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Commentary: Protest Activity
Call to Defend Freedom Here at Home
by Patrice Cuddy
Email: patrice (at) wydeyed.com (unverified!)
Current rating: 0
27 Mar 2003
America is ripe for fascism.
As “we” defend our freedom by calling things “Freedom Fries” and “Freedom Toast”, while some of us send our blood to war, as we baby-sit our grandkids and wonder about their education, as we worry about our health and pay our bills and wonder who is going to strike us next, and how, as we plan our lives and look for competent leadership, as we listen to the media insult our intelligence and shout over one another for the spotlight, as we walk the streets, and go to our jobs, and search for Community, and hope that things will be better soon, there is much - much that comes up for re-examination. Everything, everyone, every moment, every act must be tested. This is about Life and Death. It always has been.
I test myself as I watch a magnificent group of Black Americans, young adults, exquisite in their ROTC uniforms, proud and beautiful as they drill and march in the street for “our” St. Patrick’s Day parade. Five people in my immediate family are in the MidEast now, some of them were just trying to pay for their educations in a service economy with a minimum wage that is just over $5.00 an hour, and some were just looking for health care for their young families. I think about these young Black Americans, trying hard to make the best of their lives, and I think about my five family members, somewhere far from home, and others possibly soon to follow, on – the – word –of – one – single – man.
When I also march in the street carrying a sign, I am tested by a passer-by who asks me politely enough, “What about the fact that what you are doing may result in the death of American troops?” My personal answer to that question is, “I feel that the deaths of Iraqi citizens, in their homes, are equal to the deaths of Americans, who at least had some small degree of choice in what they are doing,” and I wonder why he doesn’t see that too. I also wonder what George Bush means when he says he is “Pro-Life.”
I can guess the President’s answer to that question about his respect for the lives of innocent Iraqi children. “This is not my choice. It is Saddam Hussein’s,” Mr. Bush says. I don’t expect I’ll get to test him further concerning his role in the self-fulfilling prophecy that produced this situation that is so unacceptable in so many ways for so many people.
I hear Dennis Kucinich sing, “My Country ‘tis of thee, Sweet land of Liberty . . .”, and I wonder, “What does that mean?” When we are sent to kill people, like ourselves, in order to get rid of a leader who used to be a member of our own power cadre in the MidEast, when there are some who try to silence those in our own country who ask questions about this, where is Liberty being attacked, and by whom? What does “Defending Freedom” mean when people purposely oppress it at home? When someone drives by me and my friends, as we take our stand at Nichols Fountain, and shouts, “Bitch, I hope you die soon!”, when I and other peace activists try to suggest that there might be other solutions to our problems in the MidEast and we are told, “We don’t like your attitude” , I want to ask what it is that we mean when we say things about defending “our” Freedom. Whose Freedom are we talking about? What is it, exactly, that we think we are sending those young people of all different colors out into the world to do, and for what?
Liberals have a Freedom thing. I am a born-and-raised Liberal, albeit a Midwestern variety, but proud liberal at heart nonetheless from the kind of big family, pro-Labor, old-fashion Catholic, upbringing that resulted in a natural reflex to include everyone. We were told that God made our souls Free, so we could choose Love. They didn’t tell us that there would be so many subtle but profoundly destructive assaults on our free birthright from all directions, so many attempts to enslave us at every turn. They didn’t tell us about The Media.
It was that Liberal inclusiveness that led me to assume that I knew what Black Americans meant when they talked about slavery, prejudice, and discrimination. I was wrong. I didn’t know how wrong I was until this my 54th year. I know now that all of us have much new work to do to defend Freedom; I regret that the situation seems to indicate that I am so late coming to it.
Commentary: Protest Activity
Re: Call to Defend Freedom Here at Home
by Albert Likona
Email: fairtrader2002 (at) aol.com (verified)
Current rating: 0
29 Mar 2003
Well put. Thank you. We must persist. After "victory" in Iraq, what other nightmares will we be treated to if we don't stop the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz/Perle mob?