No one really celebrates Labor Day. Sure, we take off that Monday, but since Labor Day represents the end of summer and the return to school, who is celebrating? Mourning is more like it. Since kindergarten, the “End of Summer Stomach Ache” began on the Sunday afternoon before Labor Day. Though I am generations away from school age, this year I am sick to my stomach a few hours earlier than usual. Between the economic news and the political climate, I am nauseous from what I see and hear.
According to Wikipedia: Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland reconciled with the labor movement.
That’s kind of like what is happening now, in the abstract. The American workers are being cut off at the knees by Republicans in Wisconsin and Ohio. The whole situation with labor, as in job opportunities seems to be dwindling and our president continues to acquiesce to his enemies. There is a line in the movie The Debt, when the Nazi war criminal known as the Surgeon of Birkenau confronts his Israeli captor saying, “I watched as all you Jews went to slaughter. No one resisted.” Well, pardon me for thinking about that line when I watch Barack Obama move the date of his big jobs speech, or avoid speaking at the 10th Anniversary of 9-11 at Ground Zero and weakening his environmental stance against corporate polluters, a.k.a. the Republican agenda.
As the child of Holocaust survivors, I was taught to stand up for what I believe in and let no one ever compromise those beliefs. At a time when we are all fighting for our sense of self-respect and dignity, Barack Obama needs to lead by example and stand firm. Not led bullies lead him by the nose. Yes, I have a stomach ache on this Labor Day. And I hate to Be-Labor Day the point that the man that I have come to respect for stealing the thunder away from Hillary Clinton, no easy task, is showing his true colors, and sadly, they are lovely shades of yellow.