"Two Americas, Separate And Unequal"

In the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy, people are shocked, afraid and angry. A counterpart to these emotions is patriotism. The airwaves and print media are rife with declarations of "One America" with a collective desire for retribution.

This sentiment of "One America" would be beautiful if it were substantive. The sad truth is that prior to September 11 and for decades preceding it, there were and continue to be "two Americas," separate and unequal. There existed, then and now, separation in race, class, gender and religion. The "promise of America" has not held true for most Americans.

There are disparities in every aspect of life--social, economic and political. This is evident in everything from education to the fairness in the judicial system to computer ownership and Internet access. The government passed a bill allocating billions of dollars to help the airlines survive, but couldn’t agree on a bill to wipe out poverty, homelessness, poor health care, unemployment and substandard education.

As Americans gear themselves up for a war against terrorism, how many of us recognize that America also acts as a terrorist sometimes? How many of us see the policies and agendas of this government as beneficial to some to the detriment of others?

America, by God’s permission, has become the mightiest nation on earth, so I have no doubt that Osama bin Laden and his cohorts will be crushed. However, until the human family (regardless of race, religion, nationality or political affiliation) addresses and redresses the ills and inequalities that prevail around the globe, there will always be a new enemy to confront.

This nation was founded on the annihilation of the peoples that were indigenous to this land, built with the blood, sweat and tears of an enslaved and dehumanized people and sustained at the expense of the poor all around the world. Where there is injustice, there is no peace!

William Peeples, #N32799
P.O. Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764