Friday, August 18, 2006

This World Makes me Sad

I have been pretty emotional lately, what with my belly constantly getting bigger and my emotions getting out of control. Having said that, I have to say that the news and the world makes me so sad.
It is horrible that people plot to blow other people up. It is horrible that people destroy towns and homes under the assumption that they are doing so to protect themselves and their families.
What I find most horrible is the comments that come after such things. At a play recently, one of the audience members was discussing recent events, and he said "Just watch out for anyone in a turban!". I have met plenty of people who wear turbans that are fine, wonderful people. I have met middle and upper class white Americans that I do not trust. A person cannot judge solely on race.
A friend heard someone comment that everyone from Lebanon is evil. Everyone? How can we possibly think this way.
Last night my husband and I watched a documentary on the Chinese in America. In the 1880's laws were passed to prohibit Chinese who had immigrated legally from getting their spouses into the country. This would insure that the Chinese could not procreate and take over. How sad that the fear of a race can and does keep families apart. I wish I could say that is all in the past, but laws still keep families apart. I have still not met my inlaws. My mother-in-law cannot come to the US to meet her grandchild, because we cannot offer any proof that she will return to the Philippines beside our word. (She has no job, because she is in her sixties, and spends her days taking care of grandchildren, etc. She does not have a lot of money, because that is the Filipino way of life. Because of this, travel visa's are denied for her, even if my husband and myself pay for her flights, and insure she returns.) I was unable to travel to the Philippines with my husband this summer because of my pregnancy. My husband was unable to leave the US last summer because of immigration. He was separated from his family for three years, and from his wife for two months. All because he wanted to offer a better life for his family. Yes, yes, I know the price one has to pay for the privilege of living in America.
What price did I pay for the privilege of living here? Nothing. I was lucky enough to be born here. What price did you pay? Not what your ancestors did, or even your parents? What did you do?
Here in Utah, lately a news story has brought up the conversation of the "right" to edited movies. The right? I do not consider edited movies a right. Watching movies at all, eating at restaurants, having TV's, cars, etc are all privileges. Throughout the world, in the US and without, people still hope for the right to vote, the right to earn a living, the right to bring food home, the right to see their families. And here, we have the arrogance to complain about the right to watch edited entertainment. I have the privilege to watch movies. I have an even greater privilege to choose which movies I watch. Most of all, I have the privilege of an "edited" life, where at least for now the horrors of war, destruction, tragedy, starvation, violence, etc, are limited to the screen, and if I do not approve, I can turn it off. How many children in Lebanon wish they could turn off the bombs in their neighborhood as quickly as we could turn off an offensive show. It is not a right to have edited movies. It is a privilege to have entertainment, and to choose what we watch.
I believe our ancestors, whom we lovingly speak of in church, may in fact be ashamed of us. The things they suffered to give us the privilege of a good life are now seen as essentials. TV's, big houses, cars, etc are not rights. We can allow our government to remove dental and visual care for the disabled and the elderly, those of whom cannot care for themselves, but we become up in arms when "Clean Flicks" has to close. What did our ancestors seek a place where we could worship freely for? So that we could decide on what our "rights" are while ignoring the needy around us? Those of Mormon ancestory have people in their family trees who were forced to leave the United States and reside uninvited in Mexico. Yet the minute we hear of an illegal immigrant we jump to the conclusion that they are awful people stealing our jobs, our health care, selling us drugs, and making our lives horrible. Yes the person picking onions in the farm twelve hours a day, living in fear that they may get caught, therefore never seeing a doctor, sending almost all their wages home, living in a place with 20 or 30 other people, is a big harm to me. Because their labor is so cheap, I have to pay less for my onion than if it had been picked by an American, who would demand a union, benefits, pensions, etc, all of which would be reflected in the cost of my onion.
It is a good thing that not many read my blog. I imagine most people disagree with me, and have what they feel are valid complaints. I know that there are illegal immigrants that bring harm to this country. However, if we want to go on that witch hunt, can we also get rid of all the citizens who bring harm to this country? What about the politicians whose policies truly hurt this country? What about the rich who do not help the poor? What about so many others? We as Americans created this world. We want cheap labor. We want cheap food, hotels, etc. Therefore, circumstances dictate reality. Okay, I will stop for now.

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