Looking beneath the surface

This building is condemned!

We have all seen this sight—a dilapidated building looking like it is going to fall in on itself, plastered with that ominous sign: Warning! Danger! This building is condemned. DO NOT ENTER!

So we tread lightly around this building, making sure we are at a safe distance, noting that at any time, this place will no longer contain the dangerous building. At that moment, we exhale, leaving behind the ominous sense that danger eluded us yet again.

Using this metaphor, can we say that America is in danger of being condemned? What is good about America? Do our systems of social change truly help or hinder? [Do] we accept racism, sexism, poverty, injustice and divide-and-conquer? [Do] we live in a society fueled by fear to keep us all in check? [Is] the weakest link actually becoming the largest link?

We, the people, need to take up the idea that we are the people. Or are we wearing that fluorescent sign that says condemned?

In Asheville, we are witnessing greed, mountaintop removal, the loss of our trees. Jobs are hard to come by, racism is rampantly woven into each institution, education is in total need of repair.

Does this building truly need to be condemned?

Kudos to those working hard to make Asheville one of the country’s most green cities. How about the title of most compassionate?

Complicit complacency or grassroots activism? One step towards kindness, humanness and peace leaves its footprint. In this new year dawning, let life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean all people get beyond the struggle for daily life and survival.

Peace: It needs to be the air that we all breathe.

— Ariel Harris

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One thought on “Looking beneath the surface

  1. William Alford Perry

    It seems for the last six administration of the federal government the political leaders in the Democratic and Republican Party have allowed the immigration of millions upon millions of illegal immigrates to flood into our country and take jobs that Americans desperately needs and deserves. We have an immigration policy here in the United States for almost as long as we have been a country. I understand and do sympathize with nearly all people who want a better life for themselves and their children. Nevertheless, the United States has enough poverty all ready and cannot afford or tolerate the flood of illegal into our country. We have for a very long time had a mechanism to allow immigrates to legally enter into this country and I would like to remind all Americans that former President Theodore Roosevelt ideas on immigration is correct and true when he in a letter shortly before his death in January of 1919 wrote: “ In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith and becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American and nothing but and American…. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man, who says he or she is American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for one flag, the American flag. … We have but one language here and that is the English language…and we have room for one sole loyalty an that is a loyalty to the American people”. That was correct and true then and is today still correct and true.
    The immigration by illegal is against United States law, even if these poor souls are seeking a better life or financial security. If they are in our country illegally they should be punished, fined, and deported. The conclusion that if one breaks our laws by coming into this country it is alright, but right is right and wrong is wrong there is no in between. No matter how anyone sugarcoats it or plays with word “BREAKING THE LAW” is illegal and there is consequences to those who break the law. Our government at its foundation is based on the rule of law. I just don’t understand what part of illegal don’t our so-called leaders understand? The American people are the most charitable and productive people on the face of the earth and do more good and support more people than any other country on planet earth. The last two Democratic Presidents Clinton and Carter alone are giving others more hope and support than most of all the other countries combined. This does not validate or give rise to the notion that the United States should allow others from all over the world to flood into our country illegally and take the jobs and food and medicines away from hard-working Americans and place them into poverty.
    As one looks into the problems and legality of immigration some facts begin to emerge, first politician seek to pander to these illegal immigrates in quest of them to illegally vote for them which in itself illegal and Un-American. This is down right shameful and corrupts our government as a whole. The exploitation of these illegal by the untrustworthy businesses and individuals for cheap and under-skilled labor is in a way equivalent to slave labor. I hope and pray in the next Presidential election 2008 that the American people will not allow this kind of politics and government-run corporatism to continue. The illegal immigrates whom every one of them should be rounded up and sent back to where ever they came. The United States government working with these countries that most of these illegal reside should offer to help them to raise up and bring their people out of poverty and to stop allowing these countries people to over-run the American work force which over the years has worked so hard and died so their posterity would have a better life and live the American dream. But today this is not what’s happening. The Republicans have now set in place within our government a marriage between business and government. This is nothing less than corporatism /fascism brought to another level. If the Democrats do not wake up and smell the roses and get off this drum-beat to comply with these illegal undocumented, guest-workers coming to our country by the millions then come November 2008 election they will then be in the unemployment line. Illegal immigration is incompatible with the moral and philosophical basis of American constitutional democracy. William in Alabama
    NAME: William Alford Perry
    ADDRESS: P.O. Box 73, West Blocton, Alabama 35184
    TELEPHONE NUMBER: 205-938-7943

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