'Goo goo g’ joob'

By Joe Tassi | Jul 04, 2010

"I am he, as you are he, as you are me and we are all together." This profound lyric written by John Lennon tells us about the fundamental oneness of mankind -- that we are in fact not separate, but one. "You are me and we are all together." Why then, I wonder, is it so hard for us to believe in these words or other profound words that have been gifted to us through the wisdom of the sages, the prophets, and iconic social and political leaders who have all concluded that when we hurt other human beings we hurt ourselves; when we destroy the earth we destroy our future. One such sage said, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

I am not generally an alarmist; I don't get freaked out when the TV blowhards try to scare me with tales of the insane, but I do become concerned, a little angry even, when I see our own citizens in the name of safety and security start waging a discriminatory war on people who are not us, who are poor and uneducated, fleeing a country whose government and economy have failed to provide them with the most basic of human rights, the ability to support themselves and their families. Why are we so afraid of these people and why have we allowed our politicians, who are supposed to work for us and help us improve our lives, seize and exacerbate our fears to the point of near hysteria?

Does anybody really think that illegals from Mexico are at fault for Americans losing jobs? Are we really going to blame Mexicans for being born poor and wanting a better life? Is it the fault of the drug mules who smuggle illegal drugs into this country that Americans have become so depressed, bored and apathetic that illegal drugs have become a national coping mechanism? And does any American worker from the aspiring lower or middle class, who is eligible to work, really want the jobs that illegal workers perform? I lived in California for the first 32 years of my life in what was then considered an aspiring middle class neighborhood and I never once considered working as a farm laborer picking lettuce in the relentless summer heat of the Salinas Valley.

And anyone believing that we can influence whatever changes may be needed to our immigration policies and have any meaningful impact on the war on drugs or terrorism by building a wall, isn't ready to acknowledge that illegal drugs are big business and that its profits have infiltrated and extended long reaching political influence on public policy. The war on drugs is dinner theater for us, entertainment, additional programming for when we become bored.

Hiding behind the pretext of a war on terror being fought in the name of national security, pretending this is anything but malignant racism so that we can vent our fear and anger, is just horse dung and we know it. We have to muster the courage to act against this insanity.

Build the fence, John McCain righteously declares. That this man can influence policy scares me more than any illegal immigrant crossing the Arizona border into the United States from Mexico. He scares me more because unlike those people who are just trying to make a living and feed themselves and their children, McCain offers no hope for reducing their struggle and offers no effective solutions in stopping those who have embraced the capitalistic credo of supply and demand, who worshiping the God of profit supply a debilitating illegal product to a huge American market. His only care is to survive as his political future becomes more tentative. With an election to win, he'll do and say whatever he has to just to hold onto his Senate seat, even if that means he has to flat out lie to the people of Arizona that he doesn't care one iota about. I told you I was a little angry.

Why are we so afraid? Many of these people we so desperately fear are just trying to survive, trying to take care of their families and live lives with dignity and hope just like all of us. What do we imagine the consequence would be if instead of seeing everyone else as outside of and separate from ourselves, we saw them as us? The point that keeps being missed is this; we cannot harm, kill or destroy other people's lives and the earth without destroying ourselves.

Earth is our home. This is not theoretical, it is a fact. As we live the nightmare of the British Petroleum oil disaster on the Gulf Coast we must in all honesty shoulder the blame and acknowledge that this disaster is the price we have to pay now for demanding the cheap energy that feeds our over consumption. Our battered image around the world, the war in Iraq, and terrorism directed at American targets are all rooted in our egotistic driven desire to feel whole, to feel something, to give our lives meaning. So we drive Hummers and other status symbols in an effort to define ourselves. And we pay the price now because we have allowed capitalism to usurp democracy, and left to its own devices, in the name of free enterprise, free markets or any other buzz phrases we might coin, capitalism is destroying this republic and raping and polluting our environment.

Wall Street and auto industry bailouts, wars over energy, environmental disasters, health care in crisis, a failing educational system, and an unhealthy, tainted food supply and lack of personal responsibility for our thoughts and actions -- we have some real work to do. But before we can even begin the work, we have to see that the world changes for better or worse with us as we change because we are all connected.

If we choose to deny the seriousness of the problems facing mankind and refuse to act, so be it. But I believe we should then expect to do no better than to whimper off this planet embarrassed and stripped of all dignity.

If I hurt you, I hurt myself. If I destroy this planet, I will have no home and neither will you. Love every man as yourself. "I am the egg man, I am the walrus, goo goo g' joob."


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