On Saturday, Feb. 15, my brother and I went to Houston to be a part of an anti-war march and rally.This being Texas, I didn’t expect too much support but I knew there were organizations in Houston (such as Not In Our Name-Houston and The Blue Triangle Network) who were working and organizing events like this.
We got to the meeting place beside the Federal Courthouse half an hour early and I was amazed that the sidewalk and street were already filling with people.My brother and I found a place to stand and began chanting with the crowd.When the march began, I thought we were at the end of it because all I saw in front of us for blocks and blocks were people.
We marched from the courthouse, in front of the Shell building, and down to Eleanor Tinsley Park next to the bayou.When we got to the park, we looked down the small hill and saw that the park was filling with people. We found a place near the stage where we could see and hear everything and chanted while we waited for everyone to make it down to the park.People just kept coming down the hill.So while we waited for everyone a group of African-American poets from the group Black Out took the stage and were absolutely phenomenal.
The time for the rally to start had come and gone because people just kept marching down the hill.Finally when the line of marchers started to thin, the speakers took the stage.While the first speaker was speaking, I got the distinct feeling that everything petty was disappearing.It didn’t matter anymore (in the words of the speaker) if you were black, white, brown, red or yellow; it only mattered that you were human and that you cared. This massive crowd of marchers all became a family united for peace.After the best speakers I had ever heard spoke, they announced that they had counted us and we were well over 3,000 supporters.
Among the 3,000 supporters was a group of about 20 marching under a homemade banner from Stephen F. Austin University.I was happy that they were there, but I was upset when I looked around and didn’t see a homemade SHSU banner.That’s when I realized something about this school and the people who attend.Every Tuesday and Thursday, I read The Houstonian hoping to see a passionate letter or article about anything that is relative to the outside world away from the vast metropolis of Huntsville.I have only been pleasantly surprised a couple of times.
We have got to wake up SHSU. You can choose to believe the lies about weapons of mass destruction or whatever other new lie they’ve come up with for the justification to kill innocent people halfway around the world, but this war is about what it has always been about…He who controls the oil, has the money and the power.
The president select is doing whatever he can to go back to Iraq and finish “Daddy’s mission.”The Bush administration is also doing whatever it can to trample all over our constitutional rights.They are arresting and detaining honest citizens for the color of their skin and where they were born.They are making all men of Middle Eastern and south Asian descent register with the INS.Does anyone else see the resemblance of what our government is doing to what the Nazis did to honest German citizens in the 30s and 40s?
With everything that’s going on in the world, I would expect the air and feelings around campus to be a lot different than what they are.But it seems as though you don’t care about what’s going on as long as you can get your degree with as little effort as possible and use it to get that job we’ve all been told exist for college graduates.
You people appear content to just sit on the side of the fence and wait it all out.But you can’t just wait for things to pass you by this time.If we go to war (and I have no doubt that we will since the emperor commands it), who do you think they will send to fight and die in that madness?The ones who started it surely won’t be there.It will be us on the front lines.Our brothers, husbands, boyfriends, friends and male classmates will be called to serve, fight and die in a war that has extremely shady reasoning behind it and that most of the people in this country and the world don’t even agree with.
Plus in the past few years there has been increasing talk about making women sign up for the selective service along with their male counterparts.So this is no longer just a concern for the guys.
Personally I don’t agree with selective service or fighting for a cause you don’t believe in, but the point I’m trying to make is that all of us, even us girls, will be impacted by this war.Also, things have been going downhill for years but are fast becoming horrible. If we just sit back and watch it happen, then we have no one to blame but ourselves when things are beyond the point of being corrected.
We will soon be inheriting this world from those in power now and I’m not sure I want it the way it is. We’re using this planet as if we’ve got a spare one tucked away somewhere.By the time our children are our age our serious problems will be past the point of repair.I read the other day that in another 40 years our fresh water reserves will be almost to the point of exhaustion but on the way to that point there will be more poverty and widespread famine than there is today.
If we just sit back and wait, thinking all the bad will somehow pass us by or that it won’t really affect us in our lifetime, no matter what it will catch up to us and we’ll all have to pay.
For most of my life, I had entertained the idea that I would one day welcome children of my own to this world but I don’t want to welcome them to a condemned world.I don’t want to have to tell them that we’re not going to survive because my generation only thought of themselves and just sat by and allowed the greedy and power hungry to bring us to the brink of disaster.
If we do not cry out in a strong, united voice, I’m afraid we will continue down this destructive path until we realize it’s too late.If we don’t stand up now and make it count, we’re condemning ourselves as well as our children to a fate none of us have taken the time to comprehend, nor would we want to.
We’ve been raised to look out for number one and to put ourselves and our own happiness first above anyone else and it is that very selfish behavior passed down from those in power now, that is pushing us to the brink, to a place we will not want to be.
We, as a generation, can no longer afford to sit idly by or choose that we’re not going to care.We have to band together, push aside our petty, selfish wants and concentrate on the greater good. We have been chosen, like it or not by the generations before us, to effect REAL change.We have to, we have no other choice.It is fast coming to a point of no return.If you are sick and tired of watching the government walk all over your rights, if you are tired of watching the government imprison innocent people on the basis of their race or ethnicity, if you are tired of King George fighting the world in the American people’s name so that his Daddy and their friends stock prices raise; then contact me and we’ll begin a group on this campus.
Remember, you must be the change you wish to see in the world.Let’s stop sitting around and do something.