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Posts Tagged ‘Tea party’

A Letter to Senator Scott Brown

In Recent Headlines on April 15, 2010 at 8:30 am

Today’s guest blogger is Kent Elliott, a frequent commenter on our Facebook page.  She and I met in a high school public speaking class. Kent is a working mother who has just completed a Masters program at Lesley University in Early Childhood Education and is specializing in English Language Learners (ELL). She is a writer, a gardener and artist. She was raised in Ft. Myers, Fl., but moved to Boston 22 years ago, fell in love the area and stayed. A lifelong Democrat, she voted for Senator Scott Brown in election that filled Ted Kennedy’s seat. When she shared a letter she wrote to the newly elected senator from her state, she graciously allowed me to post it for our readers here. Thank you for your thoughts, Kent!

Dear Senator Brown,

I just sent off a note to you thanking you for the job you are doing and telling you I voted for you, but I didn’t say why.

After all, I told you I am happy as a life-long Democrat who voted for President Obama and am happy the Health Care Bill got passed.

So what is it I like about you and the job you are doing besides not going to the Tea Party tomorrow? I like that when I read about you, you seem to go your own way and shock people who expect something from you. You seem to stand on your own. I respect that.

Also, you know this state and you know we are peaceful people here for the most part. I am in Somerville surrounded by colleges and immigrants. My town is full of artists and green thinking people.

It really hurts us and our spirits so much to hear the things people in the extreme right call us. The signs I see from the Tea Party, the language, it is very disturbing.

I grew up in the deep South and saw lots of racism down there. It traumatized me as a child and I couldn’t wait to grow up and move north. The Tea Party says it isn’t a White Power party, but I have yet to hear a good and articulate argument from a Latino group, or a Black group, or Catholic, or Muslim, or Jewish or Hindu that supports the Tea Party. I look in the audience and all I see are white people. The significance of this is that Sarah Palin wants to lead this country and we are made up of many groups, not just one.

We are ALL immigrants. Unless you are Native American, you and everyone else came from somewhere else. Xenophobia is not healthy.

They say they know God. God is love. Jesus did not lead an army or pick up a weapon other than the Word of God. It really saddens me that people use God’s name to hate on others.

I am a complex person and voter. My family is made up of Jews, Catholics and Protestants. I have a graduate degree but I am also a single mom that lives below the poverty line. I do not believe in abortion, and I do believe in job creation.

I do vote by party sometimes, but I am willing to vote for people who will bring chivalry and good manners back to the leadership of our nation. I was terrified of the Limbaugh’s and Gingrich’s and that ilk when I lived down South. I heard what people say when they only think white people are in the room. It is awful.

I don’t expect you and I to agree on every issue. I like to think that you are the kind of man President Obama is: A gentleman who is intelligent, reasonable, able to look for the good in each person, able to walk in peace.

We are all just people trying to get by in the world and make it as good a world as we can. President Obama isn’t evil. I am not evil. It really hurts to hear FOX go on about leaving social justice churches  and Obamanation spew.

I hear about militias rising up to wage war on their fellow Americans. I think back to something I read once: “They came first for the Communists, and I wasn’t a Communist so I didn’t speak out…” I worry that some poor family of color or some Muslim of Jewish family will be attacked down South.

I am more worried about terror inside the country than without. Plus, it will really be terrible if we end up in another civil war. We would not only destroy ourselves, but we would make ourselves vulnerable to any real enemies we have outside the country.

I don’t even know anyone who owns a gun. We are all peaceniks up here. It is beyond my comprehension how these folks can be so angry they are willing to start killing.

And how is it worse for people now than 50 or 100 years ago? Used to be Blacks and Jews couldn’t live in certain parts of town, belong to country clubs, go to Harvard…Poor people and children worked 6 days a week in sweatshops for 12 hours at a time, or in coal mines for company script or were sharecroppers. We had polio and other debilitating diseases. Blacks were separate but equal. The KKK was lynching. AND getting away with it.

I think many people think life is better today.

I voted for you because the Democrats seemed too smug and not to be moving on anything. Jobs weren’t happening fast enough for my taste. I hoped you would send a message to them, but it wasn’t that I didn’t want health reform. It was that I DID want it. They got a little scared and found their backbones.

I like Dems, but I do know some fine Republicans. Can’t we ALL disassociate with the militias with guns? Can’t we stand united that starting war within this country would be a VERY BAD THING?? Can’t we all agree that every person of every color, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation can expect to have the freedom to have their own thoughts and beliefs?? I respect Christians and Christian thought, but I do NOT think everyone in this nation needs to do what Christians say. They have to learn to live with people who are different. It is not OK to bully people into a belief system. Also, Texas textbooks are EXTREMELY disturbing too. God is the first scientist. God and science go together not apart.

Anyway, those are all the things on my mind lately. I don’t see in black and white. I don’t want to see anyone get hurt. Please work with my President to model appropriate behavior to the world.

Thanks so much.


Open letter to TEA party patriots

In Recent Headlines on March 22, 2010 at 8:58 am

Foreword: This essay is a bit of a departure from my usual voice, but it’s an attempt to open some much needed dialogue. I hope you take it in that spirit. The intent is not to offend but rather to gather some alternative views. Thank you in advance.

Dear TEA Party Patriots, 

You can breathe a sigh of relief that the Constitution is safe. Many of you offered reassuring words amidst queries as to your motives for the recent protests over the Health Care Bill. Still others offer the “Taxed Enough Already” explanations. Sorry to the Taxed Enough-ers, you still have to pay taxes. Even contributions to your own organization, Tea Party Patriots, Inc., are not tax deductible. That must be a real kick in the pants.

Take heart, as long as Americans pay federal taxes, you have a long list of causes to protest. 

Might I suggest you stage one of your next protests at Yellowstone National Park? Can you believe that tax dollars finance its operation? How many of you have even been there? I have not, so why should I pay for some place I may never visit. Were the park privatized, we could have a corporately sponsored National Park. That would not take away from the natural beauty in the least. In addition, nowhere in the constitution does it suggest we are to have beauty; it is a privilege, not a right. 

Do you have any idea how many hundreds of miles of pavement our tax dollars finance? There are bridges that I will never cross. Why should I pay for roads I do not use? Yet another opportunity for corporate sponsorship to finance the roads! Suppose you could only drive on a road that was sponsored by your brand of vehicle. Consider the possibilities if General Motors sponsored all the roads. No bailout needed for them, because anyone who wanted to use the roads would have to buy their vehicles. Killing two tax drains with one stone. 

The list goes on. Tax dollars pay for so many things most people will never personally use. Privatize it so that only the folks who use it will benefit from it.

Who would sponsor our schools? Currently only 7 out of 10 students graduate from high school, so perhaps the fast food chains could sponsor the schools, ensuring a steady flow of employees when someone dropped out.

It is unfortunate that much of your message was tainted by accusations not so thinly disguised racism and hatred. It is unfortunate that your concern for the nation as a whole seems to only be about the part of the nation you need. It is unfortunate that some of your followers have resorted to brick throwing, spitting, name-calling, and calls for assassination. Thank goodness, however, they guarded Freedom of Speech. Almost every admonition of such behavior I’ve read or heard has also had a disclaimer.

You simply do not want to be forced to pay for programs that do not affect your life. The good news is, this battle may be lost but the war is just beginning.  The list of things to protest has only begun. The opportunities are boundless for creative, free market capitalists.

Who would sponsor war?

More importantly, would anyone sponsor peace?