As usual, she nailed it on the head. If you missed her commentary on Hillary Clinton's civil rights gaffe in the Sunday Oregonian (she credited LBJ with the Voting Rights Act of 1965), check it out 'cause Ehrenreich gives us credit & hope. 'Us' being activists who work hard for change from the grassroots. Do we need elected officials to make it happen? To sponsor the bills, gain support, push them through? You bet. Do they need us, the people they represent, to run it on in? To swell the ground to support new laws? To work together in our spare time to make change because it's r-e-a-l-l-y needed? You bet.
Her piece, Of Race and Progress, is heartening - even inspiring - to the many parents working to improve family policies in this country. She reassures us how necessary we are in all this, how our willingness to stand up and - in the little free time we have - fight for a more family-friendly America is in fact a key to the change itself. As she writes about the fight for women's rights decades ago:
Women's rights, for example, weren't brokered by Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem over tea. As Steinem would be the first to acknowledge, the feminist movement of the '70s took root around kitchen tables and coffee tables, ignited by hundreds of thousands of now-anonymous women who were sick of being called "honey" at work and excluded from "men's" jobs. Media stars such as Friedan and Steinem did a brilliant job of proselytizing, but it took an army of unsung heroines to stage the protests, organize the conferences, hand out the fliers and spread the word to their neighbors and co-workers.
Anonymous? No problem. Unsung hero? I can only hope.