Thursday, September 17, 2009

R.I.P. Norma Rae & The REAL Death Panels

Crystal Lee Sutton, A.K.A. 'Norma Rae passed away last Friday of not only of Meniginoma, a usually slow growing brain cancer but she was also killed by....the REAL 'death panels' known as the American Health Insurance industry; NOT the one invented in the imagination of Sarah Palin.

Crystal Lee Sutton, a working-class mother of the three struggled to keep her family afloat with only 2.65$ an hour folding towels at a textile mill in her home town of Roanoke Rapids, N.C.  fought in 1973 to organize a union & was fired for it. She didn't leave without one final moment of defiance:

"I got a piece of cardboard that we used to put in our towel gift sets," she said. "I just grabbed (a magic marker), and I just wrote the word 'union' on that piece of cardboard and climbed on the table. I don't even know how I got up there. And I held that word 'union' up — that cardboard — and turned it around. And people — they finally all shut their machines down."

 The story of her fight was portrayed by in the Oscar winning film,  Norma Rae in 1979 starring Sally Field. 

Later, Crystal Lee Sutton would have two  fights of a different kind; brain cancer & her insurance company that didn't want to pay for her treatment, which in her view was another abuse to the working poor. After two months of fighting with them, she finally started receiving treatment which would prove to be too late.  Her husband had to work two jobs & the AFL-CIO took a collection on her behalf to help pay for her treatments. 

"How in the world can it take so long to find out (whether they would cover the medicine or not) when it could be a matter of life or death," she said. "It is almost like, in a way, committing murder."

Well, it IS essentially, committing murder of the legal kind just like what  Dr Linda Peeno confessed to before Congress.

Here is another example of the REAL death panels.

The irony of Crystal Lee Sutton's story is she represents the American working class in her fight for unions & later, the health insurance industry. She is someone who is much like those marching on the tea-bagger hit parades. Health care reform would serve to help that comical group the most.

Here are some links to a biography of her life:

Sally Field & Crystal Lee Sutton, the real Norma Rae

When asked how she would like to be remembered, here's what Crystal Lee Sutton had to say about this: 

"It is not necessary I be remembered as anything, but I would like to be remembered as a woman who deeply cared for the working poor and the poor people of the U.S. and the world," she said. "That my family and children and children like mine will have a fair share and equality."

That means even largely in part, the Tea-baggers from the hit parade. Instead of parading around with their mis-spelled signs & toting their guns, they should be stopping to think why President Obama is fighting so hard for health care reform. But, that would require a brain capable of logical thinking.

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