Turn Up the Heat for Brother Martin

First off  is my plug for the region. I stopped at Whitehouse Fruit Farms in Canfield OH. This is one of many treasures in our area. Great prices on cheese  and lunch meats. Nice selection of produce and regional gourmet items. They are also famous for their donuts and don’t forget the apple cider.

This week I had a friend tell me about a relative’s experience in a doctor’s waiting room. The TV news was on reporting about the earthquake that devastated Haiti. A man in the waiting room said, “I’m tired of the U.S. sending money and help to other countries.” Considering the horror of what was on the TV my friend’s relative was dumbstruck by the man’s comment. She did not speak up to oppose him and felt bad because she didn’t. Her heart was in the right place but it is not easy for everyone to speak out.

This week I also had a woman at work say, “Obama spends too much time concentrating on other countries.” I know her as a good woman at heart but she is one of many who has chosen to let Rush and Beck think for them. I told this fellow worker that it’s a big world and people in other countries are our brothers and sisters and we need to care for one another. Having had more time I could have told her that many countries wish the U.S. would have left them alone. This would have required a long history lesson about the U.S. supporting murderous dictators around the world as long as they were friendly to U.S. corporate interests. Of course conservatives would label me a traitorous apologist for telling such facts.

It’s time for people to turn off Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly and all the “we distort you decide” FOX NEWS. Instead read, “Confessions of an Economic HitMan” an alarming insider book that will tell you about how corporations set foreign policy.

I heard callers to CSPAN say, that no country helped us after Katrina. The fact is that over ninety countries offered help but we didn’t accept help from all of them. Some of those countries offering help were very poor countries like, Afghanistan, Mexico, Vietnam, Honduras, Peru, Cambodia and Cuba.

I was hoping no one would try to make some political points by saying we need to take care of “America first.” I was thinking no decent human being was going to argue politics at a time when fellow human beings needed help. I forgot that people like Rush and Pat Robertson are not decent human beings. Keith Olbermann gets it right on these two subhumans.

There are lots of people like the one in the doctor’s office who think they can spew out hate no matter who is in the proximity. My friend’s relative was saddened that she didn’t stand up to this lout. Truth is ignorance is bliss and you can’t say anything that will reach the soulless. That said, I will admit I don’t let any such statements go unanswered ever. I don’t care if I can’t  change that person’s mind. I just don’t want them to think that because I remain silent I agree with them.

I would have politely said to the man, “Mothers are so poor in Haiti that they feed their children cookies made of mud to try and stop the hunger pains.” If he responded back in an attitude of I don’t care I would have gotten firmer. I would have said, “I hope you don’t consider yourself a Christian.” Any argument back from him and I would have finished with, “I’m betting you’re here to see the doctor about getting a heart that works.”

I want to caution and clarify what I am saying because I draw the line at physical violence. You have to realize you don’t hate the  person with unjust ideas, you hate the ideas. I believe in fighting verbal fire with verbal water at first but if that isn’t working by all means fight verbal fire with verbal fire. It’s high time people speak out against racist and unjust comments. Time to turn up the heat!

In a day it will be Martin Luther Kings birthday.  I am sure he would not have been silent when hearing someone trash our brother and sisters  who share this planet. I know he would have spoken out loudly because I remember his words like this: “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

I decided some time ago it was not good for my health, to not speak out against injustice when I hear it. It is better for me to verbally beat some soulless slob up then to make myself sick by staying silent. I believe as IWW labor activist T-Bone Slim said, “Wherever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack.” Attack by turning up the heat for Brother Martin!

A trusted organization to send your dollars to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti is Partners in Health. Thanks to the Valley Coalition for Peace & Justice for suggesting this organization.

Linda and the Traficant Lemmings sing: The Jim Traficant Song

Shame on you Casey Malone for attending the above event.

MLK Song: Let Freedom Ring

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” ~ Martin Luther King



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2 responses to “Turn Up the Heat for Brother Martin

  1. Kristina

    shame on you for shopping whitehouse fruit farms, they have a bad reputation for the way they treat the Mexicans who work for them but since they aren’t real americans maybe you don’t care

  2. elecpencil

    I have never heard that White House Farms mistreated Mexican workers from anyone. I do care about labor issues very much and I care about the treatment of any laborer whatever their background is. Send me some proof and I’ll take it up with some activists and labor folks and see what can be done.

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