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MrScorpio

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 60,273

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If all you can live for is the American dream, then perhaps you should wake up for a change

Of course, I have my own "American Dream", but since I, myself, am awake and I have to face the reality of our American nightmare.

When you look at the typical definition of that dream, you see deep down in it a persistent belief that it is only the individual who bares the responsibility for personally compensating for the lack of our society meeting the basic needs of all. That somehow the means of meeting those needs are required to be commercialized and commoditized, restricted with conditions and made shameful if they're provided for in a fair and equal way. I'm talking about unequal distribution of wealth, as you know.

Something that's happing worse and worse all the time, and all you have to do is just look out of your own window to see the effect. Walk down any the streets of ungated neighborhoods, drive down own pothole pocked streets. Look at the closed and boarded businesses and buildings… And try to associate all of these things with the fact that America is still the richest, most powerful nation that has ever existed on the face of the Earth.

But WHERE is that wealth and why is it not being used to build an excellent level of education for all, or provide for the health needs for all, or is applied in such a way to demonstrate that we all have a stake in building a society that betters the lives of each of us?

Instead, the people who control the means and access to that vast wealth offer nothing accept a cynical carrot-and-stick approach to meeting those many basic needs that other, less affluent societies take for granted.

They claim that they worked hard to get that access and control of wealth, through telling everyone else that your part in its creation was either insignificant or that you're not entitled to it, without regard to your own labor. They are really telling you that you are nothing more than slaves, who have to fend for yourselves out in barren fields after you've harvested the bounty and trucked it the market to be sold.

When you see a bridge collapse in this country, or watch the public infrastructure wither away, you're looking at the lack of faith in the betterment of our society as a whole. That it's not supposed to be all of our fault that things are falling apart. And how can we reconcile that, if our share of the accumulated wealth goes to people who are building sports arenas and are excused from paying taxes on the profits from something that we have all constructed for them?

You're somehow expected to create a bubble to compensate for the joke of our general welfare. The idea of fairly investing in and evenly distributing the means of our own civilization is considered a dangerous and foreign idea in this country, even among people who believe that our society can and should be much better than what it is.

The gaps and holes that most people are apt to fall into; the poorly applied public education, the restricting of higher education by tying its access to accumulated wealth and debt, the inadequate unemployment compensation, commercialized and commoditized access to health care, diminished workers rights, the crumbling of and auctioning off of our public sector… I could go on.

The game has been rigged for you to foot the bill, while others reap the reward. You're not meant to get ahead by osmosis, or even by that old meme of working by the sweat of your brow.

But on the other hand, if you want to see that the game is being fairly played, you must change both the rules and the umpires calling the shots. You must, for all intents and purposes, OWN the league.

That's going to be a really hard thing to do, because you have to face don too many people who are stuck in the mindset that only they are entitled to reaping some meager reward, crowding out others, yet have absolutely nothing to show for their fealty to the real controllers of access to wealth and privilege. The undereducated, greedy, selfish, bigoted and angry people who the controllers depend upon every single day to work against their own, and everyone else's, best interests.

If you can break that cycle and create the strength of numbers required in like minded people, then you can create the means of improved change.

That would require that we redefine what an "American Dream" should actually look like and combine our labor to make a more just and equitable American Reality.




Frankly, I would have been better off to not have known Trayvon Martin's name...

Only if he were allowed to go on about his business that fateful night, so that he would have gotten back home safely without being molested and killed by a gun toting vigilante... I don't think that I would have learned his name.

Only if George Zimmerman wouldn't have felt that he needed to carry a gun while watching his neighborhood... I don't think that I would have learned his name.

Only if the cops and the DA would have done their jobs and arrested for prosecution a man who stalked and killed an innocent child... I don't think that I would have learned his name.

Only if simple justice didn't have to be conditionally based on race and class... I don't think that I would have learned his name.

But instead I now know is name, as does the rest of us.

So, we find out that we have to know his name in order to shed light upon the injustices, prejudices and fears that still plague our society. His name is now another reminder that we shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that all things are equal.

As they're really not, right?

And every single day, I see that it's so easy for many of us to connect that dots. It serves as a tool to see with open eyes what is really happening all around us, if we choose to take notice, of course.

And I want to emphasize that it is a CHOICE to see what is really going on. Trayvon Martin's name serves that indicator to show who has made the choice to see and who has not.

To see the same actors at play… Those who allow injustices and inequalities to hold court in America. Cursing, whether someone is a racial or religious minority, or a woman, or a person who is not confined to some kind of narrow definition of "normal" sexuality, even someone who thinks that people are more important than banks or corporations… We are appalled to find so often that these are people who so frequently find themselves at the short end of the stick.

Yet, you and I know that it doesn't have to be that way. We could be better as a society.

However, we as that society, have allowed injustice and inequality to exist as some sort of legitimate right.

That fears and prejudices are somehow entitled, as well as patriarchy and politically ingrained zealotry. How have these things come to represent the American Way? I will posit that none of their defenders will offer any logical or reasonable answers as to why this has allowed to come to pass. They will scream, they will brandish weapons, they will excuse their own hypocrisy, they will defame and lie… They will do anything except speak the simple truth: That a decent America wouldn't allow these things to come to pass.

So because of this, we have all learned Trayvon Martin's name.

Now that we know his name, what will we do with it? What we all will achieve from the learning of his name to determine what kind of America we all want it to be?

I'm not going answer this question...

For it's an answer that we are all required to seek out and find. An epic struggle from both sides to arrive at that answer.

So be it, whatever IT is.
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