Change demands we speak out

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

If we hope to make our world a better place for our children we must begin changing some of the recent behavior and not allow opportunities to make change pass without speaking out. I mentioned in a previous column that changes in our society must come from the grassroots, people like you and I must speak out when our leaders fail to. With that thought in mind here are a few points to ponder.

Recently U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat and chair of the congressional Black Caucus, condemned his party for accusing Republicans of waging war on women. In an interview on CNN, Cleaver said: “I condemn it. If it’s a Democrat, if it’s my cousin, it’s wrong. And I think we need to stop that. It’s damaging the body politic and it’s further separating the people in this country.”

The message he is sending is a simple one; winning isn’t everything. If winning by planting inaccurate and deceptive messages is what it’s all about then Cleaver is making it clear he does not buy into that message. Uniting this country and voicing concerns when the rhetoric gets out of control sends an important message to the country and to those in charge. Just because you hold a position of authority shouldn’t give you license to spin political nonsense for the masses if your motive is strictly self serving.

Right is right and wrong is wrong. The same holds true for the president’s wife Michele Obama. When speaking before a group of children in San Francisco recently, Mrs. Obama said: “I mean, I can’t tell you in the last election how many grandparents I ran into who said, I wasn’t going to vote for Barack Obama until my grandson talked to me, until my great-grandson talked to me, and talked about the future he wanted for this country. You can get out there with your parents. You guys can knock on doors. I had one young lady who brought me a petition — she’s already working. You can convince wrong people. Sometimes we don’t listen to ourselves, but we will listen to our children.”

Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@denpubs.com.

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