My Country

My country tortures people.

My country uses fear to scare it’s people into giving up
their civil rights.

My country spies on it’s people without judicial review.

My country imprisons people without due process then
denies habious corpus.

My country suppresses the results of scientific research
that does not parrot the official government position.

My country demotes government workers who do not
parrot the official government policy.

My country puts poor people who were victims of disaster
in substandard housing then stops testing for toxins to
avoid liability.

My country poses fake press conferences to promote
government agencies.

My country allows people to die if they can’t afford
medical treatment.

My country lied to it’s people to go to war.

My country favors the rich and oppresses the poor.

My country has one of the lowest infant mortality rates
among it’s peers.

My country forces false confession from suspects in its
police interrogation rooms.

My country limits my access to my president by having
public events by invitation only.

My country seizes the assets of its citizens without due
process.

While listening to my local public radio station this morning
I began to  think of this post.  While composing it in my head I became afraid that this post could cause me trouble with my Peace Corps service.
This is what America has come too. I am afraid to criticise
my government. Isn’t that my constitutional
right and duty? So I am posting it, believing that not exercising my freedom of speech just adds to the problems I listed above.
I am hoping that the people who tell me that I will learn to appreciate what I have here, are right.

-vc

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7 Comments

  1. Sara said,

    February 16, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Excellent post.

    Funny; as I started to read it, the first thing that came to mind was a combination of “wow, this takes guts” and “oh no…”. Obviously, you did consider the Peace Corps aspect before posting, and I would find it hard to believe anything negative would come out of this. Yet I find it amusing that the point of your post was illustrated by my automatic, unconscious, “mental flinch”.

  2. LOUISE said,

    February 17, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Vicky-
    A rereshing post indeed. When we are not in denial, we can begin to talk straight! I was talking to a mother of 2 sons in Iraq and AFghanistan who kept saying, “We are MORAL” and they are not, and I bit my tongue as it was not the place for this Catholic woman who needed her ‘story’ in case her sons were killed. I wanted to shout, ” Is any war MORAL?” . There are times to share and wise times to hold ones tongue.

    Thank you for our remiders. Rather than focusing on who is moral or not, perhaps we can all be better served by asking where we, ourseles, each one of us, is not moral so we judge others less.

    You have begun this journey, Vicky and I thak you for it.

  3. Vicky said,

    February 17, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Jesus said take the plank out of your own eye before you look at the sliver in your neighbors. Then just in case we didn’t get it He said “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

  4. Vicky said,

    February 18, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Thanks Sara,

    I think on some level I was tired of the superiority of Americans. Ghana is different not inferior. In some ways I am a rebel. Obviously, I am joining the PC at 50!!! But I am a rebel who wants things to be better. I didn’t write this post to say i hated the US but to say we are traveling down the wrong road right now.

    -vc

  5. LOUISE said,

    February 19, 2008 at 6:38 am

    I never heard hatred in your voice, only a deep concern and love for your country, as well as a sadness and perhaps grieving for what could be.. Ghana is such a gift to the world and how fortunate you will beable to share and learn from her… there are no accidents in the universe!

  6. Vicky said,

    February 19, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Glad the hatred was not there.

    And yes i also believe there are no accidents.

  7. April said,

    February 19, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Vicky,

    Wow! I must say I WAS shocked when I read this post. What about:

    My country allows those that do not agree with her one iota to live here, not speak our language, make a living, and even burn the very symbol of it

    My country has sons and daughters who freely spill their blood to preserve the very freedom of speech that many use to decry this country and those that fight for it, things that if you said even to a much lesser degree, you would be thrown in jail for, in many other countries

    My country allows me to have a voice in my government (even though it may be a flawed and broken system) and would even allow me the chance to become the head of it if I so desired

    Of course I could go on. I am not saying that our country is perfect, or never does bad, or wrong things, but I know from my experience of living in France for 3 years (a country by many standards to be on par with us) that even with all of our problems- list as many as you want- this is the best county in the world to live in….and anyone that doesn’t think so DOES need to live somewhere else for what ever period of time it takes them to figure that out.

    I just finished reading “The Kite Runner” today and I literally thanked God that I was born in America and not Afghanistan….otherwise I would probably be Muslim and not a Christian. In fact, I probably would not even have lived to see this day.

    As Lee Greenwood says: Proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free, and I won’f forget the men who died and gave that life to me, and I proudly stand up next to them and defend her still, today!


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