Open letter to …

by jonrolph

Open letter to my elders and countrymen

Dear Sirs,

I am a citizen.  Not just of this city, state and country, but of the world.  I am one among many billions, living, breathing, fighting, loving, and dying.  I am writing you today to remind you, to remind myself, that we are all a product of history.  I would like to say that we are all children, with the stars for our father, and the earth as our mother.  I sincerely wish I could say this, but I’d be a fool.  Unfortunately, there are those among us that rape the earth, and oppress her people. 

Politicians and whole governments, businessmen, militants, and religious zealots have forgotten their place.  These men put money, which has no value of its own, above all else.  Greed perches over the people, like a vulture awaiting something’s sweet death.  Death of freedom, death of self, death of joy itself.  These men care nothing about uprooting entire civilizations for the sake of gold.

Politicians preside over a lurid carnival indeed.  Our country’s myths say that we fought a war to separate from a tyrant and his men.  The tyrants men were all businessmen, who taxed and regulated us unmercifully.  In actuality, our “Founding Fathers” were all rich, white men who wanted to tax and regulate us unmercifully themselves.  Our myths say we were founded on “freedom and equality”, while simultaneously counting blacks as both slaves and 3/5’s of a person.  Our myths say that the Indian took pity on us and created the idea of Thanksgiving.  In actuality, our ancestors killed 25 million Native Americans, usually with smallpox, and created Thanksgiving to sell greeting cards.

Our current politicians sold us out to foreign powers decades ago.  Seemingly to help the businessmen be “competitive”.  In practice it is these competitive businessmen that line the politicians pockets, and help them get reelected.  Thus starting and maintaining a vicious cycle that crushes Joe Everyman, his family, his community, our community.  When politicians and businessmen aren’t busy smashing dreams, they’re starting wars.  Wars for ‘security”, wars for “humanitarian” reasons, for drugs, for oil….the list is far too exhaustive for my small space. Interestingly, they start wars while preaching the “globalization” doctrine.  Both are bad ideas, but globalization was the stupidest idea in history.  Globalization will only lead to more wars.  

There is one more reason that wars are fought.  Wars are fought over religion.  Three of the world’s “great” religions, started with someone wandering in the desert, having “visions”, surviving, and returning home to convince others that he saw a deity who told him how to live.  In reality, the man’s brain chemistry was cooking, he was hallucinating, he survived and went home with an excuse to be what he already was.  Misogynistic, homophobic, and controlling.  When I was a boy, you my elders tried to convince me of the “truth” of religion.  Unfortunately, or fortunately depending through what lens you look, I was smart enough to see through the lie.  Another interesting statistic, more people have been killed over an imaginary friend than any other reason in our history.

In conclusion, to my elders I would remind you again, we are all products of history.  The politics and betrayals have always been legion, but they come with a question, “when you had your chance, why didn’t you really change things for the better?”  To my countrymen, another question, “when we had our chance, why didn’t we?”