This I Believe

Andrew - Briarcliff Manor, New York
Entered on June 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I Believe in Justice and Resistance

The Bush administration has cut more than $12.7 billion from the college student financial aid budget and has spent over $300 billion on an utterly illegitimate war in Iraq. In New Orleans, more than 60% of the population- including an estimated 80% of the African Americans- is disenfranchised with little hope of returning to home. The American empire is expanding every year with 725 military bases in 130 foreign nations and continues to expand as you are hearing this. The American people have a lot of work to do if they want to see democracy and freedom in sight ever again.

I grew up in a suburban neighborhood, politically oblivious to all that was going on around me. While I was learning my first words in 1989, America was supporting murderous dictatorships with its mighty military muscle in Panama and the Philippines against leftist movements. Now, as I am getting ready to enter my senior year of high school, America is at it again, but this time in Iraq. The entire history of America is built upon imperialistic expropriation, from the Native Americans to the Iraqis. America has gained its prestige, power, and has amassed its wealth at the expense of other nations and of other people’s lives.

I do not pledge allegiance to a flag that stands for racism, exploitation, and war. To me, the stars and stripes of the American flag do not stand for freedom, but instead stand for injustice. To me, the red stripes stand for the blood of our soldiers, fighting in unjust wars, and the multitude of people who have died fighting against the empire. To me, the blue backdrop of the stars stands for the tears of the people murdered by the machine while fighting for what they believed in, such as the Native Americans, the North Vietnamese, leftist Latin American movements, and the slaves.

I do not act like everything is okay while our misled brothers are fighting in a war for the benefit of an elite group of politicians yet again. The time has dawned for a unified homeland resistance; a movement that has learned from past mistakes. I believe in a movement that unites students, workers, and professionals into a single cohesive body set on change. I yearn for a president who will put an end to Washington’s interminable indecent interventions against humanity. I believe in direct action, participatory democracy, and action by the people for the people.

I believe that these current struggles are resistances that have spanned over hundreds of years, with scattered small victories that do make a difference. I know justice will someday prevail; small victories are won often. For example, in France with the new unjust labor law, thousands of students poured into the streets and the law was recalled. I believe that we must keep on fighting in solidarity because the struggle will never cease and progress will always be made. I believe in the power of the people to do what is right.