Saturday, April 20, 2013

"Con la tea en la mano"

Gabby Giffords raises her torch in The New York Times after the failure of a gun safety bill to get past the Senate. While 54 senators were in support of the legislation, it needed 60 votes to overcome the threat of a filibuster from the GOP. (Only then could the bill get to the floor of the Senate, where it would be subject to an actual vote -- and a simple majority of 51 would be sufficient to pass it.)

In response, Representative Giffords, a heroic survivor of gun violence and a symbolic leader in the campaign for gun safety, threw down the gauntlet:
"Our democracy’s history is littered with names we neither remember nor celebrate — people who stood in the way of progress while protecting the powerful. On Wednesday, a number of senators voted to join that list ... To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way. 
"Mark my words: if we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities’ interests ahead of the gun lobby’s."
It brought to mind Julia de Burgos, surging at the head of a crowd:
"Cuando las multitudes corran alborotadas dejando atrás cenizas de injusticias quemadas, y cuando con la tea de las siete virtudes, tras los siete pecados, corran las multitudes, contra ti, y contra todo lo injusto y lo inhumano, yo iré en medio de ellas con la tea en la mano."
(Full text of A Julia de Burgos)

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