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CI: Forward

November 07, 2012 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Consumer Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Eco-Justice, Economic Development, Education, Housing, Immigration, Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Prisoner Rights, Spirituality, Voting Rights, Workers' Rights

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.


Editors note: Next week we will be back on task -discussing the always on-going work of dismantling the PIC, made more possible now, by yesterday’s result. Today , we will celebrate the larger Victory!

We asked here for breathing room and yes we received it — many thanks to the millions who braved long lines, resisted efforts at voter suppression, defied the billions in dark money.

Yes You Did!

Thank you to OFA for creating the most relentlessly people-powered machine in the history of politics — you made it possible for us to get it done. Thanks also to President Bill Clinton and 538 Nate for #Arithmetic,  for keeping it real. And of course much love and so many thanks to Give “Em Hell Harry Reid – he told the truth and shamed the devil while his  Nevada operation put the state out of reach before the polls even opened on Tuesday.

More breathing room.

A special thank you too to Seeta Persaud for this inspiring space and to Kay Whitlock for her steady call to the bolder vision. I am indebted.

Thanks to all of you who regularly read CI and to those whose tireless work for justice is sometimes featured here. You know who you are..

There is always so much work to do and yes we will do it. Today, just a reminder of what we have achieved, in the form a piece i wrote last September, willing it all to be so. And it was.. Of course. much more happened between then and now — forces of nature, more enemy obfuscation, but the central theme holds nonetheless.

We were Called and We Delivered..

More Power to Us.

(more…)

Praise Song/Prophecy

November 05, 2012 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, Intersectionality, Spirituality, Voting Rights

Praise Song/Prophecy

commentary by nancy a heitzeg

For reasons unclear to me at the time, I re-read the 2009 Inauguration poem,

“Praise Song for the Day”.

And there it was.

Not just a poem for one day, but everyday. A poem for now. A poem for tomorrow.

Not just a poem, a prophecy.

Inauguration 2013 is on January 21 – on the National Holiday that is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

We have always said here — with Leader Pelosi – “everything is at stake.”  

And so it is — that legacy too.

But We Decide and so we have – what if the mightiest word is love?”

Dreamers Prevail .

Go Vote tomorrow with Great Joy — We still walk “forward in that light.

 “Praise Song for the Day”

written and recited by Elizabeth Alexander, for the Inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama, January 20, 2009. Published by as provided by Graywolf Press.

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.

I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,

picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,

praise song for walking forward in that light.