BY SHARON MARTIN
On a Sunday morning talk show, a political analyst came up with this reason why nothing would get done in the United States Congress this session: President Obama is focused on social justice and not on working with Congress.
Since when is social justice a bad thing?
Of course, the people who say social justice is an impediment to freedom are the same ones who made fun of candidate Obama for being a community organizer. I have a message for them: Building strong communities is not a bad thing, either. It isn’t even an un-American thing.
Social justice and community are not dirty words. The obscenity is corruption. Our democracy has been corrupted, not by poor people, not by gay folk, and not by family planning, but by money and the unequal distribution of power.
The money that corrupts our system has given us the following:
1. Your governor, her staff, and legislators all have better health insurance than you do. Insurance companies and for-profit hospitals, not doctors and patients, control health care for most citizens.
2. Small schools and schools in poor places are being systematically dismantled so that for-profit companies can come in and make a killing on the backs of those who are being denied the opportunities that a good education provides.
3.The poor and minorities are more likely to wind up in prison than people who can afford lawyers and access justice. Meanwhile, it is in the best interest of for-profit prison companies that prisons are full.
4. Legislators have a better retirement system than someone who has taught the legislator’s children for 30 years of her life.
5. With enough money and power, seeds and life-saving medical breakthroughs can be patented so that food, farm seed, and health care can be sold to those who can afford it.
Now is the time for all good citizens to demand justice, including social justice. We must form strong communities to combat the warlords who control our government so we can give it back to the people. We can end corruption, if we are brave enough and have the will.
What are we going to do?
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer