A hard rain’s a-gonna fall

This country gets exactly what it deserves, and so does Western North Carolina.

In the last decade, the United States — supposedly the freest country in the world — has made a terrible swing toward a deadly form of far-right-wing politics. Now, I don’t see where it makes too much difference whether someone is uncontrollably far-left-wing or unconscionably far-right-wing. But what makes all the difference is when one class of people (WASP and rich, mostly) is allowed to continually undermine and destroy the relationship/marriage rights of others, the bilingual-education rights of children, and the religious freedom of the non-Christian population.

These privileged people are willing to commit countless other social atrocities as well, in order to keep hold of the religious empire they envision. Christ would be appalled, I think — saddened to the point of tears. And with George W. “winning” the national election, the possibility of complete social and national collapse looms even larger.

Far too many people seem overly willing to support the Second Amendment at the expense of the First (in specific regard to poor whites and minorities, gays and immigrants). Even Western North Carolina doesn’t really stand for freedom and peace for everyone. Outside the Asheville area, WNC is just as quick to persecute gays as blacks and Jews. It has been made clear many times that the ruling religious right (with its inborn repression, fascist attitudes and conditional phony goodness) has every intention of turning this country into some sort of Christian Empire, with a far-right-wing president as its dictator. Only the rich and so-called Christians will have any kind of social position.

This is what I see: the far-right-wing government allowing cities to open up what Star Trek: Deep Space Nine called “Sanctuary Districts” (ST:DS9:”Past Tense, Parts I & II”). Whatever they’re called, such districts will be places where the poor and “undesirable” will be placed (forced) and left to rot, after being told that they’ll be given jobs — jobs that never come.

Unlikely, you say?

All right: I see laws being passed that will allow states to openly discriminate against immigrants, gays and the poor. Lines will be drawn in the sand, and the majority of the oppressed will refuse to pay their taxes and will take to the streets, demanding the respect due to every human being on this divinely given Earth. Violence will be the rule of the day as the disadvantaged rise up, saying they have a right to their beliefs and to have feelings for whomever they wish.

The big, rich churches will be seen for what they are: power-hungry encampments of Nazi-like religious sympathies. This nation is in for a long and terrible haul. The gap between the haves and have-nots will widen enormously, and the Ten Commandments will be used to put the common people to death (be it physically or socially).

One of the reasons I am lashing out like this is because of the lie told to some children I know by staffers at their former private Christian school in Western North Carolina (I won’t name names). These children were terribly harassed — by their teachers — because their parents are Pagans. The kids were told that both they and their parents were going to hell and that they had to pray to the Christian flag for the salvation of their souls. These poor children were scared out of their wits, and the principal of the school was not even made aware of the harassment.

What’s more, these same teachers told the kids that they were in the fifth and sixth grades, respectively. Yet when the parents moved the children to public school to escape the overwhelming harassment they’d been subjected to, their work — or, to be exact, the elementary-school-style religious pamphlets that passed for textbooks — was assessed at the third- and fourth-grade levels in reading, math and social studies! For all intents and purposes, the children were in the third and fourth grades at ages 10 and 11! And staff at their new schools mentioned that such low reassessment is a continuing problem with kids transferring from many private schools.

These kids are being dumbed down. That’s the first step in controlling the masses: You must make them IGNORANT! I am appalled that the public schools have been given a bad rap for countless years, while many private schools have intentionally dumbed down the youth under their care. For all schools, including private schools, we need some sort of state monitoring system, since such schools are putting out youngsters who are meant to contribute to the state and the nation. We need clear guidelines and strict regulations to ensure educational quality in both public and private schools.

But with our new president and the same old Congress, I fear such regulations will be nonexistent. We are headed into an educational dark age — and that, as I’ve said, is the first step toward disintegrating this weak and tired republic of derelict states.

Call this article a paranoid tirade; call it some sort of unfair, fear-based liberal tantrum. Fine. As a double minority, I don’t seem to have much choice. I realize that what we fear the most, we bring upon ourselves. And herein lies my fault. I just hope, now that the elections are over, there will be something that can offer the IGNORANT MASSES some sort of New Hope. Our federalist republic (We are NOT a true democracy) is becoming an imperial dominion, ready to outstretch its serpent arms and strangle all world peoples that oppose it.

As expected, this country has become its own worst enemy, and it doesn’t even know it. I offer a prayer that some New Hope will come, and our Jedi Knights may yet arrive and bring back the goodness, light and peace that we’ve all been robbed of.

Be Well and Go Carefully…

[Glennie “Walking Cedar” Sewell is a postgraduate in English, now attending UNCA to earn teaching certification for grades nine through 12. He will be teaching full time by 2002.]

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