Back in the mid 70s I was a student at Amityville Memorial High on Long Island, and one of my teachers was a charismatic character who was bigger than life. I had him one year for world history and two incidents really stand out in my memory. The first was memorable for its execution as he demonstrated how kids went to school at another time in history. He was late and kids were starting to get restless when the classroom door BOOMED open and he crossed to the desk and kicked the trash can on a high arc to the rear of the room and yelled, “On your feet!”
Everyone scrambled to their feet, the tension in the air palpable, some shivered in fear…
“That’s how classes started in Sparta!” He smiled and said, “Take your seats.”
Then there was the lesson on “The Flaming Sword of Islam” and the Battle of Tours, fought in 732 AD.
Demonstrating the sweep westward of the Islamic forces, my teacher drew a football gridiron on the board, wrote EUROPE in one end zone and asked various folks to consider the French victory under Charles Martel and guesstimate on what yard line the Muslim hordes had finally been stopped.
Kids yelled out, “The forty! The ten! Twenty five!” He shook his head and put an “X” on what looked to be the two yard line. “Right there, baby! They don’t stop them there we wouldn’t be who we are today. You’d all be Muslim.” Beside the fact half my paternal family are Akmals, it was also a time the Nation of Islam had made huge inroads in the black community so the idea of being Muslim wasn’t that appalling . . . to me. But you could see the horror on the faces of my classmates, an unconscious reflex that would embarrass most of them if they saw a hidden camera replay . . . others, not so much.
However, I know how they felt because that is exactly how I feel about the 2018 midterms. “They’re on our two yard line. We don’t hold them here boys, it’s all over.”
This is it, folks. This is our very last chance to at least tug back on the societal safety rope the GOP donor class is trying to coil and put away. We cannot let that happen, we owe it to the next generations, the nation and the world.
We’re the end of the boomers. We had a chance to build the “New Frontier” and we blew it. We let ourselves get played on matters of race, economics, race, employment, race, education, race . . . etc.
We cannot depend on the Republican Party to “do the right thing,” as they’re the ones who got us here in the first place!
No, we have to save the freaking world through the ballot box because if we don’t, this may be the last election that truly matters. The electorate is rapidly changing; it is getting younger and browner, and from the point of view of the GOP donor class, this is the time to cement in changes to the societal structures that will limit the influence of the younger, browner and mostly female group who will represent the emerging demographic. The donor class wants to limit economic mobility while ensuring generational wealth and power for the benefit of their own families.
Geezers get out there, organize among your existing networks, and y’all vote for this up and coming leadership. They’re better and smarter than us, they’re not as frightened by the future, and they know how to get shit done.
We owe it to them to at least not leave a smoking crater in our wake.