George Graham

We Could Fight Back – if We Had the Will

Sometimes, I feel hopeless. Today, for example. It could be because my sugar has been stubbornly high the past few days. Or because I have just been told that I might possibly have to undergo open-heart surgery. But there’s more to it than that. I think it’s the news that’s got me down.

I’m not talking just about man’s inhumanity to man – or more often, it seems, to woman. The news of the day teems with brutality and horror. Terrifying crimes, devastating accidents, bitter disputes …

Is it that tragedies have become more common? Or is it that the media have become more proficient at showcasing them?

Whatever the reason, it’s certainly depressing.

Still, it’s not nearly as depressing as the long-term trends I’ve been reading about this morning. In one article, I am treated to an update on an impending global trade agreement giving corporations virtually unlimited power – which is supported by the Obama Administration. Hard to believe that a president who seems so benign would be party to such a diabolical scheme. Surely, he would not willingly surrender America’s authority to maintain its own environmental, industrial and commercial regulations?

Is the article accurate? Impossible to know. The secrecy surrounding the looming deal – known as the TransPacific Partnership – is apparently impenetrable, at least to ordinary folks like me.

Another writer details the staggering gap between America’s super-rich and the rest of us. The 400 richest families have more money than the bottom 60 percent of the population, according to this article. And the lucky few are hard put to find ways to spend their money.

What’s even more discouraging is that the gap is growing wider.

And the people with the money are not the best and brightest, but the most socially and politically advantaged – regardless of merit.

Can we fight back? We must. But how?

We have the vote, of course. But apathy and disinformation combine to dilute the effectiveness of this historic weapon. We go to the polls – if we go – full of confusion and lies, false “facts” and empty promises.

In this dark mood, I am tempted to suggest some kind of consumer strike.

Perhaps the only way to get the attention of the powers that be is to reject the consumer culture, to resist the allure of the latest smart phone or video game, to wear last year’s fashions, to switch off the TV and radio, shut down the computer, tweet no more and let Facebook go dark for a while.

We could even buy fewer groceries. In addition to flexing our political muscle, it might even be healthier for us.

If we stop spending our pennies, the dollars of the rich will eventually be worthless. If we only had the will.

Click here to read about the trade deal.

Click here to read about the rich.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for


  • Hmmm … never even heard about this, April! I’m discovering so much about Jamaica from you and Kristi and I am Jamaican! LOL Isn’t that typical. Anyway, I went to a “bath” (I believe that’s what they call these healing springs) in or close to Clarendon, but I can’t remember the name. It was really great to paddle around in because the water was nice and warm. I wasn’t suffering from any ailments at the time so I don’t know if it can truly heal the sick. I’ll be sure to check out Fire Water when next I’m in Jamaica and St. Ann. Can you bath in the pool or is just for dipping the feet?

    • I was just thinking how I know so much more about other cities than I do about Atlanta and most of the US for that matter. Just something about the new and foreign that makes you want to dig into and explore everything you can.

      I hope you get to check it out soon. It’s not too deep, but you can bathe in it. There are a handful that do so daily and cook, etc. They will also give you massages as well.

  • With Kristi’s recommendation, I visited Fire Water last February. I got a full massage. It wasn’t the best one I ever had but the experience was awesome. I loved having to drive way up in the hills to find the place. People were like turn at the fourth tree you come to. LOL. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Yeah from the other videos I’ve been didn’t seem like the best, but I want the full experience too. And LOL at your directions. Getting to your destination is always an adventure in JA. It’s kinda like being back home ( south GA), landmarks over street signs. I actually was in the country and walked a niiiiiicccceeee hike to get there with ppl who knew how to get there.

    • I meant to say that I’m loving our Atlanta connection! I’ve lived here since the summer of 2000. One day – sooner, rather than later – I hope to live in Jamaica too. I’m headed back in mid-February for the sixth time (not nearly enough!).

      • F.I.L.A! I totally understand. It’s an addiction. Jamaica has its way of holding on and not letting you go. I so would have completed my 30 by 30 challenge if it weren’t for this extended trip and all the return visits I made to JA last year. LOL Not complaining though, at all. Hit me up when you are here.

  • You are getting to explore so many cool things! Lucky girl. I can’t believe you walked right through that fire, though if someone told me it would clear up mosquito bites, I probably would have done a dance in it!

    • LOL! Yeah, I wanted to take a nice dip and submerge myself completely, but alas, no bathing suit. I did get a good splashdown though.