Revolution has been on my mind a lot lately. With the protests in Wisconsin, and the upcoming protests for Planned Parenthood this weekend, I can’t help but feel that America is under attack. I’m not sure how else to put it really. Often we feel as if the decisions that are made by the government, by people in D.C., are decisions that don’t directly affect us. And sometimes, most of the time, they really don’t-not in any recognizable way. Something happens with taxes, or I don’t know, a new highway gets built. But the new Republican-led House, and Ohio’s very own terrible Governor Kasich are doing something at every turn to trample on the working class and the reproductive rights of women, and many of these moves take immediate effect. Kasich pays the top members of his staff thousands more than our previous governor paid his, while cutting the salaries for his lowest members-not to mention the thousands of jobs he’s already cut, plus the immediate chop he made to our railway project, essentially maintaining Ohio’s identity as an island in the Midwest, completely cut off from major rail to the East or West. He has no minorities in his cabinet and sees no problem with that. But those aren’t even the things that are scaring me the most, nor do they affect Ohioans’ day-to-day life. The governor of Wisconsin is saying that he doesn’t just want to bargain with labor unions, he wants to cut their voices out completely. These are our teachers, fire fighters, police officers. They are already woefully underpaid and unappreciated. This is not a fiscal attack, as shown in Wisconsin-the union already agreed to every cut they were asked to make. All they ask is to keep their right to bargain. And they’ve been told no by the governor. This is a political attack by the right. And it’s in Ohio too. It’s spreading, and we can only hope and fight for this to be put down, as it should be.
The Planned Parenthood debacle is incredibly disappointing. The attacks made on this organization that is so far from some sort of baby-killing factory disgusts me. PP provides cancer screening, std tests, family planning and a number of other resources to low income and uninsured women. I even went there for HIV screening before I started teaching abroad and couldn’t afford to visit a general physician. The federal funding that PP receives is already not allowed to be spent on abortion. This is a law. And you know what? Abortion is legal. Still legal dudes. So if you don’t want one-maybe don’t get one. I’m going to go ahead and quote Jon Stewart here in regard to this whole thing:
“So they wanna cut everything from family care to prenatal care to child nutrition. It’s like the Republican Congress is saying ‘You can’t prevent an unwanted child; you can’t get care if you do get pregnant; and we won’t give you any help feeding the kid after it’s born. But that two minutes when that skull is crowning? Your baby is the most precious thing on Earth.’”
And it’s so true. It blows my mind that the Republican congress thinks that by getting rid of Planned Parenthood that somehow women won’t get abortions anymore (since that’s the only thing they think Planned Parenthood is good for anyway, obviously no one goes there because they have no health insurance to go to a regular doctor!).
I understand that I’m perhaps not putting forward the most well-thought reasoning. It’s late, I have a huge paper due tomorrow that I’ve been working on for a few days, and I’m tired. But these issues and the plight of women and the working class in America are weighing heavily on my mind. We don’t know what will happen, but I strongly believe that now, more than any other time so far in American history, we are under attack. If we don’t like what is going on here, we have to speak up. Now. We have to fight back.
From today’s protest at the State House: