A deep breath…and maybe some dancing?


There is so much to be angry about. The media blackout of the Wall Street protests,budget cuts, war, poverty, the systematic dismantling of any worker protection…the list goes on. I found myself getting carried away; just so angry. But as I wrote to a friend telling him to bring his kids to Occupy Detroit, it struck an old, hidden chord. The most important reason to fight and fight and fight until our last breath is because we have kids, or younger siblings, or the idea of youth. I remembered the demonstrations and protests that I had attended as a child with my mother and the thing that I can remember the best, the clearest is the sense of joy. The deep and abiding sense of joy, pride and comraderie in a shared struggle. My favorite thing about getting to talk to all these Autoworker Caravan retirees is the sense of knowing that they’re on the right side of history, even if it’s not the winning side. It’s a very particular sense of joy that comes from knowing that your fight is the fight of everyone, that your fight (even if it feels like you’re not winning it) is the fight that will do the most good for the most people. It’s thrilling and so uplifting to know that all those people on Wall Street are there not just because they got parking tickets or something, but because people are starting to put together that our struggle is big. And that our humanity is big. And because of that, our power is big.  Remember, all of this outrage is because all we really want is a better life, a fair shake. That, for me, at least comes from a desire for more happiness, more purpose, more joy.

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About Stepchild in the Promised Land: Notes from a Tier-Two Autoworker

A third-generation Detroiter, Wayne State grad, mother and tier-two autoworker.
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