you better off now than you were four years ago?
Do you feel safer? Is your job more secure or are you among the more
than three million workers without a job and without any hope of a job? Have
you lost your pension or 401K due to corporate malfeasance?
you have a nest egg saved for emergencies or are you one mortgage payment
away from losing it all? Or are you one of the nearly two-million Americans
who filed for personal bankruptcy last year? Are your children getting the
finest education your taxes paid for or will they become one of the 50
million adults considered functionally illiterate?
you among the top percentage of wealthy Americans’ who benefited from
President Bush’s tax relief or are you the remaining majority just
scraping by? Or do you fall into the Federal Reserve Board's 2001 Survey of
Consumer Finances that indicates that nearly 10 million households or 9.2%
of Americans’ do not have a bank account of any kind? Or perhaps you are
one of the 32% of families that earn less than $15,000 a year.
you counted among the one-quarter of the
population, perhaps, who, if you had to live only on your net worth,
savings, home equity, and other assets, would survive at the poverty level
for only three months? Or worse yet, if only your liquid assets were
considered, your poverty rate would jump to nearly 40 percent. (1)
you have health insurance for you and your family or are you among the 42
million Americans’ who can’t afford medical insurance? Are you a senior
citizen, a disabled individual, or anyone living on a fixed income who
can’t afford to both eat and buy your prescribed medications?
you one of the hundred’s of thousands of families that run out of money
before the month runs out and has nothing left to feed the children? Is your
child among the 28 million American children that go to bed hungry, or
malnourished, or downright starving? Are you a working mother who can’t
afford child care? Are you a two-parent-working family and yet you still
can’t make ends meet?
you one of the ex-employees of Enron, or Worldcom who lost your entire
savings with no hope of any financial recompense? Are you one of the
investors in the now defunct, overrated dot com’s? Perhaps you’re one of
the more lucky citizens who actually have money to invest; are you earning a
whopping two or 3% on your CD? Is it locked up at that handsome rate for ten
you feel safe with the state of our meat? Are you relieved to know that your
children are only ingesting safe levels of pesticides and antibiotics in
their fruits and vegetables? Are you contented to know that if your child
were to contract Pneumonia or Rubella, or Spinal Meningitis that there’s a
high probability there won’t be an antibiotic that your child hasn’t
become insensitive to rendering it useless?
you confident that your water is safe? Are you okay that toxic wastes by
corporations are spilling into our water and poisoning our earth without any
fear of penalty? Are you confident you will have money to live out your
old-age in dignity? Are you comfortable with the likelihood that you
won’t be able to afford to retire at sixty-five?
you confident you’ll be hired at sixty-five, and if so, to do what and for
how much? Are you sure you’ll be well enough, strong enough, energetic
enough to do so? Are you comfortable that all the monies you’ve paid into
social security will be there for you when it’s your time to avail
yourself of them?
you able to keep up with your rising home insurance premiums, property
taxes, employment taxes, and college tuition? Do you see any signs of relief
from your elected representatives or your president?
you think it is the job of your president, your representatives, to make
sure that your best interests are put before all else? Does spending
billions of dollars a day to re-instate
to its pre-attack state sit well with you? Are you at all concerned that
these billions of dollars could be bettering the lives of American citizens
– easing your burdens?
it okay with you that our president and his entire cabinet lied to us about
Saddam Hussein and his Weapons of Mass Destruction?
are we teaching our children – to lie is okay? Not so long ago we had a
president that lied about his sexual escapades. An audible gasp ensued and
his honor was destroyed. He looked into the camera and lied to our faces.
His reputation was forever tarnished and impeachment hearings resulted.
now we have a president that not only lied to us, but in so doing put us all
in harm’s way. His lies sent our children, our fathers and sons and
daughters to war – some never to return. On a lie built on a lie we are
now spending billions of dollars a month to rebuild a nation we had no need
to destroy. It is estimated that we will spend upwards of $200 billion
before we’re done.
you remember as I that we were told that post-war
“Will not require sustained aid,” or when the president's top
reconstruction official at the State Department assured us, "The
American part of [reconstruction] will be $1.7 billion and we have no plans
for further-on funding of this"?
don’t know about you, but it makes me yearn for the days when the object
of the presidential shaft was not the country at large, but a starry-eyed
are all in this together. Together we can make a difference. It’s time my
fellow Americans – for time is running out. These are the days that
history will record as either the turning point when the populace stood up
and made a conscientious decision to take back their country - or that they
dropped the ball and allowed themselves to be led down the path of no
need to change the tide of the abuses and the lies here, at home, as well
as, how we are seen through the eyes of the world. We have much to make up
for and we have many fences to repair. Regrettably, we are not the great
emancipators; we are not the envy of the world, nor is it our way of life
and our love of freedom that our enemies detest. Our history is quite to the
is not always easy to go deep inside and see who we really are, but if we
don’t remove our rose-colored glasses, our
click-your-heels-I’m-back-in-Kansas mentality, we are destined to repeat
our sordid history. It is time for all citizens who love their country, who
detest totalitarianism, who truly want to be the model for humanity to step
up to the plate and become active participants in their democracy.
going to have to be willing to amend and mend our ways. Otherwise, how are
we to be trusted in a world that has witnessed our lies – not just now in
-- but in
, in Kosovo, in
in years past? Our history, as a nation, does not always bode well. Too
often we ignored the covert and overt actions of our country; the
overthrowing of democratically-elected leaders to orchestrate the control of
a corrupt puppet government.
have too long turned a deaf ear and a blind eye. Our leaders have betrayed
our innocence, our gullibility, our willingness to accept what we’re told.
We can no longer feign ignorance. Not knowing is no longer an option.
It is time that we enacted our citizenship and acted upon it with
can no longer willingly be ‘the good little children’. It’s time to
stand up, stand tall, and speak out loud and let every voice be heard. We
must face our wrongdoings and we must make up for the atrocities that have
been allowed and ignored in our name. We need to take back our country.
need to open our minds and put aside our individual preconceived notions. We
need to read our history – not that of our history books, but that which
is readily available. We need to take our heads out of the sand and examine
who we are; we need to be willing to see the naked truth that will surely
stare back at us.
need to want peace more than war. We need to want to be true liberators’
not oppressors. We need to want to help our fellow humankind not lord over.
We need to learn humility and the true defining of justice and halt our
sense of undeserved superiority. We have to acknowledge our role as a nation
as a purveyor of violence, as a collaborator in injustices and brutal
regimes, as a military strong-arm holding the world at ransom, as a selfish,
gloating preeminence of extreme wealth and gluttony.
are harsh words I know and many of my fellow citizens will balk and resort
to calling me names: unpatriotic, traitor. For some, you will deem me
a vile, un-American. There will be some of you who will write me and tell me
‘to leave if you’re not happy’. But I say, it is precisely
because I do love my country and my fellow American’s that my heart aches;
that my eyes burn from the onslaught of tears from the truths I’ve come to
is from all I’ve come to know as true that I beg each and every one of you
who graces these words with your eyes to take them to heart -- to examine
the truth for yourselves. It is out there pleading and imploring you to seek
it for yourselves. Then, dear fellow Americans, we need to start exercising
our rights as citizens of this rich, lush country of ours. We need to begin
vote, our votes can bring about a revolution of change. We began this war;
it is up to us to put an end to the deaths, to the fighting. If we do not,
“…The image of
will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy, but
the image of violence and militarism." (2)
must raise every man, woman, and child to a life of dignity, of safety, of
comfort, security, warmth, and end the pangs of hunger that growl in the
tummy of the hungry. No longer can we ignore the well-being of others. Or as
Dr. Martin Luther King so eloquently prophesied, “A nation that
continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on
programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
American citizen must help to energize and educate their fellow man, woman,
and child. Ignorance, dear friends, is not bliss. “If we do not act we
shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time
reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without
morality, and strength without sight.”