by Carlos Santana, 12/17/2012
We are a violent country; that is our history & our present. It is internalized in all of us. We kill for money, for power, for influence & for attention. I say “we” because I am a taxpayer & my money supports wars abroad as well as mass incarceration at home. Time to stop acting surprised when Americans kill children on our own lands; we do it abroad in the name of “anti terrorism” “foreign aid” & “democracy” everyday.
On every continent, Indigenous children are most often the ones under attack, simply because their existence challenges America’s reign of superiority. Until our culture learns to value human life over currency & power, this will be our reality. True, a country built on dehumanization is likely to perpetuate cycles of violence. There is hope though, because culture is not set in stone! We are subject to it, but we also shape it. Banning weapons is not culture shaping, it is just law. Shaping culture starts with how we educate our youth on how to place value on community & our place in Mother Nature & we must speak truthfully about our history.
Do not lose hope. Let’s get educated on this issue of violence. Did you know that Obama has enacted a law that allows the military to determine any neighborhood in “terrorist regions” cleared for killing off all teenage-young adult males? Even at home, we criminalize our youth before they even know how to read, destining them for a future in prison or 6 feet under.
Do you value all life the same? Do you think things have no value except as commodity? Do you think children whose parents don’t like America’s policies of violence deserve to die? Let’s change what we teach our future generations so that they don’t have to wake up everyday in the middle of multiple wars. All it takes is a willingness to change how we treat each other & how we perceive ourselves. Life is too beautiful to keep robbing children of their futures.
Spanish version here.