Those with power always want to silence new voices

Posted: Aug. 23, 2019 4:50 pm

To The Herald-Whig:

I notice that Donald Trump doesn't tell Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to go back to the countries they came from as he recently suggested four women of color serving as democratically elected representatives do. Yet Sanders and Warren have made stronger indictments of U.S. economic and social inequality than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts.

The difference seems to be the young women's diversity. Liberty and justice for all has never been an easy sell in our country. More than political argumentation the blood shed on our streets and fields, at our factories and places of business, the murder and armed policing to keep down, and keep in place, the disenfranchised tell the actual past of America.

It is no wonder that those who most benefit from economic and social exclusion should want to rid the debate of new voices. Other men, not just aristocratic land-owning men, had to seek to have their voices included. Women, not men, had to endure nearly a century and a half of voting suppression before their voices were heard. Immigrants from distant lands, many from European lands, suffered ridicule and poverty, their voices weakened by numbing toil. Blacks were not even freed by the proclamation intended to free them. Workers -- men, women and children -- suffered unbearable working conditions before organizing and petitioning for better treatment. On and on, through civil rights, and women's rights and gay rights. Now immigrant rights. Human rights.

The opposing voices to diversity, economic equality and social justice have always sounded like Trump and his supporters. And time has always been on the side of social change.

Steve Swink