The 99% and All that Stuff is a Movement That’s All About US

by on June 13, 2012 · 0 comments

in American Empire, Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, From the Soul

The 99% and all that stuff
is a movement that’s all about US
and with that in mind
one might opine
that many of US
can remember times
when we could barely
pay the rent
and when the rent
was made good with all good intent
the food money
was gone…spent.
So broke
you couldn’t afford to
take time to resent
the predictament.
And it was a pre-dict-a-ment
as being po’
is not the way to go.
So I jumped into
the work force at age five.
No lie. No jive.
Because there was a world out there
I wanted to explore,
a world featuring shoes
that made you fly,
Dairy Queens and candy stores
and 5 & Dimes and arcades and Pony Rides
and specialty shops with all kinds of
gadgets and things to ride
and sometimes the circus
and carnivals would come by –
so many things to make you sigh
so many things to want to buy
and like lava
exploding from a volcano’s insides
I’d run to my mom
and poke her in the side
for a few pennies
and she’d start in
about how “Money don’t grow on trees”
so I jumped in
and scoped out the economy
and it didn’t take long for me to see
what my mother was trying to show and tell me,
that this world is all about
the collection of dues and fees:
Want to join the Gray-Y
at the YMCA?
Hey, buddy, you got to pay;
Wanna see the flick
at the Picture Show,
you got to have some di-ne-ro;
Don’t get the book back
to the library in time
you go’ be down at least a dime;
Try to keep up with the times,
with some dap vines
that make you think
you be looking fine
well, you better get used
to paying on time.
And those times
begat later times,
breathing air in today’s times
and we find ourselves staring
“same old same old”
in the face
and throughout the passing of time
this truth remains in place:
The Man
still holds, within his power,
the upper hand
with little old me and you
gripped in those cold-hearted hands,
dangling by our toes,
subject to being let go
like sand
released into the wind;
he’s still got us
scratching and scraping
and whining and praying
all the live long day
while he lives
in a world high above the fray
in a spirit of
hydee ho
hydee hay
and come what may,
playing us like
pawns in a game,
holding sway
over how we live our lives day to day,
plotting and hedging
and plundering and grabbing
while we stagger
in disbelief as we lose our homes
and our paydays
and gain runaway prices of gas,
that even on a good day,
just flat out
knocks us on our ass,
making it hard to get past, go,
diminishing the daring and hope
inherent in going for what we know.
We see this dim and dismal scenario
as a hellish event.
The big boys see it as heaven sent
and with “God on their side”
they won’t give up
kicking our rearends
for an instant,
not even for Lent.

But you know there’s just a scattering of them
and we come in millions
and who says millions in a movement
can’t make these powers-that-be
fall on their knees and repent?

The 99% and all that stuff
is a movement that’s all about US.
US reaching out to each other
far and wide
gathering the movement up on its feet
with song
and dance
and marching
and chanting down the street,
like a tide
that ebbs and then rides
the sands to shore,
never ending,
forever at the ready to explore
a world that is more
like a world should be,
if we’re talking about realizing a world
of peace and justice
and equality
for everyone
as it has been with
all quests for dignity
for all in our history,
like the movement in the1800’s
when women marched and carried signs
they were fed up with their husbands
affinities for whiskey, beer and wine
in between abusing the kids
and kicking their behinds.
And then women sought the vote
and enfranchisement
was won
and a fight to extend property rights was begun
and time passed on
and with Roe vs Wade
a woman’s right to control her womb
was born…
and the battles all seem as one…
Movements move on,
one after another
and another,
and another;
winding and intertwining,
and binding
together people of like minds.
And look at some of what we now find:
a man can now marry another man,
a woman another woman;
a soldier can now say
“I know you didn’t ask,
but, by the way, I’m gay;”
a black man
is on the way to a four year stay
as president of the U.S. of A,
something completely unimaginable
in early days;
but duty forever calls
cuz Jose y Estela, out Arizona way,
can be asked for papers at will
because their color is cafe,
so we have to make all this
profiling and exiling
anti-brown, anti-immigration legislation
go away,
way away…
The movement has to be about US.
All of US.
Each of US.
Every color of US.
Big US.
Little US.
Medium size US.
Triple-X US.
Extremely tiny US.
Super bright US.
Special needs US.
Mild mannered US.
Ornery cuss US.
Riding a plow in the country US.
Riding a bus in the inner city US.
It’s THEM and US
and THEY have to hear from US
that we’ve had enough
of the incessant classism
and racism
that THEY leave us to wallow in
while THEY reign supreme,
THEIR unwillingness to share
the American Dream
where freedom, they say, rings…

Ah, for this movement
to follow the theme
of the movement
that sweetened the inner being

of this
tall old lanky dude
of African descent,
a movement
that changed the trajectory
of the destiny of people like me
when it came to hopes and dreams:
Martin Luther King
teaching us how to love and dream;
Malcolm X
telling us the truth
step by step;
Fannie Lou Hamer,
when they tried to tame her,
keeping on adding names to voter registries
and organizing for S-N-C-C;
Rosa Parks
refusing to to give up a seat on a bus
causing rednecks to choke with disgust;
Stokely Carmichael
showing us how not
to shuffle and smile;
H. Rap Brown
always hipping us
to what was going down;
Little Linda Brown
turning the Topeka, Kansas
Board of Education around;
Jesse Jackson
giving us goose pimples
everytime he would run,
opening our eyes
to the fact that all people
can focus their eyes on a prize…
and, before our very eyes,
corporations, now classified as people,
have billions to spend
as a means to an end
while real folks, now classified as virtual people depend
on a few pennies
and discounts at Dennys,
just to make ends meet
so we continue to strive
for a dignified place
in humanity;
And we know there
can be no equality
with so many denied
a fair share of the economy…
So the struggle goes on
as movements are our legacy,
and we leave the next movement,
something to think about,
something to keep in mind,
something to refine,
with hopefully no need to remind
us that:
The 99% and all that stuff
is a movement that’s all about US.
And Us-ens
better get goin’!

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