How Safe is America?

April 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

I found “How Safe is America” by Desiree Taylor to be very unsettling in many ways. Though I agree with her main point that citizens in lower socioeconomic classes do deserve better lives, downplaying the horror of 9/11 and mocking flags and the song “I’m proud to be an American” is not the right way to go about sharing a message. I understand that most of the Americans who died on 9/11 were upper class, but they were still people. There were thousands of lives lost and thousands of families left to grieve their loved ones. Not to mention the middle class firemen and police officers who lost their lives, along with lower class employees such as janitors, maids, construction workers, or office aids. People from every class died that day. Families from every class mourned their losses. Whether you are rich or poor, you are still an American and you still are free. You may not have as much money to be as “easy living” as others, but you are not forced to wear certain things, look a certain way, worship a certain religion, or obey certain rules.  Taylor states that she never felt safe in America, however 9/11 attacks still affect her as well. Open terrorist attacks could happen anywhere, anytime, and could harm anybody. Everybody should be scared, not just the rich upper class.

However, Taylor’s main message should be heard.  Much devastation in areas of poverty does go unnoticed. People die everyday in low economic neighborhoods, and media and police do nothing about it.  The United States does do a good job of turning their head, acting like lower class individuals do this to themselves, like they want to be living in poverty and crime. Structural violence keeps lower class people in the lower class and makes it very hard for them to rise up. This got me to thinking about my own “white knapsack.” I have the privilege of being able to walk into a hospital and be immediately treated without being questioned. I can go to the airport without looking like a terrorist. I was born an American so I can get a job anywhere and don’t have to worry about getting a green card. America’s economic classes really are unfair, and something does need to change.

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