Saturday, September 10, 2011

Geoff and I wrote this for a reporter from the Danish newspaper called Weekendavisen.

Hello Réne,
Thanks for coming to my school to inquire about our feelings on being American. I had to write you in hopes of reflecting a less acknowledged view that American youth hold. It is an identity of shame. My government does not make me proud. My companion and I wrote this together to give a voice to those Americans who are ashamed of our governments actions.  

What it means to me to be an American.

I love the American country, and I love the American people. I fear the American government and corporate establishment, and I hate what they are doing to our country and our world.
I am American; my family is here and everyone I've ever loved is here. It's all I know as home. Unfortunately my America has become fat, greedy, and hungry for violence disguised as peace and money, money, money.
Growing up poor, it was clear that class and money had everything to do with health and happiness. As I grew up, read some books, and explored the country, I realized how rich in hypocrisy America is. I was born in the Reagan years, during the War on Drugs, an undeclared "War" on the poorest and most unfortunate Americans. I experienced the D.A.R.E. (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) program in school, popular at that time. These programs exposed kids to drugs at a very early age. When I was ten in this program I was shown cocaine and marijuana for my first time. They were in a plexiglass case that the officers brought to school so that we would all know exactly what those terrible drugs would look like so we could avoid them. They told us that if we saw any drugs like that at home that we should tell the police officer so that they could "get your mommy and daddy the help they need."
After the Reagan years came Bush. Followed by Clinton, who seemed like more of the same at the time. But then Bush Junior came into power, and reminded us all just how terrible Reagan really was – Clinton's eight years of malaise and fattening corporations came to seem like paradise. By the time Obama came to office, I was completely disillusioned by politics, though I voted for him in faint hope that he could return the country to sanity. He couldn't.
I believe my government commits terrible crimes in the name of peace. I know that my government is causing a lot of people to suffer and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. Somehow they are even forcing me to pay for it. I am paying for this dominance, violence, and ignorance.
I overheard some students talking about how they view their identity as Americans, babbling on about America being, in their words, "A big family, though dysfunctional." The irony of their patriarchal attitude is clear to the poor. No family could ever treat anyone the way America treats the poor and the foreign. The other students can't really be blamed, because they have never known what it's like to be poor, worrying about paying for doctor visits and medication. To be a veterans of our wars, disabled, left on meager rations to live in the slums of cities or even under bridges. There are actual tent cities in America now, people who cannot find anywhere indoors to live. Our system has, literally, shut them out.
Corporations pollute and rob and the owners are not held accountable. Heck, they don't even part taxes. Meanwhile, I have to borrow thousands of dollars to go to college from them, and I can't go to see a dentist or doctor.
That's what it is for me to be American. If you are rich, it's a great place to be, but if you are one of the rest of us, you are on your own.


  1. kudos to you my dear for speaking up! I saw a documenatary on Ford polluting and it's consequences on a town. Will never buy a Ford. I wish more people had seen this.
    The big fat cats keep getting fatter!

  2. That patriarchy is gonna be sorry it messed with you <3

  3. Thanks. You're right,Doreen, they keep getting fatter and fatter : )I wish I could do more than just rant about it! Though there's nothing wrong with ranting : )

  4. I want to make the patriarch apologize.