Imagine going to the park one day and witnessing a group of people playing a strange game. You watch for a little while and it looks pretty interesting, so you ask to join in. The people playing the game are beyond polite, as they explain the rules to you, let you warm up, and then invite you into the action. You join a team that already has 25 people on it, playing against a team with only 4, but that seems to be fine with everyone else. While the rules are a little confusing, you go along with it because it’s not your game. At one point, you have the ball and someone trips you. From the ground, you look up in bewilderment, sure that this is against the rules. An opponent helps you up, informs you that this is all part of the game, and insists you brush yourself off and continue. You don’t want to look weak or like a bad sport, so you get up, ignore the pain, and play on. Seconds later an opponent, ball in hand, is running right towards you. You go with your instincts and trip this person. Before he even hits the ground, everything stops and both teams look at you as though you just shat on the pope during Christmas dinner.
A person from the other team, who appears to be the captain, quickly walks towards you, grabbing you by the throat. You struggle and look around at your teammates who are all either staring at the ground or looking at you with a combination of pity and shame. Just when you think this man is going to kill you, he throws you to the ground and yells “game on”. The rest of the game continues this way, with the dominate team making up and changing rules as the game goes on, ensuring that no matter how many people join your team and no matter how much of an understanding of the rules you think you have, you will lose.
Most people in their right mind would not play this game anymore. Why would anyone waste their time trying to win a game that is rigged? Now imagine that you seemingly had no choice but to play this game. Imagine you were told that the only way to eat, drink, or have a roof over your head was if you played this unfair game. Sure, you eat rat meat while the winning team eats steak, but at least you eat. Your water comes from the dirty stream, while the winners drink filtered clean water, but at least you’re not dying of thirst. Maybe you say to yourself that you would organize your teammates, since there are many more of you than there are of them, and take the good food and water from the so-called winners. Maybe you think would all sit down on the court and refuse to play unless the rules were changed to make the game a little fairer. Maybe the winners have convinced you that if you just play hard enough, then one day you have a chance to be on their team.
This game is being played right now. We’re told that in order to have food or shelter we have to play a game with rules that we did not make up. When the rules change, we can complain about it (as long as we’re not being too loud), but we still must follow them no matter how unfair they seem to be. None of us technically agreed to join this game or to follow these rules, but we still face heavy consequences if we don’t go along with it. There are plenty more people on the side of the losers, yet they are constantly being dominated by the few winners. Why is it that most of us, if we found ourselves part of this metaphorical game, would take our ball and go home, yet when faced with the real life version we keep our heads down and continue to get tripped?
The people who make the rules to this game are smart. They keep us believing that if we refuse to play, we will die. They convince us that we can be on their side if we just try hard enough. They even hire referees from amongst us and talk them into enforcing the rules, convincing them that they’re on the side of the winners, even as they go home to their shacks and rat pies. After a while, drinking dirty water doesn’t seem too bad. It’s better than the alternative anyway.
I say enough. I’m tired of being tripped without being able to trip back. I’m tired of eating rat. I don’t want to play anymore. Unfortunately, the only way I can quit playing and still have a chance is if I convince others to quit with me. I know you’re out there; I just need to find you from amongst the masses.
The president, the secretary of defense, and others all said that Bradley Manning did not release any dangerous information. Now that he has to go to trial for releasing dangerous information, he’s not allowed to use those statements as evidence. What?
Hurt people hurt people. Relatives of holocaust survivors committing slow genocide.