It has brought me to my Jeremiah Wright moment.
If this posting doesn't hit you where you live. . . .
IF THIS is the totality of our future as a country . . . may we not have one as a country. If this is how we roll, if this is how expendable we consider ourselves and others, then may God damn America.
A few days ago, my mother was told she was going to be laid off. She’s a receptionist at a medical office. She’s been there for 16 years.
It was out of the blue, and as she sat on my couch in shock and sobbing, and as I sat there in the rare reversed role of comforter, I began to realize what she was most upset about was not how she would pay her bills, though that is big concern, but rather, how hurt she was.
She saw them as her family. New doctors, multiple office managers, ever-changing policies, she had been there through it all—not for the money—but because she cared.
She may not look as important on paper as a doctor or a nurse or a medical assistant, but she knew the name of every patient and drug rep who came through that door.
She wasn’t just a receptionist, she was an advocate.
She was the one who fit you into a jammed schedule when you were too sick to wait, the one who got you the paperwork you needed, the one who got you in with the specialist during the scariest moment of your life, the one who saw you struggling with a newborn baby in a waiting room full of illness and shuffled you into a room, no questions asked.
And she came home that day with the very hard realization that the very people she loved and devoted 16 years of her life to saw her as disposable. It broke her heart.It got me thinking about my parent’s generation. I come from an honest-to-goodness blue-collar family, my father working for the Ohio Turnpike for over 30 years. Come December, he too, will be laid off, replaced by a machine that takes quarters through a slot over a smile and a hello.
In that eventuality, may God damn America, because America will have become an empire of things -- rank utilitarianism . . . societal objectification . . . callousness . . . dehumanization -- not a country of free men and women, one nation under God, indivisible, yadda yadda yadda.
Once upon a time, we fought wars against empires kind of like us, that thought kind of like what now is in vogue here.
Enough is enough, and humans are not things -- no matter how hard we try to make them so. Occupy Wall Street.
And K Street.
And Main Street.