Monday, September 03, 2012

Holiday Weekend Mash Up

It's Labor Day 2012 and the summer heat has rolled into September with gusto and fury as we prepare for fall's arrival later this month. What a week its been for weather in our state and around the country as we are boldly reminded that Mother Nature rules by any means necessary, with or without us. Therefore, its upward and onward into the third quarter of the year with more of what I hope that you are looking for. Its COP 24/7 racking them and breaking the balls again. Now let's work..... Special
Labor Day Tribute: SEIU President Mary Kay Henry

Meet Mary Kay Henry, President of Service Employees International Union, and arguably the most powerful lesbian in the United States. By Sunnivie Brydum 
Mary Kay Henry is the International President of Service Employees International Union, the country's fastest-growing labor union, with more than 2 million members. In addition to being the first woman to lead the organization, she also happens to be the first out lesbian to hold such a position. According to Seattle Gay News, this makes her "the most powerful lesbian in the country."
Henry accepted the position as president in May 2010, leaving her post as the head of SEIU's health care division. That same year, SGN ran an interview where the leader talked about social justice, LGBT rights, and repairing the rift within the labor community after SEIU and five other unions left the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations in 2005.
Henry was pivotal in establishing SEIU's Lavender Caucus, the union's LGBT member organization. She used the organization to educate and advocate for an end to oppression - a plan she detailed in her interview with SGN.
"The fight against oppression is a series of steps — ENDA, marriage equality — we can use it as an opportunity to educate each other," Henry told SGN. "That's the beauty of the labor movement. It's a forum where people who might otherwise be pitted against each other can build unity."
According to Henry's biography on the SEIU website, Henry has devoted her life — and her time with SEIU since 1979 — to advocating for working people.
"Henry has stood side by side with nursing workers in Fresno, Calif., who fought for time to treat seniors with the dignity and respect they deserve," reports Henry's bio. "And [fought for] suburban janitors in the Twin Cities, who wanted full-time work to support their families on a living wage. She has also worked with California state employees who sought to cut out waste and inefficiency from government, and registered nurses in Seattle, who wanted a partnership with management to improve the cost and quality of care throughout the state."
Henry, 54, was raised in Detroit inside a devout Catholic family. She has been with her partner, Paula Macchello, a senior organizer for the Teamsters, for more than 20 years according to a 2012 Denver Post article.
This Labor Day weekend, take a moment to say thanks to the countless workers - LGBT, straight, and queer — who make this country run smoothly and fight for change, progress and equality for all.

Barbara Jordan’s “1976 DNC Keynote Address” Analysis

Election cycle 2012 is now in full swing, as the Democrats gear up for their Charlotte N.C. throw down to re-nominate President Obama, I was sparked by MSNBC host Melissa Harris Perry's show on "all things politics," this past Sunday. Her cute "civic/history " quiz engaged me as I answered 3 out of 5 questions correct. However, it was her tribute to the legendary Barbara Jordan whom blazed a trail into the political stage with her powerful eloquence and steadfast beliefs that the Democratic party should demand that it be a party where "all are welcomed." Not only as participants in the process but because "its our common destiny" as Americans to move our country forward. I had a chance to watch that very speech on TV as she made it in 1976. She embodied a stature, grace, and integrity that was engaging and attention grabbing to you take a moment and think about the picture was painting. Although Ms. Jordan was a lesbian, this didn't overshadow her ability to navigate the halls of power or be respected for her full knowledge of the constitution and its revelance to the American people. As we keep hearing about "American exceptionalism," Ms. Jordan would reign supreme as a politician who was "of the people and for the people" she represented as well as fellow citizens. She envisoned that we should truly gather together as a "commuity of The United States."  Her words then, certainly resonate today and will always be a footnote in America's body politic. You can check out the speech on YouTube to hear it for yourself. Its worth listening to. If you are not registered to vote, what are you waiting for, Do it today!
Barbara Charline Jordan delivering the Keynote Address at the Democratic National Convention on July 12 1976.(pictured)
In 1976 Barbara Jordan stood in front of the National Convention as the first African American to deliver the Keynote Address. The address she delivered underscored the unrealized principles of a Democratic Party that would that would, in the end, call presidency in 1976. The keynote address was not only a historic first but the realization of a moral imperative that Martin Luther King Jr. had been urging on the country a decade earlier. Barbara’s speech addressed the themes of unity, equality, accountability, and American ideals. She states that the nation must form a willingness to “share the responsibility for upholding the common good” and that everyone “must define the “common good” and begin again to shape a common future.” Her speech was so successful at the convention that it caused the audience to support Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. Barbara’s symbolic use of language created participatory roles for her listeners to want to form a national community that must be done as individuals, and she has confidence that the Democratic Party can lead the way to this national community.

Numerous qualities contribute to Jordan’s effectiveness as a speaker and there are several examples of rhetoric in the keynote address that she delivered. Barbara Jordan creates unifying images in her discourse by explaining to the audience how the future could be if the United States was “bound together by common spirit, sharing in a common endeavor” but if we don’t become this way then we will become a divided nation. But the only way this can be done is if “we restore the belief that we share a sense of national community, that we share a common endeavor.” Jordan states that we must come together and we must not “flee from the future” or “reject society.” Jordan also reasons with her audience by stating how difficult it will be for everyone to form a national community. But she also gives her audience the responsibility of becoming a unified country because the country will suffer if not everyone takes part.

When Barbara addresses the reason as to why people become democratic she explains the point that when immigrants came to the United States in the 19th century could identify with the Democratic Party because Barbara Jordan states that the Democratic Party feel that they are a “heterogeneous party made up of Americans of diverse backgrounds” and she also states that the Democratic Party believes that “the people are the source of all governmental power; that the authority of the people is to be extended, not restricted.” But she explains that the only the only way the authority of the people can be extended is by providing each citizen with every opportunity to participate in the management of the government. This can only be accomplished by the government removing the obstacles “which would block individual achievement --obstacles emanating from race, sex, economic condition. The government must remove them, seek to remove them.”

Barbara Jordan is very effective political speaker as she uses effective language in her speech and there are many examples of rhetoric in her speech that was given. Such examples of rhetoric include: How Jordan creates unifying images in her discourse by explaining how the United States can become a unified country if we share a common spirit. Her speech also uses symbolic images for the audience to show what the United States could become. She also reasons with her audience by stating the point that “Let there be no illusions about the difficulty of forming this national community. It’s tough, difficult, not easy. But a spirit of harmony will survive in America only if each of us remembers that we share a common destiny; if each of us remembers, when self-interest and bitterness seem to prevail, that we share a common destiny.” So, Barbara reasons with her audience by understanding that coming together as one nation is not an easy task. By Barbara Jordan asking for, not just the audience but everyone in general and “each person do his or her part” and she also states that if not everyone does their part that “all of us are going to suffer” because the American ideal is shared by everyone.

Works Cited
Jordan, Barbara Charline."1976 Democratic National Convention Keynote
Address." American Rhetoric. Michael E. Eidenmuller, 2001-2010. Web. 4 Oct.

Works Consulted
"American Rhetoric Top 100 Speeches." American Rhetoric. American Rhetoric, 2010. Web. 4 Oct. 2010.
Scarborough, Megan. "A Voice That Could Not Be Stilled." Utexas.
October 9 2008. Web. 4 Oct. 2010.

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