Last Wednesday night, I was calling friends to try and do a little street theater downtown Chicago, in the hopes of providing a particularly gritty infomercial and generating pressure on the Senate to not pass S.3930 (aka the “Just Confess to Something Act of 2006″). It appears I wasn’t the only one with the same idea. No one was down for it early that Thursday afternoon, and the bill went on to pass by a hefty majority.
That night, I couldn’t help but think that this is no longer my country. I’m living on the same landmass, but “America” has packed up and left for greener pastures.
That is a fiction. The America I pine after has only ever existed in the fever dreams of its bohemian idealists. America as a whole has always been a brutal, mean-spirited hypocrite. It enslaved millions of Africans in the name of God. It slaughtered millions of indigenous Americans in the name of civilization. It conquered Cuba and the Phillipines in the name of colonial liberation. It setup banana republics in Central America in the name of democracy. It used nuclear weapons in the name of peace. It impoverishes a large chunk of the planet in the name of development. It conquered Iraq in the name of freedom, and continues to decimate it in the name of stability.
Now, it has decided to let itself disappear anyone it wishes and abuse them forever—in the name of security.
3 thoughts on “Dying Democracy and Dehumanization”
The forefathers that procured this country’s system of laws lived lives that enabled them to recognize the value of the freedoms we see eroding. Our generation doesn’t recognize their value and that the quality of life they enjoy results from them.
Of course, they couldn’t recognize the value of those rights as applied to women, Africans, Japanese, Chinese, Eastern Europeans, Southern Europeans, Arabs, Communists, Anarchists, Socialists, Union organizers, etc.
How many rights did an Irish immigrant have circa 1830? Or an German immigrant, circa 1880? Or a Black person, circa 1650-1920? Or a communist, circa 1920-1950? Or a Niesei, circa 1944? Or a hippie, circa 1970? Or an Arab, circa 2002?
…Or, of course, the original tenants of the land.
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