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This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land

Started by gkg, July 05, 2006, 09:04:48 pm

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gkg

i am reprinting this with permission of the author - because i think it is well worth reading a few times and sinking in... it\'s getting to the point where one has to reaffirm one\'s belief in what this country stands for in order to go on...

This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land
From the Redwood Forests to Via De La Paz

by Marcy Winograd

I love the Palisades, but sometimes it scares me.  I love the ocean views, the Village Green, the lazy summer days and the fifties feel of a small town.  But I don\'t love the nationalist fervor that bubbles up from lawn chairs on the fourth of July.
Just beyond the pastel chiffons in the shop window, around the corner from the new Italian ice cream store, you can hear the cheers and applause from the crowds as the Minutemen parade past.  Some parade watchers, at first glance, might think this troop of 40 is a fanciful reenactment of Paul Revere\'s famous ride during the American Revolution.  All that\'s missing is the horse.  Actually, what\'s missing are the guns.
Let\'s not kid ourselves.  The Minutemen is a group of often-armed men and women who station themselves at the border, proclaiming that nothing short of military intervention will stop the flow of illegal immigrants.
Yes, the vigilantes are back.  In the 1850s, they hung Irishmen.  In the 1870s, they terrorized Chinese.  In the 1930\'s, they tear-gassed Dust Bowl refugees.  In 2006, they trumpet hate on talk radio and scour the Southland for a parade that will admit them.  Rumor is Laguna Beach turns them down.
Leaving their guns at home on July 4th, the Minutemen immigrate to Pacific Palisades, where they wear Paul Revere hats and wave miniature American flags.  When the crowd isn\'t looking, the pointy hats try to intimidate me with their rolling videotape and snapping cameras.  I am wearing a t-shirt that says Palisadians for Peace and depicts two doves holding up the earth.  My friends\' shirts say "No War" in big letters.
Perhaps the border vigilantes don\'t like what we are carrying - a huge red, white and blue banner that reads, "We are all immigrants."
I don\'t think the parade organizers like our canvass, either.  When we display it on the public sidewalk at the corner of Swarthmore and Sunset, the police tell us we have to leave because the parade organizers do not want any protests.
Isn\'t dissent American?  What are we celebrating on July 4th if not our freedom?
How ironic that the Minutemen, scapegoaters who promote xenophobia, are welcomed into the parade without any debate, while we who believe the real danger is prejudice and militarism are banished from the corner.
Heeding orders, we leave the corner and weave our way through the sidewalk crowd, displaying our "We are all immigrants" banner.  Some applaud, others hug us, still others shout, "I am with you 100%.  I\'m from Ireland.  I\'m from Russia.  I\'m from Mexico."  But, through the barbecue haze, in front of houses decorated with crepe-paper streamers, too many others cheer the Minutemen and urge their rosy-cheeked children to set down their lemonade long enough to clap clap clap for the heroes.
I can\'t  hold back.
"You are cheering for racists, "I say, knowing that the real issue is color.  Brown.  Talk long enough to a Minuteman supporter and the refrain is the same.  If we don\'t stop them at the border, they\'ll take over our country and fuse us with Mexico.  But the racial subtext is buried under talk about protecting our borders from terrorists.  Sometimes it gets confusing.
After the parade, several of us in Palisadians for Peace gather near the park.  I turn to a friend.
"Do people really believe that immigrants who risk their lives crossing the border, dreaming of a better life, are terrorists?"
We shake our heads.
We have been protesting the war and occupation of Iraq for more than three years.
"I don\'t know if I can stay here," she confides.  "I don\'t know if I belong in this country anymore."
I tell her she better stick around because like Woody Guthrie said, "This land is your land, this land is my land, from the Redwood forests to the Gulf stream waters," and I might add, "from Via de la Paz (Way of Peace) to Temescal Canyon, once home to pacifist Methodist ministers."
"Listen," I tell my friend - but also myself.  "To leave the country now is to relinquish our land to people like the Minutemen."
Now that would really be scary.
##    ##    ##


Peace.

image = <i>"Blue Velvet"</i> (front of 2-sided piece) (c) georgia k griffin - all rights reserved

oldfolkie

Thank you for posting that article, gkg. I am giving this link to a couple of close friends who I am sure will pass it along to others who may not have seen it.

I find it all too relevant -- once they start scapegoating at one border, how long can it be before they turn their attention to the other? As they are already attempting with the passport thing... And now we have our Prime Minster sucking up to your current regime; he was there yesterday kissing some ass. Geez, he\'s doing everything except licking them clean (a gargantuan & no doubt impossible task  :P)

However, all is not doom & gloom. I remember a couple of months ago, when at the end of his concert, Arlo Guthrie encouraged the (Canadian) audience to sing "our words" to his father\'s song "This Land..." and learned them from us! We just need to find a way to make sure our respective majorities are not too intimidated to vote out the oppressors.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. ~  R.A. Heinlein

buswolley

July 08, 2006, 03:56:10 am #2 Last Edit: July 08, 2006, 04:13:44 am by buswolley
Very interesting indeed.  However, I don't quit get Ms. Winograd's Minuteman analogy.  Unless I am missing something in our recent history I don't make the connection.  While I feel her point is well spoken, to compare the bigoted, wall building, idiots of today with the heroes of our past seems a little disrespectful.  The fourth should be about celebrating our past, reflecting on our present, and improving our future.  So, while I whole heartedly agree with Ms. Winograd, assuming that all who celebrated the Minutemen or the fourth are the same narrow minded individuals that want to close our borders seems to me to be erroneous.    
  
America will never truly pass immigration reform due to the simple fact that we as a nation are not willing or even economically able to break our dependency on indentured servitude.   We are enslaved to them just as much as they are indentured to us, and that is the horrible truth.  Politicians know that as well, they just want us looking at the big green floating head  - "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

Oldfolkie, it would not surprise me in the least to find that boarder control is fought on your line.  Our Government will look like they are actually doing something positive if they crack down on the Canadian boarder.  It is much easier to control.  I don't recall any Time Magazine articles on all the Canadian's crossing Lake Erie just so they can get to Ohio to work.  But if there were I am sure we would be asking Halliburton to no bid a chain link fence.  

I think we should open our boarders and let the economy sort it out, but I could be wrong...I also believe we should legalize marijuana.

Peace_On_Earth

July 09, 2006, 02:30:49 pm #3 Last Edit: July 09, 2006, 02:35:26 pm by Peace_On_Earth
I agree with Marcy. I was in the Palisades on the Fourth of July. I refrained from the parade in lieu of a fun day at Surfrider Beach in Malibu with my two boys. But, I did go to the fireworks show at Palisades High School. And, the same themes that Marcy describedf were present there too from the lawnchairs and music streaming into the canyons from the loudspeaker.

Religious songs were sung on a National holiday. And under normal circumstances, if America can be considered normal anymore, a religious song would not have gotten the hairs up on the back of my neck. But in today\'s extremist non-democracy, I couldn\'t help but feel oppressed and suffocated while sitting in the midst of what I thought would be a good ole hometown fireworks show complete with good music and old fashioned celebration themes. I love fireworks. In fact, the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday next to Christmas. Family ideas in both holidays. I\'m very much a family person. I am deeply religious. But both ideas seem to have been hijacked.

Now I am happy that I did not go to the parade in Palisades - another of my favorite passtimes. Listening to an hour and a half of Republican leaning music was a bummer enough, dampened my spirits. Fortunately I had my The Nation Magazine with me. But even then I was reading about Ohio and the stolen election. So, I guess the background on the other side of my magazine page was fitting for the night anyway.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety derserve neither liberty nor safety."  Benjamin Franklin

gkg

oldfolkie - it\'s a mad mad mad mad world darlin\' - who knows what\'s next?  so far our pre-emptive manipulator is saying everyone needs to try diplomacy with NKorea, but of course we\'ve shown Japan that pre-emptive can be done without much backlash, so why should they listen?  it\'s interesting that he\'s promoting diplomacy in this case and one has to wonder has he actually evolved as a president (as a newcaster suggested this morning) or did he indeed have ulterior motives for Iraq?  sadly, i feel i probably know the answer to that.

buswolley - i\'m not sure what part you don\'t understand, if you can let me know i\'ll try to clarify for what Ms. Winograd meant as best i can.

peace-on-earth - fitting indeed.  i trust that at the very least you had a nice day with your boys.  ;o)
Peace.

image = <i>"Blue Velvet"</i> (front of 2-sided piece) (c) georgia k griffin - all rights reserved

Peace_On_Earth

thanks gkg! We did have a nice time together. I took photos of fireworks I can\'t believe that I took! And my olderst son did the sme. Made me proud.

I would not trust the N Korea thing as a diplomacy issue. I think it is a nice distraction for the media to overlook what Bush does with Iran. One more of those convenient issues that can be used to take the spotlight off that which you wish not to speak about as a politician.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety derserve neither liberty nor safety."  Benjamin Franklin

gkg

ah, i agree about that - but i do think it an interesting flip flop that of course his pals are not calling him on.  then again, he is getting called to task about some spying by his pet committee chief... can\'t wait for all the shoes to drop on that one.

yay for the fireworks photos!  those can be so exciting when they come out well.
Peace.

image = <i>"Blue Velvet"</i> (front of 2-sided piece) (c) georgia k griffin - all rights reserved

Peace_On_Earth

LOL on the flip flops.Wonder why the media has not taken that one up? :-) yeah right!

Amazing for me on the photos. I have been interested in photography my whole life, but only the last year have I truly tried hard at it. My current task is to try and get my trigger finger to snap exactly when I want. Last year I worked on framing up. Pretty happy for the most part with my results on framing-up. When I added my trigger finger to the mix, I had to sort of start all over again framing up...too many things to think about all at once! :-) LOL!!! poor me! So far I  am managing to frame up and snap all at once~

I\'d share a pic but I can\'t seem to figure this dumb forum out... :-)

Maybe Bush will be held accountable some day for all that\'s happneed, but I think not. Likely a cohort or cronie.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety derserve neither liberty nor safety."  Benjamin Franklin

gkg

pics have to be posted online before you can post them here, someplace like photobucket or flickr - free sites - will do fine.  then click the icon that looks like a snapshot, which gives you a little bit of code (the stuff with brackets) then type in the location of the image (like http://www.whateversiteyouused.com/photoname.jpg) in between the bracket-img-bracket and the slash-bracket-img-bracket.

Peace.

image = <i>"Blue Velvet"</i> (front of 2-sided piece) (c) georgia k griffin - all rights reserved

Peace_On_Earth

July 10, 2006, 09:00:56 pm #9 Last Edit: July 10, 2006, 09:01:26 pm by Peace_On_Earth
ok here it goes. here are the links to a photos I took that I think is not too bad:



And thank you for the cool directions! I feel so inept! :-)
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety derserve neither liberty nor safety."  Benjamin Franklin

gkg

lovely photo!

not inept, just new to the process.  ;)
Peace.

image = <i>"Blue Velvet"</i> (front of 2-sided piece) (c) georgia k griffin - all rights reserved

buswolley

G, it's not a matter of understanding, I get what she is trying to say.  I just think the comparison is a bit skewed.  Unless there is a group of individual today that are calling themselves "Minutemen" and touting border reform.   If so shame on them for using the name.  The historic Minutemen were indeed a border patrol, but their job was not to keep immigrants out.  I guess you can make the association by stating that the modern day border zealots are trying to keep out the proverbial enemy, but I still say shame on them.  So my long winded point is...while I agree vehemently with Ms. Winograd's point, maybe they were just celebrating the heroes of our past and she was simply projecting her agenda on the parade organizers.

It did disturb me to hear she was asked to leave!  It was also disquieting to read that while celebrating the 4th with fireworks P.O.E. had to listen to religious music.  I am so ready for the day when Americans finally realize that not all Americans are Christian, and even those of us that are don't want it rammed down our throats.  

P.S. Love the picture P.O.E.!

gkg

buswolley said:
QuoteUnless there is a group of individual today that are calling themselves "Minutemen" and touting border reform.
oh but darling, they ARE calling themselves Minutemen!  here is just one of thousands of articles to get you info on that \'charming\' group of folks who have usurped the name...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4574475
Peace.

image = <i>"Blue Velvet"</i> (front of 2-sided piece) (c) georgia k griffin - all rights reserved

buswolley

Peace_On_Earth

my goodness buswolley! Where have you been?? These guys have been on headline news for many years now. They are an overbearing discirminatory group of so-called border watchers who are going to "keep the damn terrrosits out along with the bloodsucking immigrants who only want to suck the welfare system dry." (quote is of course a little dramtatic but I point only a LITTLE dramatic)
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety derserve neither liberty nor safety."  Benjamin Franklin