Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Who Remembers The Poor?

A couple of thoughts about the empty ritual of the primaries carried out by our bankrupt two-party system.  

I want a political conversation in which the poor are not invisible.  I want politicians to ask the country how a decent and moral land lets its citizens  work full time and still live in poverty. 

I want a press that asks what exactly happened to the benefits we would supposedly reap from shipping our best paying jobs overseas. 

 I want conservatives to ask themselves what, if anything, is a common responsibility in this society, and what, if anything, do we share other than our ruthless pursuit of material wealth? 

 I want the rich to consider what exactly will be left when this economic house of cards collapses? 

 I want people of faith to so ask themselves how denying gay men and women civil rights cleaned one street, clothed one naked person, fed one hungry person, taught one child darkened by ignorance, comforted one widow and embraced one orphan?   

How do you love a country and at the same time hold in contempt the people who build our houses, dispose of our filth, plant our gardens, and wipe the sweat and clean the soiled garments of our ill? When did we decide that it was only the wealthy who really worked and deserved the rewards of a capitalist society?  

We can do better.  My question for America is why have we settled for so much less?.

Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

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