October 8th, 2008

More of the same

Op-ed piece in West Virginia newspaper

Palin's posing is a disservice to women's rights
October 5, 2008
Eva Knapp

Excerpts (emphasis mine)

The fight for women's right to vote in this country was long and brutal. Suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and others called out our government in 1848 at a historic assembly at Seneca Falls, N.Y., but it took another 72 years for the 19th amendment to pass.
In January 1917, the National Women's Party began a peaceful protest across from the White House. Their relentless demonstration over the months became an international embarrassment for our "democracy" and police were ordered to disband them. Arrests (218 total) began on June 22 with trumped-up charges of "obstructing traffic," and culminated with a Nov. 15 "Night of Terror."
Gender politics in this election is making a mockery of this hard-fought battle for democracy, and could permanently subvert what real progress for women means.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain, in cynical deference, introduced Palin for vice president by saying he was proud it was "in the week we celebrate the anniversary of women's suffrage." This from a man who (1) voted against a measure to help women get pay equality, (2) voted against extending insurance coverage to pregnant women and infants, (3) voted against funding breast cancer research and (4) voted repeatedly against funding to fight domestic violence -- just to name a few.

Palin's record regarding women is McCain-compatible. Reports from Alaska say she's done nothing to address rampant sexual abuse, rape and domestic violence. While mayor of little Wasilla, women (mostly poor) were required to pay from $300 to $1,200 for testing to prove they were raped. More shocking, Palin opposes abortion even for victims of rape or incest. According to public-safety experts, Alaska is one of the worst in the nation for rape and sexual abuse of children, with 25 percent of rapes resulting in pregnancies.
This "pro-family" small-town woman is a fictional creation -- one her handlers hope women voters will buy.
Link to full article in Charleston Gazette.

Let's talk about racism

This is a speech by Rich Trumka, the secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, at the United Steelworkers convention in July of this year.   This (white) union leader takes on the touchy and unpopular issue of racism - and the role it's playing in the election (even though it's mostly unspoken). He is met with support and applause from the attendees at the convention.  As he states, if a worker wants to keep his job, his income, his house, his health insurance, etc... then that union member needs to vote for Obama...

Challenging those in the audience to speak to their fellow union workers about the issue, Trumka quoted Edmund Burke, saying "all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing."

I think his speech - and the crowd's reaction to it - is inspiring.  What do you think?

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Links to other sources discussing this video:
The Atlantic
The Nation
People for the American Way