This I Believe

Lacy - Jacksonville, Florida
Entered on April 25, 2007

Living In An American Police State

In pursuing my graduate degree in Library and Information Science through Florida State University, I was required to take a course which requires students to explore many concepts and ideals that we as Americans sometimes never really think about, and often take for granted. The main concept and I believe, the foundation of this course, are our first amendment rights under our Constitution, to freedom of speech, expression, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is very sad to me that all people in our world do not enjoy these same rights and freedoms. I believe also that under the present administration, of our government, we have been steadily loosing some of our freedoms that we have enjoyed in the past. It frightens me to think that the people in power have had the thought process that their beliefs are somehow better, smarter, or more valuable than those of most other Americans are. They have made decisions affecting all citizens based on what they thought best and not what the majority of citizens desire.

We have discussed a “Digital Divide” in the world. That is the concept that the “haves” are way ahead, in regard to technology and information and the “have-nots,” might never catch up. That is a serious problem, and I believe, and would hope, that we can help others with access to all of the information and technology that we have However, we have a “Digital Divide” right here in America that we should be addressing.

This administration has promised, “ No child will be left behind.” The truth is many children are left behind. Many children have no access to computers, rides to libraries, or can barely read. Often their parents are those that were left behind as children. They have no way to provide adequately for their children. We have children with special needs that are being ignored and left behind daily. It is hard to get passionate about third world countries not having the freedoms, technology, and rights that Americans do, when I see our own citizens being “left behind.”

I am saddened by the lack of concern by the Bush administration, for children, the poor, and the elderly. I am angered by the wars we are involved in. I feel that too many Americans are dying for lost causes. I am also frightened by our loss of freedoms such as privacy, and it also seems that there is an acceptance of censorship that we have not seen in the past. We need to work on our own country before we try to solve the problems of others. I am thankful that I have taken a course that made me take a look not just concepts regarding a course of study but I was forced to take a good look at myself. I had to confront my beliefs and values and I learned much.