I was thinking last night how much of my writing touches on toxicity. Agricultural pesticides, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the meat we eat, the unending accumulation of plastic, the oil spewing endlessly into the Gulf devastating industry and wildlife.
This morning, I made my usually weekly trip to the Asian supermarket. They have a huge produce section with fruits and vegetables from all over the world. People are filling their carts and once again all I can think of are the pesticides they will be ingesting round the dinner table. Yes, some produce is more chockfull of pesticides than others – I buy melons and avocados which are less affected due to their thick skin – but there’s plenty o’ pesticides that are going to end up in the bellies and bodies of the families awaiting their “nourishment.”
Then I get in the car and began listening to a report on Democracy Now. They were talking about The Dream Act. According to Wikipedia, “The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act is a piece of proposed federal legislation in the United States that was introduced in [Congress] on March 26, 2009. This bill would provide certain undocumented alien students who graduate from US high schools, who are of good moral character, arrived in the U.S. as minors, and have been in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency. The alien students would obtain temporary residency for a six-year period. Within the six-year period, a qualified student must have ‘acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or [have] completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the United States,’ or have ‘served in the uniformed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, [have] received an honorable discharge.’ ‘Any alien whose permanent resident status is terminated [according to the terms of the Act] shall return to the immigration status the alien had immediately prior to receiving conditional permanent resident status under this Act.’”
The radio show had on media activist and community organizer Marco Amador. He has put together a video report “Yo Soy El Army,” exposing the military’s tactics for heavy recruitment of the Latino population. The report explains that No Child Left Behind requires that every high school give the military access to its facilities, and even student records, for the sake of recruitment. He also exposes that the Pentagon was an initial contributor to the writing of The Dream Act with the clear understanding that the Latino population would be well suited for recruitment, as they are not financially positioned to attend college any other way than through the military.
Amador points out that the military’s targeted areas for recruitment are New York City, Lost Angeles, and San Antonio, all heavily Latino. As he was talking I found myself thinking that there is a connection between the two subjects now in my mind, chemicals in food and manipulative military recruitment. Let’s see what the connection might be. Continue reading