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To the people of Egypt who are rising up to tear down the barriers to your full participation in a free, socially equitable, and democratic society:

We — your sisters and brothers across the ocean — are inspired by your courage, bravery and vision.  We heed your example as a call for us to crawl out of a culture of complacency; to recommit to struggle for fuller democratic participation in our own society, for greater social and economic equality, and also for a new internationalism strong enough to stop self-interested leaders from exploiting religion and nationalism to pit us against each other.

Some of the loudest voices in our country are sounding off to keep their political base afraid (of so-called "foreigners," "extremists," and "instability").  And our President and political leadership are displaying an embarrassing hesitancy in the face of your historic democratic revolution.  And though these voices are the loudest and the most visible—and they enjoy the most media access—please know that they do not speak for all of us.  There are many millions in our country who are inspired by your actions today.  While too many American politicians hesitate, and while too many American pundits are framing the news coverage we see here with their arrogance, prejudices and xenophobia, there are many millions of us—the American people—who do not hesitate to support you.

When we see your example, we say, "Hell yes!"  We are gathering in solidarity with you at Egyptian embassies and consulates in cities across the United States.  We stand with you, and we can't wait to celebrate your victory.  And we look forward to the day when our nation will act as a true ally to your nation; when we can all stand united together as sisters and brothers, not divided by nation, by culture, or by inequality.

cross-posted at

Originally posted to Jonathan Smucker on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 02:23 PM PST.

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