general-dwight-d-eisenhowerIn 1961, Eisenhower said, “in the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.  We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Here we are 48 years later with those prophetic words eerily sliding off our tongues, as we the people have allowed the meshing of industrial, military and corporate machinery to indeed take our liberties away. We paid no heed to those words.

The corporate machinery has turned profit into a defense system that no longer allows for individual thought or needs. The military machinery defines people’s rights by “enhanced interrogation tactics.” The industrial machinery turned its back on people by using slave labor enhanced by the prison system to ensure that black males continue to be the backbone for corporate growth and greed. And our legislators have forgotten they work for “we the people.”

That certainly must be true, otherwise simple securities, civil rights and liberties like a living wage and health care would be the norm.

Every month our legislators are allowing the same number of people who perished in 9/11 to die. Should that not be classified as murder? Negligence? We mourned so loudly over those deaths, yet not one word is uttered monthly for the deaths caused by health care negligence. Every year over 100,000 people are given the wrong drugs or dosage and die, that is not negligence? Every year more than 47 million people without health insurance are at risk of unnatural death, is that not negligence on the part of our legislators?

Are we not, to quote Eisenhower being an alert and knowledgeable citizenry that we are actually allowing this to transpire? Is there a prison sentence for our complicity in these crimes of negligence?

When a mother who has been paying for health insurance finds out that her company is denying her claim because of pre existing conditions and then allows her to die, who takes care of that motherless child? When everyone of us is just one catastrophic illness away from homelessness, who pays for that negligence?

This fight for health care reform is and should be based on this  abominable sense of  negligence, for it is the epitome of civil rights, human rights. It is indeed very personal.

If your child, daughter, mother, father, husband, could not get the care that was needed, would you just sit by and watch? Would you choose negligence?

To paraphrase Richard Pryor, it’s not justice… it’s just us.  Oh, and… check mate is not an option.

Ariel Harris

Ariel Harris

Ariel Harris, believer in the positive and intentional language, artist, writer, empowerer/tutor for 'at-risk' kids, shares life-joy with her soul mate Jamal (of ‘round midnite' fame, WCQS), has a bevy of three grown socially conscious extraordinary children plus two wonderful loving wedding additions, two granddaughters, and is awaiting heralding the time of great comfort for all. Ariel is available for comfort sessions and can be reached at [email protected]