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BENJI ESSAY: bravery

Benji Duncan

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Recently, World Wrestling Entertainment introduced a new character. The guy is called Muhammad something and he's an Arab american who claims the people of the U.S. have been treating him and his family in a bigotry filled manner.

He had been set up for awhile for this first appearance. Appearing in short interview segments and all the while he saying little more than what I just said he said. "I was born in this country and since 9-11 the people of this country have been treating me with contempt. All I'm asking for is a little respect."

Boo's errupted all over the arena.

It baffled me that this new character, who was saying such reasonable things, was being played up as a heel (a.k.a. a "bad guy")

Last night when he came out he interrupted a monologue by the popular wrestler Mick Foley (also known as "mankind" or "Cactus Jack"). Mick was in the middle of saying he didn't believe in the war, but he supported the troups. After his interruption though, he got real angry and amidst cheers, challenged this new arab american character to step in the ring. "How dare you stand there and spew your crap at us!" he said with an angry point of the finger. "People fought and died so you could stand there and say whatever you want!"

First of all, people have fought and died in war in every nation on earth. America is in no way distinct in the fact that it has sent soldiers into war that have died. In fact, if you look at U.S. history this nation has been very lucky in the amount of human sacrifice it has given to war.

WW1: U.S. casualties approximate:50,000; Axis powers:6,600,000; Total of all parties involved:11,000,000.

WW2: U.S. casualties approximate:405,399; Germany:6,000,000; Japan: 2,500,000; Total of all parties involved:55,000,000!

Korea:U.S.:54,246; North Korea:2,500,000, China:1,000,000

Vietnam:U.S.:58,000; N.V.A.:1,500,000; Total human toll for southeast asia: 4,000,000 (guess which one's got a wall built in their memory)

Gulf War:U.S.:240; Iraq:40,000

The Iraq war (up till now):U.S.:1,297; Other coalition troops:145; Iraqi civilians:15,510 Iraqi military:(I couldn't find it. Guess nobody cares. They're only arabs right?)

So do we really need to stand up and respect our country, just because it has sacrificed in war, especially when we see that it has sacrificed so little compared to other countries? The war in which the most americans died was in the american civil war, and that's because we were killing each other. We were the "gooks" and the "sand n*gg*rs" in that one.

Do I owe them for my freedom (or for the freedoms I have)?

"Freedom is not this countries gift to the world, it is a gift from the almighty to every person in this world."

-George W. Bush

By Bush's statement, aren't we entitled to the ability to speak our minds, to not be persecuted? It was not given to us by people fighting in war, it is an innate gift. We no more owe the people who have fought in wars for our freedom than we owe them our life. Just because we can say we do not owe them, does not mean we have no respect for them.

I do not owe america any respect at all. For one thing, america is just a word, a flag, a catchy slogan, a catchy song. America is a place on earth, no better than any other place, filled with people, no better than any other people.

Shouldn't we honor instead, those who fight for civil rights, who fight for humanity, who fight for quality of human life?, instead of honoring them for fighting for "america"?

Is Jack Kevorkian brave? Was Martin Luther King Brave? Are people who form unions and form walk out strikes against an oppressive employer also just as brave? Don't we owe protesters for our freedom much more than we owe soldiers?

Couldn't it be said, that the Iraqi insurgents- since they have more to lose, since there they have a much higher chance of dying in this war than the american soldiers- are more brave?

Do we have to agree with a persons motives to give them that word? Is a person who resists arrest with a cop who outweighs him by thirty pounds brave?

Isn't a good parent who works hard and puts their kids at priority one, and sacrifices for them, just as worthy of our respect for building a great society as someone who goes to another country with a gun? Are they no less brave?

Are the Iraqi insurgents brave? Can we even say that and not get shot in this country? Here, I'll give it a try, see if I get struck by lighting?

The Iraqi insurgents are Brave.

Whew! I feel pretty good, give it a try yourself.
 
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