By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, so listen to the voices in Washington now: the ones using the fight against "evildoers" instead of the "Evil Empire" as a reason to trample our civil rights; the ones willing to stifle a worker's right to strike but not a power consortium's right to imperil our state's economy and public safety; the ones anxious to risk a new Cold War and higher deficits with their unworkable Star Wars sequel; the ones sacrificing the environment to an ideology that confuses freedom with boundless exploitation; the ones who have named Iran-contra figure John Negroponte—accused of covering up U.S.-sponsored death squad activities in Honduras (including the murder of an American priest; spot a trend here?)—to represent our nation's ideals and aspirations in the United Nations. All this under the aegis of another fumbling, nice-guy president.
Goddamn it! This is not the nation we envisioned when we were kids, proud to see our flag flying, proud of the just, kind, freedom-loving people we believed ourselves to be. This is not the reality we want our own kids to have to wake up to.
Everyone says they love their country. But love is action, and the American Dream is nothing more than a dream if people don't act on it.
At a 1985 White House reception at which Elie Wiesel was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the famed Holocaust expert attempted to dissuade Reagan, unsuccessfully, from participating in a ceremony at Bitburg, a German cemetery where elite SS troops were interred. Having witnessed the Holocaust, Wiesel said, "I have learned the danger of indifference, the crime of indifference. For the opposite of love, I have learned, is not hate, but indifference."