I have written a lot about the strange concept of everyone on earth being a human being. I think a lot of people dismiss this as some hippie shit (and it is, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true) while others scoff and say, “Obviously everyone is human, everyone knows that”, but I beg to differ. If we all not only completely understood that each and every person that passes us by on the street or that we see on TV or in the mall is a human being who deserves the same rights and freedoms as you and I, but we also kept this at the forefront of out mind at all times, can you imagine what would happen? We would be forced to talk to homeless people because we would have actual sympathy for their situation. We would not get scared and cross the street when we see (seemingly) shady people walking towards us, because we would know that it is just an act; that the teenager who is full of piercings and wearing scary clothes only wants attention. We would not be able to watch American Idol when we know that innocent human beings all over the world are being shot, stabbed, blown up, raped, and tortured with our money in our names because how can you when you know that these people breath, eat, and shit just like you?
Imagine you are a twenty year old Guatemalan man; you grew up in total poverty, but always managed to get by. Now you are married with a couple kids and times are getting really hard; you work and work, but are barely able to put food on the table for your children. You’ve heard about people going to the United States, where jobs are supposedly plentiful and you can work just as hard, but make ten times the money. If you can manage to sneak the thousand or so miles to the border, get across, and then find people to help you, you can eventually get a job, make a bunch of money, send for your family, and live the good life that you deserve. You end up paying a smuggler your entire savings, spending days walking and hiding through Guatemala and Mexico, getting smuggled across the border like you’re something illegal, and find a job in some small USian town. You know you are being taken advantage of in the factory you’re working at – you’re making barely more than you were in Guatemala and they take money out for food and an overpriced place to stay – but who can you complain to. You spend your first couple months of salary paying off the person who got you your fake social security card- the social security card that you use to work, but that you will never be able to see the benefits of, because “illegal aliens” like yourself don’t get to retire. You are abused by your bosses, paid less than minimum wage, and haven’t even talked to your family in months, but you’re still chasing the American Dream. One day you’ll find something better or prove to your bosses that you deserve more money; you’ll be able to send for your family and buy a big house with a nice car in the driveway. One day. After all, this is the land of opportunity; surely someone will put an end to all the abuse you’re taking. Finally, the government gets wind of the fact that your employer has hundreds of employees who they are abusing and taking advantage of. Then this happens.
Things like that are happening every day in the US and things much worse are happening every day because of the policies of the US. They wouldn’t be happening (or at least not nearly as much) if we simply understood and kept in mind that we all deserve at least some kind of dignity and common respect.