As one of the most developed and wealthiest countries in the world, the US has an obligation to use the wealth created by the labor of its former slaves, and its workers and consumers, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity, to provide healthcare for ALL. The poor health conditions of many people in the US are a direct result of injuries and illnesses from their working conditions and the impacts on the environment in their communities.
Healthcare for ALL was one of the promises of progressive change of the Obama campaign that got him elected as US President. The opponents of any change that places human rights over profits are using the issue of healthcare reform to create of climate of racial polarization, division and fear.
Instead of offering a real alternative to the Obama plan or ways to improve upon it, the opponents use the issue as an opportunity to promote anger against immigrants and to make Obama look like he is trying to take rights away from white America.
Core democratic and human rights are always challenged by the forces that place profits over the needs of the people. This was true for those defending slavery over freedom, segregation over civil rights and political disenfranchisement over Black voting rights.
Very much like the struggle for Black voting rights, it took a movement mobilizing masses of Black people and allies to win the Voting Rights Act as a progressive reform. The struggle for Black voting rights was not centered around or decided by a debate in the US Congress. It was also not discouraged by efforts to racially polarize society, as there were some whites who united with Blacks in the struggle for change.
There are many white workers today who support healthcare reform. Many have lost their jobs and health insurance along with Black and workers of Color, like at the Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant and have been demanding recall rights for workers.
The Black Community must be a powerful force that fight for public healthcare for ALL, including making proposals that strengthen the Obama plan which is being greatly weakened by political compromises. Without the organized and active demand by Black and working class communities for a strong public healthcare system for ALL based on the single payer model, the opponents will further weaken the Obama plan and divide the people in order to force through other compromises that place profits over human rights.
The turnout and participation by the Black Community in the Rocky Mount Town Hall meeting on healthcare reform held by Congressman G.K. Butterfield, shows the importance of mobilizing and organizing. Our involvement around this issue must continue!
We must build strong healthcare for ALL coalition as part of a Peoples Assembly movement that help to connect grassroots organizations, faith based institutions, elected officials, labor organizations and students and youth in this struggle for human rights, and use this struggle to rebuild hope and new priorities that can constructively channel the energies of young people as was done during the 1950s and 1960s.
Real Democracy Involves People’s Power & Places Human Needs Over Profits!