Monday, January 17, 2011

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell About Economic Bigotry (Polemic) by Alison Ross

So Obama repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell. Yipfuckingeee.

Okay, yes, it's a significant signpost along the perilous path to greater equality for gays and lesbians. Never mind that it's rather perverse to celebrate anyone’s unfettered entry into one of the most exploitive imperialistic programs on earth. We should be DISSUADING people from joining the military, not encouraging them.

All the same, it does matter deeply that homosexuals and heterosexuals alike should be able to be freely who they are in whatever context.

Of course, this could potentially open up avenues for MORE discrimination against gays and lesbians, and indeed there already is a considerable amount of such vile bigotry. But because society still practices so much loathsome discrimination against same-sex-attracted people, assertion of equal rights is always crucial.

But as consequential as this civil rights issue is, it is dwarfed by the much larger issue of economic discrimination, one which Obama is only all too glad to foster.

For what good is it if gays and lesbians have the right to declare their sexual preferences openly when the majority of ALL of us have very few economic rights whatsoever, hence shackling us in tangible and intangible ways? You might be gay and proud to say it, but if you're poor as dirt because our leaders refuse to enact progressive economic legislation, then such pride only goes so far.

Millions of people voted for Obama because he presented himself as the emblem of enlightened transformation. I never really bought into the Hope and Change bullshit – I knew it was just slick, hollow propaganda - but he has actually exceeded my expectations as to the heights of his hypocrisy.

Since Obama rose to historic power in 2008, he has manifested a disheartening, downright mean-spirited pro-corporate approach that has bitterly alienated a vast swath of his progressive base. And who could blame them, after musing depressively on such staggering statistics:

Unemployment has risen sharply since Obama took office - Almost 12 million people have lost their jobs since Obama was inaugurated. The unemployment rate is hovering at around 10 percent, probably more - and this is 32 percent higher than before he came to office. One in 6 U.S workers is either unemployed or underemployed (the latter category is those who seek full-time employment but cannot find it). This is tantamount to nearly 27 million workers. Translated another way, this means that there are over 4 unemployed workers per job opening.

Foreclosures continue to escalate during his term - Eight to 13 million foreclosures are forecasted to occur by 2012. That could lead to about 24 to 39 million displacements. Meanwhile, as millions lose their homes, the uber-rich are ensconced in one of their multiple homes.

Health insurance premiums have increased by 14% since Obamacare was instituted - Spurred by Obama’s healthcare "reform” (which, even though it does a few good things, is riddled with so many unforgivable flaws; for one, it’s a shameless giveaway to the corporate healthcare companies), insurance companies raised premiums. There was a 27% increase in 2010 of Americans sans healthcare - up from 46 million to 59 million. Meanwhile, the top 10 health insurance company CEOs took home $228 million – and this is up 160% from before Obama moved into his new digs on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Obama extended Bush's shamefully inequitable tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans - He inflated the US deficit with $1 trillion, $700 billion of which goes toward tax cuts to the most affluent 2 percent of the population. The remainder goes toward unemployment benefits, although NO actual jobs were created with this money. Twenty-two percent of this, in other words, is lavished upon millionaires, who hardly need the fucking money; meanwhile, the bottom 20 percent receive LESS than one-half of one percent. That's 45 million households that make less than $20,000 a year who will be greeted with a tax INCREASE of $150 to $200.

Obama bailed out the banks, but not the people - The banks were not broken up into smaller chunks that could be more easily regulated, as mandated by a TRUE democracy which exists for the people, not profits; the banks are now more solidified into stronger entities who are more poised to exploit us in more egregious ways.

In the meantime, while the rest of us agonize over how we will pay our mounting bills and grocery tabs, corporate profits leaped to historically high rates.

Many people don't want to discuss Obama's spectacular economic failures; there seems to be a discreet, unspoken Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy about it, as though, “Hush! He’s a democrat; he’s for the PEOPLE.”

Bullfuckingshit. He’s just as regressive in his economic programs as the Republicans, and indeed the bankers just drip pools of drool over his pro-corporate policies.

So yeah. Gays and lesbians can now openly declare their sexual preference while fighting for the freedom of Uncle Sam’s banks to pillage from the masses. That's economic discrimination if I ever heard it.

Don’t ask Obama about it, though, because the only thing he will tell you is that he is not an economic bigot.

Statistical sources: Alternet, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Bloomberg, and Demos (a public policy center)

1 comment:

omar azam said...

i am glad you have blurred the lines between art and politics