I’ve really tried to understand the Israelis. I used to work on a farm in Israel. I speak Hebrew. I watch their news. All the time they talk about fear. How they have to run to their bunkers to hide from the rockets. How their children can’t sleep because of the sirens. This is not a good way for them to live. We Palestinians don’t talk about fear, we talk about death. Our rockets scare them; their rockets kill us. We have no bomb shelters, we have no sirens, we have nowhere we can take our children and keep them safe. They are scared. We are dying.
This case highlights the ridiculousness of connecting our healthcare with our employment. Healthcare should not be tied to the whims and concerns of the people we work for – nor whether or not they’re able to afford it. Whether we work for Scientologists who don’t believe in mental health meds, or Jehovah’s Witnesses who don’t believe in blood transfusions, or Catholic hospitals who don’t believe in contraceptives or abortion in any circumstance, or just cheap-ass Papa John’s or a string of part-time employers, every single person should unequivocally have immediate, affordable access to full medicinal purposes.These are life-and-death and public health issues and not left to the strongly-held but incredibly ignorant religious beliefs or opinions of dumbass greedy rich people.
We can debate about the details. Should civilian blue-collar workers be able to support their families on a single income so that one parent can stay home with the kids? Is it right to raise taxes if you want public school classrooms with 15 kids per teacher instead of 30? Regardless of where you come down in these debates, when you celebrate America today, you’re celebrating more than just the men in tights and whigs who wrote our Constitution. You’re celebrating Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Henry Thoreau, Emma Goldman, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Sandra Cisneros, Woody Guthrie, Dorothy Day, Frances Willard, and a whole lot of other people who were widely hated and controversial in their time for fighting to create an America worth defending. America is only as good as the people who force us to live up to our promises. That is the America for which I sing.