Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Resolve in 2007 to eat responsibly!

What are your New Year Resolutions? Eating responsibly (in more ways than one) is one of mine. Something else appropriate to do in the first couple weeks of January is to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King by reflecting upon the privileges of personal liberty given to us by law--our civil rights--that some of us had to fight long and hard to obtain.

I reflect not only on the gains our society has made since Dr. King’s time (and how far we have yet to go), but also upon the fragility of those gains. It's naive to think that once protected by law, civil rights are forever guaranteed and need no defense. Habeas corpus might already be a casualty of George W. Bush's “War on Terror.” Who is to say that other rights of ours--or rights for certain groups--couldn’t eventually suffer a similar fate in the war on Enlightenment values currently waged from numerous quarters? Commitment to Dr. King’s vision of equal rights for all Americans needs to be renewed each generation. These rights need to be extended to those yet left out (the gay, lesbian and transgendered community here comes to mind) and defended from those nostalgic for white supremacy, patriarchy and theocracy who would turn back the clock.

It will surprise some to learn that there is a group here in Ithaca who promote the idea that our society would be a better place had the civil rights movement--and indeed the 13th & 14th Amendments to the Constitution--never happened. They are an odd bunch who thrash their children for playing make-believe games while they never cease playing make-believe First Century Jews for Jesus. They are called the Twelve Tribes and they run the Maté Factor restaurant on the Commons.

If you find the Twelve Tribes' ideology as unsavory as we do, we urge you to overlook the savoriness of the chai, salads and wraps they serve at Maté Factor and get your grub elsewhere. Point others to the information on this website so that they can make an informed decision about where to spend their money.

And Happy New Year!

P.S. If you haven't already seen it, check out John Sullivan's guest commentary column in the January 2nd Ithaca Community News titled "Why We're Boycotting Maté Factor on the Commons"

"The time is always right to do what is right."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.