America is Free?

Should we stop complaining so much?

By Sandra Habr-Valle
Published on LatinoLA: March 25, 2003

America is Free?

America is free, so stop complaining so much?

America would not be free if our brothers and sisers before us did not complain so much!

America is free because of the brave young men and women who did not take to the battle fields of war alone, but took to the streets in a war for justice and equality when civil rights was a thing we had to fight for every day.

America is free because there were people before us like Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King, Jr. who beleived that when injustice is committed against one of our brothers or sisters, it is committed against each and every one of us.

If it wasn't for the Civil Rights Movement, then perhaps today you and me would still be facing riot police in the barrios or KKK lynchings and murders.

Do the farmworkers complain too much?

Do those who work in sweat shops complain too much?

Do our children in our underfunded schools complain too much?

America is free, not because it is free, but because we have demanded that we receive the equal opportunities of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as everyone else.

How would Chavez or King have responded to the growing opposition and peaceful demonstrations in the streets?

They would have walked beside us raising their voices in opposition of a war that hurts the people of color of this country.

Who benefits from this madness?

It sure isn't me and the fact of the matter is that we must not be silenced by those who feel we "complain" so much.

Rather we should voice our opposition louder and louder so that one day, even those who are agitated by the anti-war agenda will reap the benefits of living in a world that promotes peaceful resolutions to difficult problems.

Where our young men and women don't have to go fight a war that doesn't serve the freedom of this counrty, but the pockets of those calling the shots.

And where our children all over the world can play outside without worrying about an Apache helicopter firing a round of shots into their fragile bodies.

What about social services, education, and health care?

Are they not as important to the people of this country as the so called "disarming of Iraq?"

I believe they are and until we receive our share of the taxes we pay in those areas, I will complain!

in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed."

About Sandra Habr-Valle:
Sandra Habr-Valle thanks all who came before us with the courage and strength of conviction to demand change.

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