How We Have Failed Since September 11, Redux

First posted here on September 10, 2014

How We Have Failed since September 11

Tonight President Obama will address the nation about ISIS and any actions that we may take in response to the horrific murders of Americans and innocent civilians at the hands of terrorists.

Tomorrow there will be an observance in my community, and many others, to honor the thousands of lives lost to hate and terrorism, and to support the families and friends who knew someone they loved would never return home again.

Since September 11, 2001 we as a country have talked a lot about being kinder to one another and being a better country. Yet 13 years later this is what consumes us as a country:

  • fighting about allowing two consenting adults of the same-sex to legally marry each
  • failing to take care of the thousands of veterans who have defended our country, many of whom returned with horrible wounds from the Middle East since September 2001
  • allowing private corporations to decided which forms of legal birth control they will cover for employees through company based health insurance because some corporations should have the same privileges as churches
  • granting corporations the same rights as citizens so businesses can pour money into elections and our representatives’ pockets
  • making it harder for citizens to exercise their right to vote
  • subsidizing corporations with huge tax breaks while their employees working full-time never earn enough to break the poverty barrier
  • denying the hard facts of science because profits should come before cleaning up the mess we’ve made of the entire planet
  • deporting children
  • complaining about failing schools while slashing teacher pay and testing our children to death
  • sitting by silently while racism and sexism are displayed proudly
  • being sure we can take our assault rifles into the grocery store
  • we pay for and support violence on playing fields, in the movies we watch, video games we buy, music we listen to, and television shows we watch, but we react with horror when students are sprayed with bullets in their classrooms, women are drug from elevators by their hair, students are bullied, children and women are raped as well as being forced into prostitution
  • too many among us are convinced that their brand of faith should be followed above all others, and if necessary the rights of other citizens should be denied because they choose to worship differently, or not at all

We absolutely should remember and honor the victims of September 11th’s violence. I’m just not convinced we are a country that is a better reflection of the democratic values and freedoms which terrorists intended to destroy 13 years ago.

 

Among good friends and family

What I might write here about Moral Monday 12 on July 22 won’t add anything better than what has been captured in the photos and two videos below.

My nephews Dillon and Andrew are on the left, my friend Sarah Chew is behind the sign on the right. Photo credit to Armed Democrats for the man in the middle of this collage.

My nephews Dillon and Andrew are on the left, my friend Sarah Chew is behind the sign on the right. Photo credit to Armed Democrats for the man in the middle of this collage.
Mary Helms from News 14 Carolina coverage
Mary Helms from News 14 Carolina coverage

My sister Mary Helms on News 14 Carolina:

Amy Axon from NAACP video, July 22, 2013
Amy Axon from NAACP video, July 22, 2013

The NAACP’s video includes my Guilford College classmate Amy Evans Axon at 5:40

When a tax credit becomes a poll tax

The North Carolina Legislature’s slash and burn budget includes eliminating a $2,500 tax credit for families with college students by tying it to voter registration. SB 667 will require college students to vote at home if their parents claim them as a dependent and receive a $2,500 state tax credit. Students who register to vote where they attend college will also be required to move their vehicle registration 60 days prior to voting.

Connecting college tuition tax credits to where a college student votes and pays taxes on their vehicle sure does seem like a poll tax to me. Why would the Republican controlled North Carolina Legislature want to do this? Could it be because counties with heavy student populations where students traditionally vote Democratic (think Appalachian and Chapel Hill) could see students turn out in heavy numbers and threaten Republican control of state and Congressional seats? Is this a back door effort for legislators to add tax dollars to some counties via car taxes while taking it from others? Nope. It is a poorly veiled effort to control what would be legal student voting via a family’s checkbook.

Fortunately thousands have packed Halifax Mall outside the state legislature on Mondays to shine a bright light on the efforts to roll the clock back decades, if not centuries. Doctors in their white coats, faith leaders in vestments, teachers, retirees, attorneys, and hundreds of other tax paying, voting citizens have come forward to be arrested.

Wake County law enforcement officials went to work today knowing today is Moral Monday 12. Come rain or shine, the citizens will be there to peacefully demonstrate for a state that values equality, fair pay for teachers, Voting Rights, clean water and air, and a woman’s right to make her own health decisions.