Friday, July 9, 2010

I don't want to be here anymore

"Mindy where did our country go? Why did it leave? When is it coming back? Because if it stays like this - I don't want to be here anymore.

It breaks my heart."

This was part of an email exchange between me and a friend of mine tonight. He's anxious about America. I can't say I blame him.

Now I realize that the past is never as good as I remember it. I know that. But I also know the difference between my romanticized pastoral memories and the reality of the world that died on a September day in 2001.

I liked a lot of things about our pre-terrorist world. One was the mostly absent word "terrorist". We had financial prosperity under President Clinton and were'nt in hock up to our asses to China. I could drive from coast to coast without having to show my papers. I could take bottles of wine on an airplane without having to remove my shoes and submit to pat downs and searches. There wasn't a giant ecological disaster that's so bad we don't even know how to stop it and are turning to private citizens to come up with ideas. Hurricanes hadn't destroyed New Orleans, Haiti was poor but not starving to death daily, and at some point, there were still salmon and sturgeon in the rivers up North.

Once upon a time, you could make it on a single salary and people had time to spend with each other. People didn't waste so much and didn't drink oil, high fructose corn syrup and fillers for breakfast. There just weren't as many people, period.

Now today, all of that has changed. America is a teenager, selfish, wasteful, indolent and sullen in her stance as a world power who can't pay her bills. She meddles in the business of other countries and fights losing wars, too proud to admit that she shouldn't be there anymore. We've polluted our environment and begun to burn our world in our selfishness.

I've had to place myself on a moratorium from the news for a week. I can't stop watching the oil spilling into the Gulf. It terrifies me to witness the blatant oppression of women in Oklahoma- the systematic removal of rights, the privatization of prisons and the placing of 300% more women in prisons here than anywhere else in the United States. We currently incarcerate more women in Oklahoma than in the entire world. Many states spend more on their prison systems than on their education systems.

There is so much oppression in the world; dangerous political parties becoming extremist and radicalized. To see racism run amok, dominant ideologies pressing out minority voices and religion taking residence in government. It's becoming fascist and totalitarian. I am afraid we are not a free people anymore. I am just afraid.

What can I do? I'm just one person. I raise the alarm, I recycle, I teach tolerance and try not to drive too much. I check on my neighbors, write to my grandma every week and call my family.

I want someone to tell me it's going to be ok. Right now, I don't see a future that's anything I'd want to turn over to my children.


  1. You are not alone. I am standing with you.

  2. Mega dittoes. I stopped watching the news months ago, and I'm much happier for it. I get a little bit of news from The Daily Show and Colbert, but I am not nearly as "informed" as I once was, and my mood is better for it.