By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
Amid the horrors that have kept us hypnotized over the past week, with the plight of our Haitian brothers and sisters, a very insidious event is about to completely throw the Democratic party, and President Barack Obama’s plans for Americans into a tailspin.
I generally don’t read hard news on Sundays, but Haiti’s plight compelled me to do so. As I was scanning the headlines, I saw something that alarmed me greatly: “fears that Republican Scott Brown will defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to fill the late Edward M. Kennedy's seat” (ap wire/Yahoo News 1/17/10).
The floor of my stomach dropped out and my mouth went dry. We cannot let this happen. So this is an open letter to Democrats everywhere, but especially those in Boston, Massachusetts, regardless of whether you’re Black, white, Asian, blue, green or purple:
Tomorrow, January 19, 2010 is absolutely do or die for everyone in Boston. But this is not just for those who reside in Boston, it’s for those who reside anywhere in the US, who calls himself or herself a Democrat. We have to get the vote out in Boston, and we have to do it in decisive numbers.
Do not allow the right wing-run newspapers and media to program you with predictions of low voter turn out. If there is a possibility of low voter turn out, Boston Dems have to adopt a policy of each one take one to the polls. Let’s don’t make a self fulfilling prophecy -- which is what they’re counting on you to do.
Have vans and cars waiting for those who have no transportation, or who do not want to use public transportation. Have a “”Get out the vote party”, either in the streets, or at some facility located within 100 yards of the polls. Those who voted for Martha Coakley can participate. Have balloons, whistles, pins, hot coffee, sodas, Boston Crème Pie, whatever available, free! Have them make phone calls on their (or your) cell phones to other friends and relatives who may have not voted yet.
As a New York Dem, I can tell you that it’s rather ignominious to know that we had a chance to defeat a mayor who had no regard for New Yorkers, but did not do so because we sat on our haunches and pulled a “wait and see” attitude. We were fooled into thinking his money and pull were everything. The new media had him at a very high percentage over the challenger. So many stayed home, only to find that there was a less than 2% difference between the two that could have easily been overcome if we had exerted ourselves and done a little more door knocking, and providing of transportation. If you think you’re beaten you are.
Sometimes it’s so called “winter blues, a defeatist attitude that comes during winter that permeates the environment and sets in a kind of depression. Well guess what, folks, the Republicans are paying that no attention whatsoever. Actually they’re counting on it being one of the top ten excuses for not getting out and voting. Right up there will be those of us who are horrified by Haiti’s plight, and couldn’t get it together; and those who spent the day celebrating Dr. King’s birthday, and overlooked the upcoming election.
While today is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday celebration, and many churches will be convening to honor him (and rightly so, we would be better served it a major portion of those sermons would be about perseverance and holding our ground -- which was something Dr. King was very good at doing. He would not have allowed a birthday or holiday celebration to get in the way of immediacy of need -- taking care of an issue that would have serious repercussions if not dealt with immediately.
Dr. King’s birthday speech, if he was living, would be about supporting Ms. Coakley and and continuing to uplift President Obama. He would acknowledge the good that has already been done, but would demand that you deal with the business at hand, the issues before you. We did not get there by resting on our laurels. We knew we had to keep marching until we had secured our position. Then we had to keep a watchful eye, less termites, rats, doubts, disbelief, complacency begin to erode the foundation and things start slipping away.
So, while you’re eloquently eulogizing Dr. King, the great activist that he was, remember at the same time exhort those in Boston to get out the vote, and get out and vote on Tuesday January 19, 2010. Those of you who have friends and relatives in Boston, (you know, Harvard, Boston Yard, etc.) to call them and urge them to get out vote, and take a friend.
With Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, email, Linkd In, cell phones, we have so many communication devices at our disposal today, there is absolutely no way that we can’t get the word out and the people out. You can zap this message around faster than I can put it on my blog, so feel free to do so. The word must go forth.
If you have the day off, take a bus ride up there to do some door knocking and hand outs. Organizing For America is holding phone trees. If you can’t get to one, go on line, and ask how you can host one -- they’ll furnish you with the numbers and the protocol.
We absolutely cannot afford to lose this election, and you absolutely cannot be watching the football game, some insipid show on TV, or just chilling, while we face the possibility of losing the majority we have in the US Senate to a republican degenerate, and therefore the passing of pivotal legislature that has been fashioned to bring humanity back to the US Government for the first time since LBJ. “A Brown win would give the GOP 41 Senate votes, enough to filibuster and block final passage of the House-Senate compromise on health care now being crafted.” (more headlines)
This is the time that we show the world what we’re made of. It is the time that we show that we are no one trick pony; that we can snatch victory from the veritable jaws of defeat. That we are victors and not victims; and that we can take our ground and hold it, in the midst of the storms.
Boston you are our do or die state!! And we plan to live! Do not let the decades of Kennedy leadership go down in the dust. Stand your ground, get out among the people and rally those votes.
Stay Blessed &