“What created democracy was Thomas Paine and Shays Rebellion, the suffragists and the abolitionists and on down through the populists and the labor movement, including the Wobblies. Tough, in your face people… Mother Jones, Woody Guthrie… Martin Luther King and Caesar Chavez. And now it’s down to us.
“These are agitators. They extended democracy decade after decade. You know, sometimes we get in the midst of these fights. We think we’re making no progress. But… you look back, we’ve made a lot of progress… The agitator after all is the center post in the washing machine that gets the dirt out. So, we need a lot more agitation….
“We can battle back against the powers. But it’s not just going to a rally and shouting. It’s organizing and it’s thinking. And reaching out to others. And building a real people’s movement.”
And in a related note: I’m not here to make Michelle Obama or her husband feel better. I’m here to agitate for fairness, for peace, dignity, and economic justice. Honestly, anyone who’s more worried about their feelings, go right ahead.
But don’t confuse protecting them with activism. Obama is the man who’s standing by and letting the corporations shred what little is left of the safety net. He’s not on the side of working people.
Try to remember that.