What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Letter #131... Dear Mr. President... Why I Champion the Underdog

Letter #131

Dear Mr. President:

They say that we are often shaped by our earliest memories, and that we only have strong memories of the things that were either very happy or conversely, very sad or unhappy.

What being left out looks like.
My earliest memory is when I was not quite 4 years old and I was standing on the front porch of our home in Alameda looking through the front window at my sister opening her birthday presents. I was locked out of the house because my sister only wanted her school friends at her party, not her little sister. I recently asked my sister if she remembered that or was I just imagining it? She said she did remember and has often wondered why our mother let her do such a cruel thing.

The simple answer to that is, because she wanted my sisters birthday to be special and my sister was only 7 years old and wanted a birthday without her ‘baby’ sister interrupting. My mother, on the other hand, should have known better, she should have explained that while I was younger, and may be pesky at times, I was still her sister, a member of the family and would not be ‘locked’ out.

So that simple memory of being shut out of an event, is probably why I have always been such a fierce supporter of the ‘underdog’… I simply cannot stand to see anyone ‘left out’ or treated as somehow unworthy, undeserving, or unequal in any way. And that is why I reacted so strongly to the CA Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony on December 7th when the children and their parents were fenced off from the festivities. It’s bad enough that the tax paying public was denied equal access, but watching the kids treated like wretched little animals, held back by fences, as if they were dirty, cur dogs… was just too much… a disgusting example of  ‘class warfare’ at its worst.

The same kind of class warfare is being played out in Alabama… having passed one of the most stringent immigration laws making it illegal for an immigrant to fail to carry registration documents. What seemed like a good idea, and a good way to get rid of the ‘immigrants’ they don’t want in their state… ‘Hispanics’… and after making fools of themselves by arresting not one, but two foreign executives of the Honda and Mercedes plants… Robert Bentley, the brilliant Governor, who was eager to sign the legislation into law, is now back-peddling because of the backlash from big business.

Gov. Bentley is now contacting foreign executives to tell them their companies are welcome in Alabama… “We are not anti-foreign companies. We are very pro-foreign companies,“ he said.  So now we get to the meat and potatoes… he’s pro-foreign as long as it’s the ‘right’ kind of foreign… the kind of foreign that brings big money to the state… not the kind of foreigners that are there to pick the crops, clean the motel rooms, or wash dishes in restaurants, but the ‘good’ kind of foreigners that build cars.

If that’s Alabama’s example of “Southern Hospitality”… I think I’ll just stay home.

Most Respectfully,
Marcia Reimers, Your Gadfly Granny

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