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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A Letter From A 14-Year Old

[Metanoia2k Note] This letter was found by a friend and forwarded to me. It was written by her then 14-year old son in 1998. The boy had composed this as a letter-to-the-editor in response to some public display of patriotic puffery by a couple of community ideologues. I was struck by the letter in part because I was his age when I began writing letters-to-the-editor. So I see a kindred spirit here. Mark Twain said that "...Truth is like cool mountain tastes clean and right." This sure tastes like Truth to me. It was Truth then; it is Truth now.


I would like to respond to the recent letters supporting [the teaching of] patriotism from _____and _____.

The armed forces have indeed fought for our “freedom,” and I’m sorry so many died for so little.

I cherish what freedom we have in this country, but what about the poor people here and the unbelievable numbers of people in the rest of the world much worse off. They’re struggling to get food (and even water) to make it through the day. Where’s the freedom in that?

Our wonderful nation doesn’t do much to help them.

Our government looks the other way and even supports corporations when they enslave third world countries. They stop progressive action and create puppet leaders in the countries where they can’t buy off the leader in place. If someone should rise against the government, we’re there to help stop them—not necessarily in the form of U.S. troops, but financially, or with weapons or training.

I don’t think we need to be teaching or supporting patriotism to an oppressive, hypocritical world superpower. We the people have very little say in the way our government is run. This comes from a media that is controlled by the corporations that have their investments in oppression. The media is selective with the truth that they feed us. What we get is propaganda that supports these crimes against freedom. What is even worse is that almost all of us believe it, and we let it help shape our beliefs.

We also have come to believe that our country is a viable community and society. It is not. Global communication is important, but we have to realize that a community has to be much smaller. Get involved in your neighborhood and community council. Listen. Think. Discuss. That’s where revolution will start.That’s where we the people are.

In case you’re still skeptical, here’s a quote, “I will never apologize for America. I don’t care if it’s right or wrong.” That was George Bush responding to a question about why our super-accurate, never fail missiles hit seven out of eleven hospitals in the city of Baghdad during the Gulf War.

Hooray for patriotism at work.

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