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Shining City or Evil Empire

View From Here
By David Mark Greaves

Shining City on the Hill or Evil Empire, what will we be after the midterms? The battle lines have been drawn with blood: Truth vs. Lies, Fascism vs. Democracy, Pro-Choice vs. Anti-Abortion, Pro-Vote vs. Anti-Vote, Pro-Future vs., Pro-Past, all intertwined in the history of genocide, enslavement, and White Supremacy that is being banned in schools across the country.


Let’s start with the scary part; it won’t matter what most people want. The Republicans know they can’t win the popular vote and are using every suppression tactic they can, centering on Democratic districts, which inevitably skew Black.


This means that Democratic and Independent voters will have to come out in numbers unseen because there won’t be a second chance. If the Republican candidates for Governor and Secretary of State, who say that Biden did not win and they would not certify election results they disagree with, win their offices, then the Republicans have a huge step up on the 2024 presidential election even with candidate Trump campaigning from a Club Fed, prison-like environment.


And then, in a flash, our democracy will be lost, and we will remember today as a time when we were free.
The good news is that given an enemy shared on so many issues, enough people will come out on the right side of history and vote for a sane and stable foundation from which to face the future in a world with too many crises to handle as it is.

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Additionally, regarding the “pocketbook issues,” the Democrats have a story to tell of lower gas prices, low national unemployment, and legislation to fight climate change that already has companies announcing plans for billion-dollar battery manufacturing facilities, getting ready for the future that is moments away.


With the wind of the issues blowing at their backs and what Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell called the “quality” of the Republican candidates, the Democrats can pick up at least two seats in the Senate, nullifying Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema. In a much heavier but not impossible lift, an impassioned democracy-believing electorate might be able to prevail, even against the heavily gerrymandered Republican House. In that case, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act will be passed, and a nation ruled by the people will continue to emerge.


Emerge into a world where today’s preschoolers will grow up looking at a gasoline-powered car as we look at a horse and buggy. Even drivers with their hands on a wheel will be seen as a quaint touch.


In that world, it will be the educated who will be the thrivers. And in this digital age, when creativity is the coin of the realm, not working on releasing the natural creativity of the African Diaspora by failing to educate the next generation properly is a failure in the intergenerational handoff of the struggle that began with the Middle Passage.


And failure is at hand. According to a recent report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress on the effects of the pandemic on education levels of nine-year-olds, they write, “In mathematics, the 13-point score decrease among Black students compared to the 5-point decrease among White students resulted in a widening of the White−Black score gap from 25 points in 2020 to 33 points in 2022.”

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If the Democrats take the midterms, then education must be treated the same as the climate crisis, with all known “best practices” scaled up and given crisis-level funding.


And even with those efforts, it will take parents, educators, and legislators to wrest student’s attention away from the distractive power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), with its algorithms constantly marketing and demanding attention to their agendas,
What awaits them are the opportunities and challenges of Brooklyn, a magnet for entrepreneurs and creatives from worldwide cultures. A place to flourish. We have to give them those tools. If the elections don’t go well for democracy, we’ll just have to double down.

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