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Behind Barbed Wire (in the U.S.A.)

U.S. Patriots Act make us all potential terrorists

By Kat Avila
Published on LatinoLA: April 1, 2003


Behind Barbed Wire (in the U.S.A.)


Under last year's U.S. Patriots Act, the U.S. government "may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist in a terror investigation; has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges; encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests; can monitor public library records and bookstore purchases; may monitor jailhouse conversations between attorneys and their clients and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes; may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist in a terror investigation; and may jail Americans indefinitely without trial." --from JACL's Pacific Citizen, March 2003.

The elderly Japanese Americans know
and remember,
though some of the younger ones
have already forgotten:
You can be born in the U.S.,
go to U.S. schools,
be a U.S. citizen,
and suddenly find yourself
homeless,
school-less,
jobless -
labeled a POTENTIAL TERRORIST -
by an executive order from the President.

POTENTIAL TERRORIST fathers,
POTENTIAL TERRORIST mothers,
POTENTIAL TERRORIST teenagers,
POTENTIAL TERRORIST children,
POTENTIAL TERRORIST babies.

POTENTIAL TERRORIST artists,
POTENTIAL TERRORIST writers,
POTENTIAL TERRORIST teachers,
POTENTIAL TERRORIST doctors.

POTENTIAL TERRORIST yellow people,
POTENTIAL TERRORIST red people,
POTENTIAL TERRORIST brown people,
POTENTIAL TERRORIST black people.
The past is now.

U.S. flags fly everywhere I go.
Then why do I feel like
someone has erected
a barbed wire fence around me
and I'm not in the U.S. anymore?


About Kat Avila:
Kat Avila actually was born and grew up behind the barbed wire fences of U.S. military bases in the Pacific rim.




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