Saturday, August 21, 2010

Coming Back to the States

Now that I have been able to deal with my feelings about "being lonely" I find it necessary to really say how I feel about relations in the United States.

I really tried to keep a positive light about my country because I think I am very lucky to be here and have the opportunities I have had. My parents are from a little pueblo in Mexico and they came to the States because they wanted to build a home for their children. I commend them for this and I always wonder what my life would be like if I was living in that pueblo at this very moment. My life would be COMPLETELY different. I love them for making the sacrifice and for giving me the ability to be free.

While we are on the subject of free, my religion is the US Constitution. I believe in things that are factual and real. My faith is solely on the fact that our country is free and we as citizens of this country truly have unalienable rights surpass any law, and feeling, and other beliefs. Because of that I can speak my mind and not get shot for doing it.

So recently, I have been listening in the news and through posts that in NY a potential building project has come under fire because of its location. This building is a mosque and the location is two blocks away from the World Trade Center. Now if this country had everyone feel the same way I do about the constitution, we would not be having a debate about potentially stopping the mosque from every being built. But not everyone feels the way that I do. Some people feel it's "insensitive" to build this mosque near the World Trade Center because it might be disrespectful for the survivors and families of the victims. Some say that the Muslim community in that area may have ties to terrorism because they have this belief that all Muslims are terrorists. And the worst of all belief is that it is okay to deny people their rights if it has to do with a mosque because of the last two arguments. Now while we all have the right to free speech, can we also state that we have a right to practice any religion we may see fit and purchase any land we wish to attain.

To the most common argument of "insensitivity," I have no words for. I really can only say that feelings really do not come into a courtroom when deciding something as fundamental as the Bill of Rights. To use Jon Stewart's reference, the president of the NRA was holding a gun rally in Colorado at the same time that the Columbine shootings took place. While many many many people though this was "insensitive" that did not change the fact that the NRA had the RIGHT to do this and they fulfilled their right by holding this rally in Colorado. That same example can be applied to the current situation. We hear that people are outrage by this, yet they have THE RIGHT to build the mosque at whichever location they see fit. Again, IT IS THEIR RIGHT! as part of the first amendment. Now so that we are sure that this right exists, let's quote the US Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Now taking courses on the US Constitution and learning about the Founding fathers, the reason why the first amendment is the first amendment is because that was the biggest issue in dealing with the rights of the citizens. Our forefathers were persecuted in their mother country because of their religious preferences, and so when they had the most wonderful opportunity to create a new government, this was at the top of their list for important rights that they felt the citizens of the US must have. Today our Constitution still lives and our freedom to choose and follow and create an area for our religion is here to stay, regardless of any feelings anyone may have.

The second argument is that they "may" have ties to terrorist groups. That's even more RIDICULOUS! If this potential mosque really did have ties to terrorist groups, why would the location mean anything to their activities? Whether it's two blocks or two states, if a mosque is participating in treasonous activities, the location would have nothing to do with the argument. Yet many Republicans, which are the ones that are SHOUTING to neglect people's rights, keep saying that the location is the main issue. So I take that argument for what it really is, a JOKE! No more on that. DONE.

The last argument is that people are absolutely fine with taking away people's rights just because of their feelings for the Muslims. This is pure hate, ignorance and bigotry. The one thing that these people really don't understand is the idea of "precedence." Let's say for example that there is enough dissent to prevent this mosque from being built. This now becomes part of the law. And let's say that a couple of months after, a Catholic Church wants to build a church near a school. People start saying that they don't want a Catholic Church near the school because the priests "may" molest the students. Now because a precedent had been set with the mosque, the people crying to stop the Catholic Church would have the ammo to stop them from building the church. The reason for this is because the law is interpreted according to past decisions made by the court of law and the government. The law looks into the past in order to see what was considered fair and just. In this case what is considered fair and just is to "deny someone's first amendment right" because it was denied in the past due to certain circumstances. To make my point clear, whatever is accepted as law is easier to keep than to change.

To finally end my point, what do I really think about all of this. Facts aside, I truly feel that citizens of the States that are Muslims have the SAME rights as any white person. Furthermore, there is this feeling of "us versus everyone" with the white population that is Republican. This group of individuals for the entire time that the US has existed have run the country, have chosen the laws, and have created an environment that is safe for them. Now that we are coming to an age where their population decreases and the "others" population increases, they are SCREAMING anything they can deny people the respect and rights they deserve. I say this with the utmost respect for the Republican Party. I don't think they are all like this, but I do think that the majority of the white Republicans feel like this country does not belong to anyone except for them. Now that we have our black president, these feelings are coming out any which way they can bring it out. From Dr. Laura saying the n-word 11 times to one of the representatives of the Tea Party movement writing a racist letter to the NAACP proving their stance on the Tea Party, these feelings are most definitely coming out through different venues. While I see this, I just continue to expand my mind and truly see above all of this with a simple pamphlet that was given to me by my 11th grade teacher in my US Constitution class. It's the US Constitution, and I keep it close to my heart to remind myself that while many try to take away my rights, because every American is essentially on the same boat, I will always keep them because I am a citizen of this great country and I am just as American as everyone else.

"Lonely, I'm Ms. Lonely..."

When I hear this song, I think about the life I left behind to come back home. My mind changed the moment I got on the airplane, but sacrifices are what make us stronger.

Coming home has warped my mind in many different ways. You see things are the same. I have my room. I have my family. I have everything that I left behind the first time I left the nest. But things just seem different. Everything is different. I am different. And as much as I would like things to be the same, they are not the same.

I remember reading "One Hundred Years of Solitude." I always thought of myself as Aureliano Buendia because he was a miserable person with a calling. He was a general for the liberation party in war with a regime. He was a master at his craft, and he left his family to fulfill his destiny. In the end, he ends up making gold fishes all by himself with no real human connections or feelings. All it ever got him was a lack of compassion or real feeling of connection with humanity. I think of myself in that way simply because in the end I am alone. And I may travel the world, I may make all of my dreams come true, but nothing changes that sad fact of life. So for the mean time, I will continue to accomplish as much as I can and know that I am the only one who can do it for myself. So I am lonely. I'm Ms. Lonely.

When I first saw my family, I was speaking to one of my cousins. She mentioned that I looked sad in all of the pictures I took while I was away. I found it completely ridiculous for this person to know anything about how I felt while I was gone. She didn't even ask me what I did over in Honduras, yet she had this understanding that I was miserable while I was away from my family. To be honest with her and you, there are things that make me sad that will never change regardless of the location of my body. I will always have things in the back of my mind that will make me reconsider every single choice I make in my life. But the truth is that I was very happy living my life and doing EXACTLY what I wanted to do. What I found sad at the moment was the fact that this person was living an empty life full of plastic surgery and drama. Yet, I am the one that "looked" sad. Maybe my eyes are just that way and you've offended me. But of course, they can say what they like and I just sit there staring and judging. C'est la vie.