Like every year at this time, our thoughts turn toward Summer, the time of ease and vacation, when our regular obligations are postponed until after Labor Day, when we are expected to snap back to being serious and alert. However, this is the summer of 2012 and this country is on the verge of disastrous financial decisions and the destruction of our civil rights as we know them.
When we elected the first African-American President, we did expect to see some pale and lame racist protest which we were sure would be easily dismissed. We didn’t realize until the elections of 2010 that it was a large, well-organized movement that would take over the Congress. Suddenly, fifty years of social progress was being erased as the far right felt empowered to proudly fly the flags of racism and sexism. They immediately froze all action in the Congress because they knew that their constituency was so excited at the prospect of hurting the poor and minorities that they would sacrifice their own well-being to hurt those whom they perceive as weak.
We have to be prepared to not relax this summer with a critical election 5 months away. Our own Governor is an unpredictable servant of the rich. The conservatives, in almost every state government, are attempting to destroy women and children’s health and safety, and bring back a form of Jim Crow against African-Americans. The very right to vote is being cancelled.
We cannot take this summer off from action and education. They will not shut down and neither should we. Even though New Jersey has not started harassing voters, we must make sure everyone is registered. As so much harm is being done because of ignorance, we must be constantly teaching ourselves and our community the truth that is being buried in rhetoric and lies. The Undoing Racism Committee will be working all summer long to bring heightened awareness to the community. There might not be a summer vacation for many of us in 2013 if we lose focus in 2012. This really is Life or Death.