I’ve come to talk to you about something that is threatening the way of life most of us have.
This includes the poorer sectors of America, one that I’m a part of: the disabled and 200% below poverty level; along with many other classes, at least up to the middle class, and right now, the threat is even extending all the way up to America’s present upper middle class.
I’ve felt it coming, like the air before a rainstorm, when the clouds are pregnant with water and the air is damp like a towel that’s only been drying for a little while. I’ve complained, I’ve written poems, I’ve spoken to anyone who would listen, with this, my only real weapon: my blog.
After watching a fact-based drama, it was like it finally all came together for me. I saw America’s future. And the movie I watched was not about America. Not directly, anyway.
We think if we close our borders, the level of our living will increase. If we keep our neighbors, the ones who’ve been there since before the United States even existed, if we keep them out, just OUT of our country, then all the jobs that Mexican people have here in the states, will be ours, and that will make it all better.
I remember a time when my father told me that the world beyond my home I grew up in was very rough. Very evil. I laughed at him for many years, enjoying my freedom as a young woman. I thought he was wrong. I thought he was just a backward, superstitious, overly religious and uneducated man.
How is it that we forget that schooling and religion and background have nothing to do with the fact that a person is a real human being, with eyes and ears and a brain that can think?
That’s what I did with what my father told me.
And I’ve never been more wrong.
The Free Trade Agreement allows people of great wealth the ability to make even more money. A lot more money. I’ve asked myself, over the years as I grow older, and hopefully wiser, why a rich man needs more money. Why does he? If he already is worth say, 10 million dollars or even 1 million dollars, what is it that makes him work so hard to get 2 million? Or 20 million? What does a man, even with a family, need with 20 million dollars? What does it give him back?
That’s the other thing my father taught me about: power. My father constantly told my brother and I that our family was NOT a democracy. That meant me and my brother didn’t get a "vote" or a voice in what happened inside our household. It’s true, we did not get to choose what happened inside that house. Neither of us did. He got many more freedoms than I did, because he was a "boy". I was a girl, and therefore, as my father saw it, bait for rape.
Horrible picture, you think? So did I. So horrible, I did not believe it. I did not believe that once I got out of the severely abusive household I was raised in, that the world "out there" could possibly be any worse.
And for many years, it wasn’t.
And I thought my father a fool.
He was actually a Seer. I just didn’t know it, until now.
The power that my father wielded over our family, and the power that my mother wielded, most of the time, over my father, was very real and very tangible. It determined the quality of life for me. I cannot speak for my brother, but it certainly made life a living hell for me. I often prayed at night that God would just take me in my sleep. I begged that he would. I even still have the journal that I wrote some of those prayers in.
I’ve read through that entire journal, cover to cover. There is nothing about the abuse I went through in it. You may wonder why. I certainly did. It took me many years of therapy to finally understand why. I had to remember who I was even more than I had to remember who my abusers were. My abusers are worthless. It is I who am important in my own life story. Once I remembered who I was, remembered how I was not even allowed to have my own thoughts: see what I saw, hear what I heard, feel what I felt, it was then that I realized why there was no account of what happened in that house in my journal. I had no power to overcome all the words from my abusers that pounded my brain day in and day out: "You imagined that" or "You must have dreamed that" or "That never happened!" For many years, in fact, I did not believe it happened either. I did not WANT to believe it happened. Who would? Who would WANT to believe that their life is truly, and completely, here on earth, a living Hell?
This is why we do not hear the stories of the raped and brutally killed women in Juarez, Mexico. We do not hear the stories for many reasons. Some is because we haven’t, literally, heard them. I hadn’t, until tonight. And I only know, at this writing, what I saw in a dramatized, fact-based movie. What is that? What evidence do I present of this horrific statement?
I present the evidence of the connection that happens between us, dear reader, when you read my words and some bell goes off inside your chest, some smell returns, some fleeting memory that you pushed away as you read. Or perhaps, if you are one of the brave, one of those who fights to know the truth about their own lives, you did not push it away, and you had to take a moment to allow yourself to cry or grieve or even just get centered enough to keep reading. I hope you are still with me. Because I think that connection is the solution to stopping the reign of El Diablo, the Devil, in both our lives.
We know when there is imbalance. We know from the time we are toddlers what is fair and what is not fair. And no, I will not write fair in quotes, because there is no "iffy-ness" about it, no vagueness. Fairness is easily recognizable to all of us, even a toddler can see it. And unfairness is also easily recognizable.
The Free Trade Agreement is the U.S. and Mexico’s way of making sure that the rich man gets richer. Why does he need more money again? Oh, that’s right: power. So now the question is, why does he need so much power? Why can he not enjoy the simple and miraculous things we enjoy, such as the birth of a son or daughter, or a grandson or granddaughter? Why is it not enough for the rich man to send his children to school in the morning and go off to work knowing that he is who keeps his children clothed and fed? I am not being sexist in leaving women out of this, though I am, perhaps out of ignorance, not representing what I think and hope is a minority of women who are part of El Diablo’s scheme to do whatever vile thing he wishes to do.
In America, many people say there is no "devil", that only religious people believe in him. Well, I am not religious, and I do believe in him. He is the summing up of something that happens when not being fair goes overboard. He is not a "being", no, but he is definitely a "doing". Yes, I would call him a human doing. Because it is human doing that allows the rich to get richer and more powerful and cover up the fact that countless mothers, not at all unlike your own, countless fathers not unlike you, sir, who are reading this, countless brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, are all going to suffer the same fate, here in the U.S. as those in the border towns of Mexico.
Why do I think this? Because the imbalance is already here. It is more than evident. Start with healthcare, move on to wages and cost of living and the price of gas, then toss in the stock market mess and stimulus checks that made us all go pay off our debt, not stimulate the "economy", and you have the road sign that reads: "Welcome to Hell: Population: Limitless". It has all kinds of things covering it up: the constant noise of the media, the news numbing us day in and day out to heinous crimes such as rape and murder, child rape and murder, and much more than simple armed robbery. We know that our country started out $30 million dollars in the black. That means we had $30 million EXTRA when our current president took office. Now we are in the double or triple digits of the billions in debt. At least, that’s what the media, who is owned and pawned by the wealthy and powerful, will tell us. Who knows what the situation really is? Where did the government of the United States, for instance, get the money to send each and every family $300-$600 dollars? There are 305,214,619 people in the United States in 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s over 300 BILLION people. Let’s do the math, shall we? Let’s pick a number right in between $300 and $600: say $450. Multiply $450 by 300 billion. That figure comes out to $137,346,578,550. That’s actually 137 BILLION dollars that our government handed out as a "stimulus" to our economy. Perhaps it is a little overstated, as I’m certain that we aren’t all single. Some have families, and while the wife and husband were given $600, the children were not given any stimulus check of their own. So, let’s chop the number in half, assuming that all adults have at least one child: that’s still $67,500,000,000. Instead of 137 billion dollars, let’s go with half that: 68 billion dollars.
In 2004, the U.S. Pentagon spent roughly 343 billion on …. well, whatever the Pentagon spends money on, but some of it, perhaps most of it, goes to our military. That’s per year. One fifth of that is 68 billion. Where did the government find one hundred and thirty five billion dollars, one fifth of the Pentagon’s Military spending every year, to send us all a "stimulus" check?
As one of those regular human beings, a person who has no power except perhaps the power to decide how I wish to live: a very fine and great freedom the United States of America has afforded me to have; I have lived nearly 50 years on this planet. And in that time I have learned, over and over, that people lie. Regular every day people like you and I. Even I lie. That was the hardest one to admit, since I consider myself a person of great integrity. But the truth is, I do lie. Oftentimes I lie because I have not learned the powerful word "No" in certain situations in my own life. I’ve learned to say no to unwanted male attention. I’ve learned to say no to things I do not agree with. But how do I say no to something as big as my government deciding that my Medicare will be cut again? Or my Medi-Caid? How do I say no to the Free Trade Agreement that allows women and young women to be savagely raped and killed then forgotten by all but their grieving families? By the hundreds. By the thousands?
Well, it’s not in the United States, right? Right. Not yet. Mexico is whispering to us, dear friend. For if you have read this far, you are either someone looking for holes in what I write or someone who feels a connection to what I write. Either way, I call you friend, because there IS NO ENEMY. We are all humans. Our only enemy is ourselves. Muchos many people are allowing human doings that are evil. El Diablo’s reach is broad and long. The man who is still reading who is not being treated fairly at work because he’s been a loyal worker who has given of his own sweat to make the company thrive has not been given a raise in years. The woman who has given her youth to work in order to raise her child or children as a single parent knows this unfairness. I don’t have to spell that one out. You know who you are. And on up the ladder it goes. Many of us know what this unfairness is when we stand at the gas pump, drizzling a few gallons in to keep the car going until next payday, but can’t fill it up: we know.
There are more ways this unfairness, which is the birth of evil, takes shape in America besides the Free Trade Agreement. I’m picking on the FTO because it’s being played out on a larger stage, one that includes our sister country, Mexico, one who’s culture is older than ours. Like a big brother or big sister, Mexico cries out to us: don’t go here! It’s hell! It’s so bad, we leave our families and take our lives in our hands to run across the border into your country so we can make enough money our children will have a better life.
If we don’t open our eyes to what is happening to Mexico, how corrupt it’s government is, how their rich get richer and their poor are so poor they flee the country to make just enough to live decently; if we refuse to see it, we will be blind to how it is slowly becoming our own country.
Why is it a secular sin to tax the wealthy with the same graduated income tax that the rest of us are taxed with?
I leave you with your thoughts. Thank you for staying with me. I had to do something. I couldn’t stay silent. And I couldn’t stay in denial. It was time for me to come out into the open, point my finger, and say "It’s not fair" is turning into "El Diablo".