Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   1 comment
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

We ARE the Small People

By       Message April Moore     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 6/27/10

- Advertisement -

Like millions of others, I was mildly offended when BP's Swedish Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg insisted that he and his company care about "the small people." Americans bristled atthe term. It sounded demeaning, implying that we U.S.citizens are little and weak,not like'the big people' who run BP.

- Advertisement -

But as I thought about Svanberg's gaffe, I realized that his term for us Americansis spot on. We are'the small people.' Even though we numbermore than 300 million, and even though we have a federal agencytasked with makingbig oil companiesconduct their operations safely, we arethe onesbearing the pain ofdamage that grows dailyasoil continues to gush into the Gulf, out of control.We 'small people' are paying because the "big people'at BP used their might to make surethe Mining and Minerals Service did not interferewith BP's cheating on safetyor with its failure to prepare for a possible accident.

BP'sCEO Tony Haywardpromised thatBP would "make things right.' Butthe 'small people' of the Gulf coast know he can't. They know that the damage is too great, thattheir means of livelihoodfishing, shrimping, tourismat least for the foresseable future.The $20 billion President Obama wrung out of the company to compensate Gulf coast victimsis tiny, compared to thesufferingbeing endured by so many in the Gulf region.

- Advertisement -

WhileBP is losing lots of moneyin payments tovictims, in trying to clean up the disaster it has caused, and in plummeting stock pricesthe corporation's giant sizeprotects it from the kinds of costs we'small people' must pay formuchsmaller crimes.Any one of us 'small people' who kills another person faces life in prison or even execution. But "big people' who run corporations like BP never face execution. And prison sentences are almost as rare. Despite the 11 human deathsBP caused when the Gulf rig exploded,it is unlikely that those deaths will cost BP anything more than money.

Unfortunately, there is nothing unique about BP. The tragic deaths of 29 Massey coal miners in West Virginia recently, and the irresponsible behavior of giant financial institutions thatbrought us to the brink of Depression, were caused by thegreed of "big people,' unchecked by the federal agencies charged with their oversight.

Yes, Svanberg was right. We are "the small people.' And we'll remain small and weak, suffering what we must at the hands ofgiant corporations,for the foreseeable future.

But I do believe we can change the current great imbalance of power. We the people need to take our democracy back. We desperately need campaign finance reform, so that we can minimize the influence ofBig Corporate Money on Congress, on the White House, and on our regulatory agencies.

- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

www.TheEarthConnection.org
April Moore is the creator and editor of www.TheEarthConnection.org, a site for people who love the earth. The site offers nourishment and inspiration, to strengthen us for the hard work we face in saving our planet. A lifelong (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Sweet Are the Uses of Adversity

The "Jewel of Siberia"

Witch Hazel: Color in the Winter Woods

What's RIGHT With Kansas!

Grief for Our Planet

The Persistence of Life