Thursday, March 29, 2012

Democracy in Action: No Hoodies in Congress

Up Against the Wall Motherfu=*#er (Image from Flickr, by keatssycamore)
A legislator was forcefully removed from Congress  this week for wearing a hoody as he spoke out against racial profiling and the murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida by a racist vigilante. Speaker of the House, John Boehner, had Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Ill) removed by the sergeant at arms because hats and other head coverings are prohibited by the rules of decorum.

What Does Modern School Have Against Democracy?
First, Modern School reserves the right to criticize everything. Nothing is sacred. By criticizing Democracy, I am not condoning any other form of government, or lack thereof. However, I would ask people to consider what they so cherish about Democracy?

Of course the notion that Democracy is the best possible form of government has been inculcated into us from an early age, so it is no surprise that people embrace it uncritically. However, I suspect that what Americans cherish even more than the actual form and practice of Democracy in this country is the notion that we live in a nation governed by “the people,” which is to say that we, the people, the 99%, the masses, have actual power in the decisions that affect our lives, income, personal freedom and living standards, which simply is not true and which should be abundantly clear from the evidence.

The OWS movement and liberals, in general, argue that Democracy is simply broken and needs fixing, and that if it were fixed, we would have power. However, Democracy functions exactly as it was intended and designed: to facilitate the monopolization of power and wealth by those who already have wealth and power.

The rules of decorum in Congress, for example, exist in part to stifle free expression and to limit the boundaries of discourse. By demanding that Rep. Rush remove his hoody and then removing him from Congress, Boehner effectively cut off Rush’s argument that one’s clothing and skin color should not mark him for assassination and that racial profiling is still a significant problem in this country.

Of course the fact that the rich generally do not wear hoodies and are seldom, if ever, profiled by the police or by vigilantes was never even considered a topic worthy of discussion in Congress.

No comments:

Post a Comment