#LetWarrenRead

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Susan B. Anthony [Photo: George Cassidy Payne]

A graduate of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, George Payne teaches philosophy at Finger Lakes Community College and is the founder of Gandhi Earth Keepers International.

UPDATE: On 2/10/17 the piece was published in NPR’s Public Media for Southern New Mexico & Far West Texas

Let Warren Read!

The rebuke of Senator Warren on the floor of the U.S. Senate was disgraceful. No woman should ever be silenced in that way. No United States Senator should be treated with such indignity ever again. Not only does she have a right to speak as a powerful, emboldened woman leader, she has a right to speak as the voice of the people of  Massachusetts. She is their legal, political, and moral representation in Washington.

Furthermore, not only did a few men choose to silence Senator Warren with an egregious citation of an arcane and undemocratic rule, they also chose to silence the voice of a phenomenal human being and American heroine in Coretta Scott King. It was a debacle, pure and simple.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren (Stock)

Going even further, I believe that the silencing of Senator Warren was a monumental failure in practicing what we preach as a nation. Do we or do we not believe in open dissent? Do we or do we not believe in public argumentation? Do we or do we not believe in civil rights? Do we or do we not believe in freedom of speech? Do we or do we not believe in having healthy, vigorous disagreements over policy?

Who do those white male Republicans think they are?  Who cares if Warren has something critical to say about her fellow Senator from Alabama? Who cares if she steps up and impugns him? That is her job if she disagrees with his qualifications and experience for the office he seeks. Frankly speaking, who cares if she steps up and reads a statement, sits in silence, meditates, prays, sings, dances, levitates, eats lunch, or does anything she damn well pleases? It is her time. In whatever way she chooses to judge and assess the president’s nominee for Attorney General, she has the right to do so. The people of the great Commonwealth have a right to do so.

So this is my chant. As a man who is deeply offended by the actions of these white male Republican senators, I say: Let Warren Read! Get out in the streets men. I’m calling on all of you who care about democracy to shout as loudly as you can: Let Warren Read! Go find a sign. Go make a sign. Go be a sign. Let Warren Read!

The rebuke of Senator Warren on the floor of the U.S. Senate was disgraceful. No woman should ever be silenced in that way. No United States Senator should be treated with such indignity ever again. Not only does she have a right to speak as a powerful, emboldened woman leader, she has a right to speak as the voice of the people of  Massachusetts. She is their legal, political, and moral representation in Washington.

Furthermore, not only did a few men choose to silence Senator Warren with an egregious citation of an arcane and undemocratic rule, they also chose to silence the voice of a phenomenal human being and American heroine in Coretta Scott King. It was a debacle, pure and simple.

George Payne

SEE ALSO

Singing resistance in the produce section in Wegmans

In Washington Square Park remembering the first March for Woman’s Lives, April 1989

On the Other Side: a montage of Rochester’s resting places. And Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite on Election Day.