July 6th, 2014
Inspired by In Virginia, Medicaid expansion fight escalates ( Laura Vozzella and Jenna Portnoy, WashingtonPost.com 6/25/14) and Committed to memories (Antonio Olivo, Washington Post 7/06/14 page C1) about 83 year-old Fannie Fitzgerald’s memories of Virginia’s “massive resistance” to desegregation.
“If we can organize the Southern States for massive resistance to this order I think that in time the rest of the country will realize that racial integration is not going to be accepted in the South.” – Sen. Harry Byrd (R-VA)
A half century has passed
And Virginia is again repeating its past.
In 1964, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act,
And Virginia felt the need to massively react.
Virginia closed public schools rather than integrate them
(It’s easier to hurt people when you hate them).
They were perfectly OK with also hurting poor whites,
As long as it let them preserve their “states rights.”
Then, it took five years for the worst VA haters to relent
And to VA schools’ desegregation to reluctantly consent.
Now, fifty years later, history is repeated,
And the haters again refuse to admit they’re defeated.
They’re doing all they can to resist the Flagitious Feds
Before their poison to pristine Virginia spreads.
(In one twist from 1964, VA’s new anti-federal attack
Is because the guy whose name is on the program is black.
God forbid anything proposed by that Big Black Brute
Be allowed VA’s political purity to pollute.)
The haters are rejecting federal funds to expand Medicaid,
So they can avoid giving the working poor much-needed aid.
Close struggling rural hospitals? They don’t care,
As long as they can show how much they hate Obamacare.
Deny 400,000 Virginians healthcare assistance?
A small price to pay for their massive resistance.
Let 627 Virginians die every year?
Collateral damage in their campaign to incite hate and fear.
How long will it take today’s haters to overcome their spite,
And finally do what’s right?
Hopefully, it won’t take as long as it did last time.
In fact, it’s already long past time.
What a sad, shameful sequel
In Virginia’s story of separate and unequal.