A Statement of Conscience

Not in our name

By Franco Gonzalez
Published on LatinoLA: December 16, 2002

A Statement of Conscience

Latinos: Think about this before you read the rest of this statement -- Latinos make up about 12% of the U.S. population. However, our youth, along with other minority, urban youth make up over 40% of America's Military.

Why the gross mis-representation?

I, like many other youths from our urban communities, joined the service after high school. It was my only realistic option for training, to acquire funds for education and a method to get out of my dangerous neighborhood. At least until I was older.

I did not understand politics, international economics, foreign policy or international affairs. And no, I did not join JUST for the flag. I know that may be taken out of context, so I will expand on that.

Neither did millions of middle and upper class American youth join for the flag. In fact, they did not join at all. They had other options.

Thousands of our youth are preparing for combat now. They will fight. They are the best at killing and destruction in the field of combat. I know. I fought. I killed. I destroyed.

I also saw friends die. I saw innocents killed. And their property destroyed.

Our kids killing their kids. And this is moral?

Ask yourselves this: For what? For Whom? Why?

As a high school teacher, I see everyday a swarm of military recruiters on campus talking with our 15, 16 and 17 year olds, extolling the virtues of a military career.

The truth is, our military has been for a long time the weapon of choice for American Oil companies, International Banks, defense contractors and pathetic incompetent politicians.

That is who our youth will die fighting for. Not our flag, apple pie or tamales.

Education. Agitation. Activation.

?Latinos, Adelante!

About Franco Gonzalez:
Franco Gonzalez is a social activist, teacher and business owner in Los Angeles. He can be reached at Franco@QuickPros.Biz. Also visit:

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