Many, at least those that live within the Continental United States, speak of how free we are to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, yet these very same people do not realize that in actuality we really are not all that free as we make it out to be.
Within the United States as well as throughout the rest of the countries of the world we are under the influence and the power of the society in which we are born in, or move into from the moment that we are born until we die and at times beyond. I mention the United States right off because it is the only country on earth that not only makes claims as to the freedom of it’s citizens but is hell-bent on advertising this freedom world-wide, yet those that are not their first class citizens know better.
These people know who they are within the United States. They are the people who struggle to make a better life for themselves and their families but are barred from moving into a tranquil neighborhood because they are not the “ right color ” or their belief system is different than those around them, or their language is not understandable to them. It is interesting to note that these things take place in every country on earth but have more profound results and effects in the United States because of the very fact that they, the so-called Americans preach freedom from a pulpit at so much a bushel then rush home behind their barricaded neighborhoods praying all the while that those foreigners don’t choose to move into their neighborhood. They praise the foreigner when they save them a fortune in their business but god forbid they should even make so much as a glance at their daughters and they can forget that weekend visit to their bosses home to chew the fat.
Having lived in the continental United States I full well know what it feels like to be treated as a second class citizen regardless of what service you might have performed for the country. The truth of the matter is that the American Dream is in fact for the so called Americans, probably those who can trace their ancestry back to Plymouth Rock. In many ways the situation is very much like what existed in Rome during the times of the Roman Empire. A Roman was the only one who was truly a citizen and all others were below them in status. It is funny because it sounds so much like what exist in the United States in present times. While it is true that people of one race or another tend to live within neighborhoods of their own race it is usually out of convenience of the given language and customs of that particular race and self preservation. For the most part however they are not really free to live where they want as many would think or would have one think. No. There are un-spoken rules in society that are known intuitively and are taught to the young that keep each race in check within a given geographical area. There are many black men who recall their parents instructing them to cross the street to the other sidewalk if you see a white woman walking on your side. I say un-spoken because there are federal laws on the books that bar against discrimination, however there is little comfort in this because the discriminatory action is usually undertaken in a covert fashion of plausible deniability. We already rented the place out or our son has decided to move back in and we need the place for him or some other plausible excuse are the response one usually encounters when being denied access to a rental or house. I know this from personal experience and experiences related to me by others. There are many who would argue, “ that is not true because we have ethnics living in our neighborhood , “ yet they do not mention the marginalized life style that those individuals have to live. And it is not only of low income people that I speak of . I have known many professional people, doctors, lawyers, and teachers to name a few who have told me that their profession did not aid nor shield them in seeking a good place to live in a nice neighborhood.
Free will, yes, they were free to choose to move there, but the consequences of intolerance were high indeed. This reminds me of a piece an author wrote in which his character said , “ people are under the misconception that equality means equality for all when in fact it is equality for equals ”. Unfortunately this is in fact the reality of life in the United States as well as many other countries but I specifically name the United States because they are the only nation in the world that preaches freedom, tolerance and democracy when in fact it is not this way at all. The only reason that freedom, tolerance and democracy are preached at all in the United States is due to its merchant mentality and what it stands to gain from it. The arguments that were and are still going on in the states are valid regarding the use of the word “ God ” in the pledge of allegiance. It should read “ onto the buck ”. Free will is an idyllic concept, and we are all mature enough to know the misconceptions of idealism, but if you are of an ethnic persuasion living in the United States, BEWARE, like in the Rome of the past you will never be looked upon as a first class citizen!
A footnote to all of this is the current situation in Puerto Rico. Stateside Puerto Ricans who for the most part have been “ Americanized ” and many of which have moved to the island and are of the New Progressive Party are for the most part the individuals who have been buying up these “ Walled in
Neighborhoods ” that are springing up everywhere. Partly because of crime but oddly enough many want to segregate themselves from the local population! As recently as this morning there was a report on the local news of a battle that has broken out in Ocean Park, Condado where it is claimed that some association has obtained permits to close off the access to the beach to the general public. The coalition for beaches for all ( La Coalición Playas para todos ) is currently engaged in a battle to keep the beach open. I have no idea what the outcome will be as this is an ongoing situation but I ask myself ‘ What is happening to our island ? ” Are we to do to ourselves what was done to us in the states? Will we be free to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Will our island become so “ Americanized ” that we will be forced to live the way we did in the states where we were excluded from living in nice neighborhoods?