Once more I have received an invitation to a party. You know what it’s like. They tell you the day and the hour and also what to wear. The choreography has been established for sometime and you are supposed to arrive and like it. Table places have been assigned and the importance of names tell you what to expect and where not to sit.
The menu has also been pre-arranged, but of course they give you a couple of choices so that you don’t feel they are imposing their will on you.
If you behave, you may get another invitation sometime, especially if a token, (excuse me), representation is needed. This party sounds like many other parties that take place throughout the country, and they all have certain similarities.
The first one is that these parties group alike people. In United States they say there are no classes, but people know they exist. You will not find at the same party people that cannot express themselves using the same kind of language or lingo used by that specific crowd.
If the topic arises about low-income people or minorities, you can be sure that the ‘well educated’ members know exactly what is good for ‘them’. Therefore they invite them to a big party, but the poor do not hear about the invitation because they don’t use the same media (internet and newspapers), or maybe issues are posed in such a way that they sound like ‘Greek’ to common folk. So when they do not come to the discussion table, you later can say they were invited, but they just don’t care about anything, so they chose not to participate.
General politics in the country are a good example of these parties. Of course they also happen at all levels, state, city, organizations, etc.
I remember reading an article in the Goshen News this past week concerning the Community Conversation that took place in Goshen. It mentioned that, “Elkhart resident Jay Little said one thing he would have liked to have seen during Monday’s meeting was a more diverse crowd.” He added,” I would also say there seems to be a bit of a class disparity as well as I look around the room.” Have you noticed the same at gatherings, meetings, etc?
How can we begin to really include people from all walks of life? This is a very important topic in the country today. The economy has changed and the middle class has shrunk. In order to maintain some sort of democracy, the bulk of the population must be taken into consideration, not only to create programs or try new ideas on them, but also to touch base about what life is like for many people nowadays.
We all would like to have better roads, clean water, more parks and many other amenities. What is of importance to some people is secondary for many others who would like to see more job stability, higher salaries, work opportunities, affordable colleges and a path to employment after graduation.
Let’s hope that all the new conversations that are taking place everywhere, voice not only the concerns of the more advanced, but also listen to the needs of the poor.
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