On the 47th anniversary of The Great March on Washington (more correctly, The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom), Glenn Beck and the Tea Party organizations have assembled in the same iconic setting of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Ostensibly they are advocating a restoration of our country’s honor. Some might see irony or even hypocrisy, not only in the coincidence of the two gatherings, but in Beck’s having described President Obama as a “racist” and having “a deep-seated hatred for white people” as well as the behavior of certain members and supporters of the Tea Party.
How odd the whole affair because President Obama is arguably the most profound manifestation of Dr. King’s dream and this alleged “racist” was raised by his white mother and her parents.
This seems to be part of an effort to turn things on their head in this country by any means necessary. It was done, in the case of Shirley Sherrod, with the spiteful editing of a videotape by a Tea Party supporter. She was cast as a hateful black person who punished a white Georgia farmer because of his race, when in fact she helped him save his farm.
We also see this in the easy accusation of “playing the race card” whenever someone mentions or alludes to racial inequity in our country. Sure, the accusers have a constitutional right of free speech, but why don’t they accuse anyone who complains about unemployment, home foreclosure, inability to pay for medical care, etc., as “playing the H-card” (playing the Hardship Card)? They don’t because they know, in the latter, they would “reap the whirlwind.”
As the election season has heated up, it is unfortunate that voters are being presented with misinformation about the kind of leadership that state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz has brought on behalf of Second Suffolk residents. When no one else would stand up, she fought tirelessly for the concerns of her community.
For instance, some have said that all she did was put her name on CORI legislation and take credit for its passage. As the campaign director for Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts and the coordinator of the grassroots efforts to pass CORI, I can say unequivocally that nothing could be further from the truth.
She was one of our strongest allies in the Senate. She spoke out for the bill, helped us craft strategy, advocated and educated colleagues to help us line up support for passage, and when many people said the CORI would fall by the wayside in the final days of the legislative session, she stood with us and delivered.
Moreover, her leadership was not exclusive to CORI either. Instead of backing down from tough fights she tackled them head-on. Most recently, when presented with a anti-immigrant package in the Senate budget, she was one of 10 legislators that stood up on behalf of working families in our district.
That’s the kind of leadership that Sonia represents. She talks the talk and walks the walk. As voters go the polls on Sept. 14, it is critical that we re-elect the leader who has been a champion for all of us.