose Racism!
Life has become harder for many Americans in recent decades. Unscrupulous politicians seize upon our frustration and give us someone to blame. People of a different race or religion become easy targets, along with refugees and migrants.
But the forces that make life difficult for White Americans are the very same forces that are driving refugees to our borders and pushing African-Americans into second-class citizenship. They are the same forces that want to keep us focused on the threat of terrorism and afraid of our Muslim neighbors. These forces are the multinational corporations and the wealthiest one-percent. It serves their purposes to keep us divided against one another. That keeps us from noticing that the economic system has been rigged against all of us.
For example, the Trade Treaties have devastated the middle class in both Mexico and the United States, but they have enriched and empowered the multinational corporations and their top investors. The tax code allows them to pay tax at a far lower percentage than we pay. In many cases they pay no tax at all. Organized labor has been almost crushed and is still under vicious attack. We work longer hours, compared with Europeans, and, despite our productivity, our wages remain shockingly low.
Our social safety net is badly torn. That wealthy class wants to cut it away altogether. They keep trying to “reform” Social Security and Medicare. Health Insurance is still expensive and often inadequate for families.
Meanwhile, our criminal justice system is harsh and brutal when applied to the poor and to racial minorities, but it is lax and forgiving when it comes to the bankers who caused the 2008 economic crash, and the corporate executives who regularly pollute our air, water and land while getting wealthy.
No wonder we are angry. But if we spend our anger trying to exclude immigrants, or vilify Muslims or punish Black people, we only help that wealthy class to keep us down. Even some members of that class recognize the unjust nature of this destructive system which is spiraling out of control.
To uproot racism and end religious bigotry, we must move out of our comfort zone. We must extend ourselves to try to understand people who are different from us. Their appearance, their languages, their beliefs and their life experience make it hard for us to know how to begin to make friends with them. But we have to do this, not just for their sale, but for our own sake.
Until we affirm the infinite value of each unique human being, we cannot begin to heal our overheated planet and start constructing a better, sustainable society.
Here is a link to an article which supports our argument.
And here’s a link to a budget proposal which would take several steps toward that better future society.