Stevie Wonder and the Blind

Remember Stevie Wonder’s song that lifted our spirits and brought tears to our eyes? Click We are the World.

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Stevie Wonder got it then, and he gets it now. He’s made a choice to help save lives.

He has announced that he will no longer appear in the state of Florida. He’s boycotting Florida and every other place with “Stand Your Ground” laws in the wake of the Trayvon Martin jury verdict.

The acquittal of George Zimmermann brings to the fore once more gun violence, race, and the Stand Your Ground laws that move the right to defend one’s home without retreat into the streets.

The dark sun glasses are a trademark of the performer who cannot see, but he sees some things very clearly. This is one time the blind need to follow the blind man who sees. “Once I was blind, but now I see,” wrote John Newton, the captain of a slave-trade ship, after he came to his senses and refused to participate any longer in the evil of the slave trade.

It’s choices like Stevie Wonder’s that help us to save our own lives. Decisions like Stevie’s shine a light on the blindness of a society whose laws in Florida and elsewhere turn back the clock to the old days of vigilante violence.

Someday hence it will be said that America suffered years of temporary blindness – that we forgot that we are the world – and that a blind man named Stevie led America in singing with joy the hymn of the old slave ship captain: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…I once was blind, but now I see.”

Click We are the World.

Plato on Wealth and Poverty

“The form of law which I propose would be as follows: In a state which is desirous of being saved from the greatest of all plagues—not faction, but rather distraction—there should exist among the citizens neither extreme poverty nor, again, excessive wealth, for both are productive of great evil . . . Now the legislator should determine what is to be the limit of poverty or of wealth.”

Sound like Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)? Karl Marx maybe? Bill Maher?

It’s not. It was , Greek philosopher (427-347 B.C.) and “father of Western philosophy” who said it.
But it could have been Chuck Collins, grandson of Oscar Meyer, co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good. On their website, watch Chuck speaking on wealth inequality. I met Chuck three years ago at the home of a wealthy couple in Minneapolis.
I chimed in on the discussion in December, 2010 with a guest commentary on MPR, “Fear ‘redistribution of wealth’? Don’t look now”, arguing that the redistribution had already taken place – from the middle to the top of the economic ladder in America.
Let me know what you think? Do you agree/disagree with Plato: “Now the legislator should determine what is to be the limit of poverty or of wealth”? Or with Chuck? Should the distribution of wealth (a ceiling and a floor) be on the table or off the table of a democratic republic? If economics is not on the table, what does democracy mean?