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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Complacent and Passive No More

March 29, 2009

I remember in history class, learning about how working Americans rose up to their oppressive managers and created unions to establish fair and equitable treatment at the workplace. There have been movies made and songs written about our fight for wages and benefits, our fight for rights. So what happened to us that we didn’t do that over the past decade? Why didn’t we start protesting when our health insurance companies began cutting us off for pre-existing illness? Why didn’t we start protesting when we noticed our bosses doing unethical things? Oh, thanks for the reminder…we instituted the “whistle blower laws.” But guess what…it didn’t work. A civilized placement of a law encouraging workers to “speak up” when they notice bad behavior is not how we obtained the rights we have now. Have you ever tried to approach the wrong-doing in this civilized manner? I have, and people I know have, and it didn’t work. It didn’t work because the people you report the evil to are just as evil and probably getting kick-backs to hush you up. The whistle blower law doesn’t work like a good strike works. It is true what they say…there is power in numbers. Enron, AIG, Madoff… as the list of evil bosses grew we continued to be passive, allowed bad things to happen to ourselves. And now we want the government to bail us out? What happened to the spunky Americans who forged ahead and picketed and went on strike, organizing us to stand up for our rights, giving their lives for us? We need a leader of the people. We need a leader within us, like Martin Luther King, like Norma Rae. Where are these modern organizers? Are we all really that afraid of losing our jobs, or being arrested for protesting? I’m disappointed in myself and I’m disappointed in all of us who saw what has been happening to America for all these years and did nothing. And now we pay the price for not voicing our collective thoughts that we silently agreed on for all these years. We need to get together. We need to tell the bosses and the government how things are going to be. We need to right the wrong. No longer should we continue to be complacent and passive. No longer should we allow the government to do things to us, not for us. Maybe it’s too late yet again as we passively watch our fate be dictated to us on the TV.