What I Meant to Say

Wendy Babiak's Visions and Revisions

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Open Letter to the US Government

Greetings from Ithaca! Lovely weather we’re having in this American Autumn. Well, right here, right now, at least. Around the world of late, not so much. I’ll address that later.

First: Please don’t crush me. I know you could. You’re really, really huge, and really powerful, and apparently completely without scruples, and I’m just a housewife and a scribbler who’s barely published. You could probably frame my husband for it and make my two kids have to go live with their grandparents and make everyone involved really sad. So please don’t do that. Because I’m just a messenger, and to kill the messenger is, as you’ve probably heard, very bad form.

So, about that weather. It’s bad, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better, even if we get on the clean-energy train right now. You would know and freely admit this if you weren’t beholden to the money coming to you from the fossil fuel industry. Please get your head out of whatever dark, rank hole you’re hiding it in. We (meaning the whole world!) need you to do this, because the longer you wait the harder it’s going to be to correct the problem. Already this summer crops have been poor in more places than not. Rain isn’t coming when it needs to, and comes in buckets when it shouldn’t. And people are hungry. Have you ever been hungry? Have you ever had to send your kids to bed hungry? On top of the weather influencing the price and availability of food, we’ve got speculators creating price hikes. Do you think that’s okay? I’m thinking it’s not, and it seems like you could do something about that. In fact, it sort of seems like that’s your job, as part of a social structure that makes the pursuit of happiness possible.

Another thing: all those people in the street, the folks some want to call a mob? You can’t ignore them, and you can’t vilify them, no matter how the corporate media tries. It’s not sticking, and that’s because more and more the crowds are a cross-section of our society, including, even, some of the 1% with integrity who want no part in your plutocratic cruelty. People are waking up to the inherent unfairness of our system, and they’re hurting badly enough to risk police violence and looking foolish. Unless you wanna go all Tiananmen Square on us (you don’t really wanna go all Tiananmen Square on us, do you?), this isn’t going to stop. So, please inform the various police departments involved that they’d better start serving and protecting the citizenry, and not the corporations who have been giving them money. Our taxpayer dollars are the only source of income any of them should have. And those who have been guilty of violence in an attempt to incite the peaceful citizens to riot must be prosecuted and relieved of duty.

Finally, enough with the corporatism. It has reached its toxic tentacles into every aspect of your operations. It must be rooted out for the good of all. Whether it’s our broken for-profit health-care system (which would be better labeled a disease-management system), our broken monopolistic faux-food industry, the for-profit prison industry and attendant wars on drugs and immigration and dark-skinned people, or our broken banking system, godawful injustice abounds. Do you really want to keep this going? Every single one of you inherited this system. None of you are to blame. But you are all complicit as long as you perpetuate it, as long as you turn a blind eye to the consequences of your disastrous decisions. And the kingpin of this beast of a machine is the military-industrial complex, led by the fossil fuel industry. Enough. Human persons must become again the beneficiary of your power, not corporations and their soul-dead leaders.

Anyway, I do hope you consider what I’m saying here. We’re at a tipping point and a turning point. This could be something beautiful, democracy in action. Or it could be the beginning of an even darker age. It’s pretty much up to you.

Wendy Babiak