A union person should find this bumper sticker a problem. Why is that?
Any serious union activist recognizes that we have to organize globally,
that workers have to unite across nationality lines as we do along gender,
religious or racial ones. This bumper sticker expresses a view that
hinders solidarity. Just like having a bumper sticker that says, if you
don't like my rebel flag, piss off. It becomes obvious why that flag is
abhorent with barely a scrap of research.
The question that should be asked if someone raises a less than
enthusiastic response with regard to the American flag would be why so? I
am sure that the Vietnamese workers do not feel such love for this
symbol. A country that never threatened or attacked the US, they lost
3,000,000 people and are still giving birth to children deformed by the
chemicals dropped on them by planes with this symbol on them.
In its illegal excursion in to Cambodia under the war criminal Kissinger,
the US used carpet bombing, mathematically calculating how many living
things would be killed within the reaches of the device, drawing up grids
and saturating them. The code names for these excursions were, Breakfast"
Lunch" "Snack" "Dinner" and "Desert". It is estimated that 350,000
civilians in Laos and 600,000 in Cambodia lost their lives not to mention
the continued deaths from chemical/defoliant exposure.
The US Subcommittee on refugees estimated that between March 68 and March
72, more than 3,000,000 civilians in South East Asia were killed, injured
or made homeless.The US dropped in that period almost 4,500,000 tons of
high explosive on Indochina. (not including chemical defoliants and
pesticides). The Pentagon's estimated tonnage total for the entire second
world war is 2,044,000 tons*. These devices had little American flags on
them. What God would bless this slaughter? Does any serious union
activist not have some understanding of why flags of the imperialist
nations are not so adorned in the rest of the world? Should we not?
Naturally, as in any country, the capitalist controlled press, the
employers who divide use here in order to weaken unionism and solidarity,
constantly remind us of the 57,000 young Americans who died there. And we
should remember them. In fact, more Vietnam vets have committed suicide
than died there and the numbers probably quadruple if we consider the
damage to young families. Young working class men who were about to be or
recently married left wives and children who would grow up never meeting
them. It was profitable for Bell Helicopter corp but had devastating
effects on American workers and their families, and catastrophic ones on
our brothers and sisters in Indochina. The perpetrators, the Kissingers,
the others responsible, it is them we need to direct our anger at.
Patriotism and nationalism hurts unionism. It pits worker against worker
on a global scale. The rich don't give a shit about countries. Donald
Trump would move to Pakistan and wave their flag as long as he could
continue to rip workers off and get rich without working or contributing
anything to society.
Naturally, we have to be sensitive to older workers who fought in wars or
are economically drafted as cannon fodder for the corporations. My father
was a prisoner of war for 3 years and nine months. He was caught in Hong
Kong. He worked for Mitsubishi in Yokahama. He sees the union Jack as a
symbol of freedom, he doesn't equate it as a symbol of repression and, as
I said, we have to be sensitive when we approach this issue with working
people who have not thought in more broader terms. But I remember when I
first met an Irishman I worked with on the building sites. He was not
particularly political but the Union jack was no symbol of liberty to him.
It was a murderous symbol of centuries of oppression. The Irish
Republicans called it the Butchers Apron. He wasn't anti-English. He
hated the British ruling class and their symbol is the Union Jack.
As I became more politically aware and active in the unions etc. I
realized that the Union jack didn't have the same meaning to the vast
majority of the world's people. It was a hindrance to me building
solidarity with workers of other nationalities if I made an issue out of
it so I stay away from flags, particularly of the imperialist countries.
The bumper sticker here represents a thinking that will only weaken us in
our struggle for what people on this list have called democracy and a
decent life. it reflects a closed, narrow thinking. We should approach
some with a bumper sticker like this at the right time and in a comradely
way to suggest that their might be valid reasons why some workers might
not feel the love for this symbol that he or she does. We don't have to
make an issue of it at all times and in all instances obviously and it
depends on the individuals involved.
Lastly, I am not religious but why would any religious person ask God to
only bless America? If I were actively religious I would be asking my God
to bless humanity. Where in the Christian Bible does it talk about
limiting God's blessings to the borders of the USA?
*Christopher Hitchens: The Trial of Henry Kissinger
At 11:05 PM -0600 3/6/06, another person wrote:
I'm proud to send this one!
PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG, OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND TO
THE REPUBLIC, FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE,
LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!
I was asked to send this on if I agree or delete if I don't. It is said
that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore I have a very hard time
understanding why there is such a problem in having "In God! We Trust"
on our money and having "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why don't we
just tell the 14% to Shut Up and BE QUIET!!!
If you agree, pass this on, if not delete.
I AGREE !!!!
"God Bless America"