Click here to go to the Home Page I, Too, Want My Country Back!!! By Lewis Merrick

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I look at this woman  on TV  claiming that she wants her country back and I wonder what she is talking about. Where did it go? Who took it? And why did they take it? So I began to do a forensic analysis of this missing country as compared to this new replacement country that I call America 2.0

In the old America you could count on an employer to pretend to care about workers and throw them a bone or two of long term employment, vacations, sick leave and pensions at retirement. Some even went on to provide free parking and food carts. In  this new America 2.0 however, employers have discovered that if you really love America you could have more  time to be patriotic if you just fired all your employees, dismantled our productive base and move it all off shore. And, you can handle  those nasty  tax problems by moving your company to a post office box in some foreign country which also takes care of all those redundant office workers. One final thing before we turn off the lights, sell all remaining company assets, land, buildings and all that stupid paperwork about retirement funds. Now, flush with money from the sale of company assets and time on your hands, you are ready to run for public office on the “I love America” platform.

In the old America, Black Americans were simply left to rot in clusters of buildings some began to call ghettos. Here they sought employment in places where no right thinking white  employer would ever hire them.  The humor of saying, “last hired, first fired” became a balm used  to sooth over the pain of telling your family you lost your  job. Many of these people thought that running from Jim Crow laws to integration would solve their problems, only to discover, that all integration did was dismantle all the small black businesses and tiny survival systems created over the years since slavery.

For example Black  owned cab companies  were destroyed when white cab owners with city hall assistance gained city-wide contracts. Eighty percent of all the Mom & Pop stores in these ghettos are owned by Koreans who are financed by banks and business association who would not consider giving loans to local people in those same neighborhoods.

And most amazingly, white America began to notice these black people seeking to be integrated into the whole life and opportunities of the nation. Upon reflection it was decided that the best use that could be made of these, now seen people, would be to turn them into a product.  Sell them on the ideal of the American dream and most importantly sell them drugs. Then have a war on drugs. Then they could guarantee full employment for  police, district attorneys, public defenders, probation officers, prison guards, prison builders, and multiple other employees which created a paradigm  shift from “not in my back yard”, to “please give us a steady income stream of black and Latino prisoners, so we can have jobs and feed our children“.   In this old America code words like “war on crack” means war on black people in spite of the fact that the majority of people using crack are white.

In America 2.0 the use of crank (methamphetamine) is so epidemic among white Americans in rural and urban America that stores have to hide the Nyquil.   This cough syrup is one of the ingredient used to make crank. And when one hears conversation about crank it is never tied to jails but to treatment.

I have decided that the best way to intervene in the incarceration rate of black and brown people in America 2.0 is to redefine the process. When we send some one to jail for non-violent crimes especially, lets call their jail time a state scholarship. When people realize they just gave a Black convict a $500,000 scholarship to serve 10 years sitting in jail on a drug charge, it might dampen their ardor to lock them up.  2 million people in jail on drug charges, times any number is a lot of wasted money in this current version of America until you realize it  really  is a jobs program for white America.

There was a time in America when everybody pretended your daughter was a virgin on her wedding day and to prove it we waited till the first child was born and then we would count backward. But Americans  had the decency to stay out of peoples bedroom business.  Yes there were certain laws about where  to stick things, but there was not a national call against peoples bedroom business. Unless you count the prohibitions against mixed race intimacy or same sex stuff.

Yes  in America 2.0  there are groups of people who want to crawl right there in bed with you and judge your behavior. They want  to check and make sure your partner has an opposite something than you and that you are not using birth control, thus killing zygotes. We live in an America that hates people yet loves babies-except those babies who might grow up and want to be citizens. When does that love stop? When they are hungry, physically or mentally impaired, born the wrong color or nationality, start looking for a job?  While we are in the bedroom lets not forget one freedom-loving American running for a senate seat who believes that self sex is a sin. Thinking that sounds weird but feeling the need to say that is truly strange. This has become the call sign of this new America, never surrender an opportunity to say what-ever crazy thought crosses  your mind.

Speaking of thought, there was a time when the mark of a man or woman was their desire to educate themselves. The main stream of this America was the desire to be seen as ready for the coming world. In Black America if you went to any of the traditionally Black colleges or universities you were required, regardless of your major to take  classes in music and speech. Elocution was a fundament step in the preparation  for meeting the  big wide white world.

This was the time in this nation  when we also  spent hours in school learning to write cursive and diagramming sentences. We smiled with pride when we described some one as well spoken.

In this new America we find people who think that inarticulate and lazy speech patterns are cute and wink at the camera as we record their every word for future disgust.  We even struggle just to find a common language to speak to our own children.

The emerging shorthand of text, tweet, and social networks insure we know more and understand less about each other everyday.  America 2.0 finds us in a world where we are assaulted by vulgarity so frequently inserted in speech, music and movies,  that large numbers of our youth are incapable of speaking to us or  each other without them. Conversations have become a long and continuous string of the F word, the MF word, the N word, the B word, and/or the S word.  As our cities encourage us to use public transportation remember the often loud conversations of young Americans as they  claim  their right to express themselves with language which dares us  to correct them.

As our general population reads and writes  less we are increasingly dependent on our super friend, television, to divine the world for us.  This would not necessarily be a bad thing if those on TV felt even a modicum of shame for the lying, hypocritical and partisan rhetoric they spew as news, truth, religion, or history. Increasingly this is used as a medium to condemn people we disagree with and to indict people who disagree with us. All the while we drift further and further apart from things we should be able to agree on. Like, worry less about abortion and more about the epidemic of sexual abuse of women  and children  in America, the age of  planet earth, global warming, or “war or peace” which is better?

In the old America we had jobs, homes, nice cars, food on the table and the promise of  a stable if not dynamic  existence  with good things to come.

In America 2.0  capitalists saw what we had and responded with “financial instruments”.  These instruments looked at our $50.000 house, sent us a credit card which read, bank error in your favor, enjoy life with your $400,000 home. Now you can buy that $50,000 car worthy of your new status just as soon as you get back from  that little town in Italy with its great, whatever...  This Wall Street and bank paper have now turned you into an indentured servant. Look it up.  Everything you do is now focused toward paying your debts  and you just got a reminder of your multi-thousand dollar student loan. You are now in the desperate position of having to do anything to keep your job.  America 2.0 has taught us however, that efforts to keep our jobs are proving to be futile when employers have no intention of sharing their billions  of dollars in profit nor rebuilding a viable and desperately needed new American economic base.

Meanwhile we learn the best jobs in the world are across the world. We have this idea that paying our soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan $40, $50, or $60, thousand was good pay. Then our  government  had the great idea of hiring non military people to wash the fighting men and women underwear and feed them hamburgers for $150,000 a year.. And then hire even more people to protect those people for even more money.  I ask you, is it me?

Meanwhile, we are fighting a war in a country that our government tells us is the world leader of  heroin production and we are it’s major customer, Strange. Stranger still, we are told that for over 1,000 years, men from the largest tribe in this country have had and still have young boys as lovers, even when they are married. So many Americans hate same sex love yet embrace a war with undefined goals for a nation that practice what many here despises. I, too, want my country back!

In the old America there were people called Democrats and others called Republicans and both groups thought America was great until the Democrats elected a man who liked people and healthcare and jazz, and black churches and sex.  The Republicans discovered then that they hated what America had become so they told us to be afraid and we did.  A few years later, they told us wonderful stories about one Democrat running for president. who was such a coward that he volunteered to go to war in Vietnam,  got a  Purple Heart medal for a self inflicted wound then foolishly went back and received two more Purple Hearts for unclear reasons. As a result of this, oft repeated myth,  the country elected a Republican.

To save us and point the country in a new direction, the Republicans called upon a reformed alcoholic and ex-drug addict from the Connecticut  upper class. An Ivy League  educated man with a disturbing ideation of being a cowboy from Texas who spoke in a twangy English. After starting two unnecessary wars and handing the keys for the Treasury over to his friends he left town and took his mission accomplished banner with him

And so the bankrupt country of America 2.0  and the unemployed masses therein sought something different and handed the county, empty Treasury and all to a real cute, articulate, and remember, well-spoken Black guy. The Republicans then took what has become their default position of, “do what you will but we are taking a four-year vacation  from any meaningful dialogue about any thing ever, so there“. Then a bunch of Tea people  saw this absence of substance in the political discourse and joined in the meaningless conversation.

So what have we learned? Most pundits and politician have not learned the lesson taught  to me by a girl in junior high school  who said, “ if you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all”.  At fourteen,  I was stunned by the profundity of  her tearful statement and never teased her again. Oh, if we could just try that for a day. We once  impeached a president for a sex act under the banner of ,”what do we tell the children?”. Today we have a president who committed the act of being born black and the message to the children is clear. If you work hard, go to the best schools in the world, excel at the top of your class, appear to be an engaged parent, and  a caring husband, find yourself celebrated by millions of people here and around the world, there will still be people who will call you everything but a child of God.

In this new country we learn how many people who never studied European history, think because they can draw a moustache they are  experts on Hitler.  This Hitler person seems to be on the mind of so many people today as if he just went out to dinner with his Nazi friends and  will be right back.

And we see the next generation growing up to be generally a-historical.

They could care less about our world experiences, our “when I was your age”, stories.  While they are right, that much of our  historical experience may not serve them in the future  they see coming toward them, it is still true that it is not useful to have our national leaders displaying their poor English, mean spirits, and callus disregard for intelligence and  truth.  It is not what will but what are you  telling the children.

Finally I ask the question, what is the aim of a nation-state if not to help establish a stable platform for the progress of its citizens?  While I have no answers, the questions pile up. Why are there a group of people who hate the federal government yet spend millions to become part of that system? Why is it OK to give billion of dollars to a few people and companies (in the form of farm subsidies, government contracts, bailouts, etc.) when  efforts to help millions of American are derided as socialism and we are constantly reminded that socialism is nephew to the devil?  Why are we buried in evidence of sexism, racism, classism  and catastrophic levels of poverty while the media keeps focusing on the plight of white celebrities and the pathologies of black athletes?

Who ever took my country can keep it. I want to envision a place more loving, where Democrats are more courageous and Republicans stop pandering to the rich in hopes of being rich. Where feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, healing the broken, and loving the sinner is not called socialism but Christ like, for those that believe in him, or compassionate for those that don’t. Caring for the common good should not be a right or left issue but a national possibility. Guest Commentator Lewis Merrick lives in Oregon and has spent most  of his professional life counseling and pushing youth to acquire a greatest vision of a world with them in it.  Click here to contact Mr. Merrick.

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Oct 14, 2010 - Issue 397
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