Reader’s Forum on $2.00 a Day continues

ALICE RYDEL

I’m moved by Kathryn Edin’s book and all the comments it inspired. Here’s mine:

Our political system represents the wealthiest of the wealthy. We’re never honestly told, “Here are the leftover crumbs. Fight among yourselves.” Rather, we’re lied to with “Here are the jewels. The best and most worthy among you may achieve them.”

I grew up on the South side of Chicago in the 50s. The first Black family that moved into my neighborhood had their house firebombed. During my teen years in the 60s we 20171204_134452moved to the Roseland neighborhood Edin wrote about. The Pullman factory was closed, people living right across from that isolated factory were referred to as lesser-than — as hillbillies. When football games took place at Gately Stadium with Black schools, fights always broke out.

Thinking that one part of humanity was more worthy than another – fighting over crumbs — was just a part of life.

In the 70s, I met an activist fighting against social injustices. She was on my college campus, had pen and sign-up sheet in hand, and I signed up. This new life activity changed my world view from nothing can be done to we’re the ones who have to bring about change.

As others have commented about “$2 a Day”, it’s going to take a lot of us to make that change. Tiani Xochitl Coleman’s comment touched me: “…we need a change of heart, a deepening of our cultural values to help solve the problems of poverty.”

 This isn’t just a psychological change. It’s lots of work – team work as the college students referred to – to change our political system. No one should be forced to live on crumbs.

Alice Rydel is a thirty year builder of the All Stars Project and a life long independent.  

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A Poem and A Song

Today we wrap our celebration of National Poetry Month with two selections: a poem chosen by Alice Rydel and an original song by Joe Pickering, Jr.

Alice-pic-Florida

In selecting Before the Scales, Tomorrow, Alice shares:

Here’s to memories, friendships, audaciousness, love, activism, prickliness, differences, agreements, forward-thinkingness, organizing, fighting for a world of humanity in such an inhumane time.”


Before the Scales, Tomorrow

By: Otto Rene Castillo

And when the enthusiastic
story of our time
is told,
who are yet to be born
but announce themselves
with more generous face,
we will come out ahead
–those who have suffered most from it.

And that
being ahead of your time
means much suffering from it.
But it’s beautiful to love the world
with eyes
that have not yet
been born.

And splendid
to know yourself victorious
when all around you
it’s all still so cold,
so dark.

Alice Rydel is a builder of the All Stars Project’s Castillo Theatre and long-time activist with the independent political community.

***

Joe Pickering, Jr. shares his original Song, More American Then Plymouth Rock.

Give a listen, and the full lyrics are below.

MORE AMERICAN  THAN  PLYMOUTH ROCK

CHORUS

MORE AMERICAN  THAN  PLYMOUTH ROCK
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY CRIES  FOR NEW YORK
MILLIONS FIRST CAME ASHORE TO BE FREE
NOW NEW YORK’S JAILED IN A CLOSED PRIMARY 

VOTERS MUST CHOSE FROM THE PARTY SELECTION 
PARTY CANDIDATES FOR THE PARTYS PROTECTION
SAVE AMERICA SENATOR SCHUMER ONCE WROTE
SAVE NEW YORK FIRST ! LET INDEPENDENTS VOTE !

REPEAT CHORUS

END THE PARTISAN PRMARY SCHUMER PROPOSED
YEARS LATER, THEIR PRIMARY REMAINS CLOSED
POLITICIANS HEED THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
ALL YEARN TO BE FREE ! HELP VOTERS VOTE FREE

REPEAT CHORUS

INDEPENDENT VOTERS  STAND AND FIGHT 
HOUND THE LEGISLATURE ‘TIL THEY VOTE RIGHT
NEW YORKERS THE STATUE CRIES FOR THEE
DRY HER TEARS DEMAND THE OPEN PRIMARY

(repeat last line in last verse several times and fade.)

Joe Pickering Jr.. Songwriter  Harry King artist and producer  King of the Road Music BMI  C 2017

 Joe Pickering, Jr is the President of Mainers for Open Elections.

You can listen to More American Than Plymouth Rock here.
https://youtu.be/fCSQma7xz5c

 

***

OUR NEXT SELECTION:

 RATF**KED:

The True Story Behind The Secret Plan To Steal America’s Democracy 

By David Daley

Will kick off on Monday.

Our conference call with the author will be on Sunday, June 4th at 7 pm EST.

Alice Rydel’s selections

Alice Rydel sent in two poems —a wonderful combination.  She writes, “I have two below. The first, is another Otto Rene Castillo poem, Satisfaction. The second, is by an old dear friend, Lew Steinhardt, Dying.”

Satisfaction
— By Otto Rene Castillo
The most beautiful thing
for those who have fought a whole life
is to come to the end and say
we believed in people and life,
and life and the people
never let us down.
*
Only in this way do men become men,
women become women,
fighting day and night
for people and for life.
*
And when these lives come to an end
the people open their deepest rivers
and they enter those waters forever.
And so they become, distant fires, living,
creating the heart of example
*
The most beautiful thing
for those who have fought a whole life
is to come to the end and say;
we believed in people and life,
and life and the people
never let us down.
**********
DYING
— By Lew Steinhart
“Dying”, an old word, yet new
“Dying” enters from stage left,
ready to exact revenge
 For years of not being taken seriously
For years of denial of mortality
For years of being disparaged
For years of villanization.
“Dying” approaches me with sexy night attire and sexy voice
attempting to be sexy with me,
hoping for my love and understanding
Hoping to be welcomed
as a partner
for the trip to The End.
We manage some awkward dialogue at first
I quickly reject you,
I shudder at the thought of
such finality.
Such finality is beyond me.
I fight you with all of me.
You find openings and pierce my armour
And you show me your strength in battle.
Yet you also offer the peace sign
Hoping for collaboration.
An old revolutionary I am
Schooled by Fred Newman in the skills of performance and improvisation.
I have learned to take offers
And I have learned that History is the Final Residing Place
and that History is created with revolutionary activity.
I find myself strangely open to this
And explore it with my health team, group and comrades
The old words take on new meaning in the process.
I am alive in new ways
And that will, as I grow, continue.
END
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