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Gold and Energy Advisor's Real Wealth

Real Wealth #252  01/18/2010

Lessons from my Mother on Martin Luther King Day: Why it is time to put ourselves on the line with dealing with Iran and its nuclear weapons threat.


Dear Gold & Energy Advisor Subscriber,


Please allow me on this Holiday to share some non-economic, non-investment thoughts.


My mother passed away almost 10 years ago. I think of her often, but especially on her birthday, my birthday and on Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. My mother was as liberal as they came in the 1960s. She quietly took part in what became known as "Bloody Sunday" on March 7th 1965 when civil rights marchers attempted to trek from Selma, to Montgomery Alabama. My mother took a bus with a few fellow Registered Nurses and Nurses aids and joined 600 civil rights activists who were attacked by state and local police with billy clubs, dogs, fire houses and tear gas.


On April 4th 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City, my mother, on the invitation of one of the registered nurses she worked with at the time, agreed to go and hear Dr. King deliver his famous Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. My father was livid and fearful over any of my mother’s "liberal activism" and begged her not to go, but all he could get her to agree to was -- not to let the rest of our extended family find out about what she was doing.


I'm a Republican and a conservative with a big Libertarian strip down my back. My father voted for Nixon three times. Mom was our political opposite, but we both loved her. She had a huge heart. Before she passed away, she and I had some conversations that explained a lot to me.


She admitted she broke every rule of the New York Health and Hospitals system providing FREE care and all the free prescriptions she could round up for the uninsured and illegal immigrants that walked into her Spring and Mott Street OB Clinic in little Italy. She had great guilt over her efforts and great pride. She felt guilty because she used City resources illegally but still great pride because she saved several dozen lives.


Mom made me read all of Dr. King’s speeches she could get her hands on and believed "warts and all" Dr. King was a great man that would bring about tremendous positive change. Racism is still with us today. It has not been cured. Many of the same debates that gripped the 1960s have been replaced with similar debates now.


My mother cried like a baby three times in my presence growing up. She cried for the better part of the day after seeing Senator Kennedy shot in Los Angeles on the news, when Dr. King was assassinated and when my father passed away.


My mother taught me to see past the color of a person's skin, the importance of the written word and that things only get better if you're willing to put yourself on the line when needed.


With all this in mind, despite the fact that Mom was a liberal and I have been and remain a conservative, I think she would agree with me that President Obama and his Administration should start speaking out loudly in support of the protesters in Iran that are risking their liberty and lives to bring about political and social change in their country.


Taking the position that it might be seen as meddling in the internal politics of that country might make things harder -- is a mistake.


The Shah of Iran was overthrown because people rose up against what was a repressive regime whose secret police suppressed human rights. The Iranian revolution that resulted brought even more pain, anxiety, economic stress -- a bloody war and more loss of life than anyone could have imagined. The Iranians exchanged one repressive regime for another.

China remains the one true hold out from imposing strong Iranian sanctions.


We should be quietly impressing upon the Chinese that if they don't help neutralize Iran's nuclear program and help persuade a more liberal approach by the Iranian government towards Iran’s protesters, that the West may be compelled to start demanding International press access to cover protests and the behavior of the Iranian government. This is one of the real key fears of the Chinese government. To a country like China who still strictly controls the press, dissent and freedom of speech even after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, referred to in most of the world as the Tiananmen Square massacre and in the People's Republic of China (PRC) - cooperation on tougher sanctions may be a much more palatable compromise and better for its long term business interests.

Best Wishes,

James DiGeorgia, Editor



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