How Our Freedoms Come At The Cost Of Others

Why do some folks “hate us for our freedom”? As ridiculous as the statement is, it’s even doubly ridiculous in that “why” is never posed to this question. While I’m reserved in giving simple explanations to complex issues, I do feel we, as Americans, are often negligent in recognizing that many of our so—called “freedoms” come at the expense of others. White supremacist-, “MAGA”-, alt-Right Trump supporters often espouse their hate for immigrants, particularly of the brown and poor varieties, but they too lack the courage and the honesty to ask, “why are so many coming here to work?” or, “Why have their economies failed?”. Many will offer an even simpler and more dehumanizing rebuttle that they — poor and brown-skinnedimmigrants — ought to go back to their respective countries and fight or sacrifice to make them great, as supposedly Americans did (or allegedly stiil do) in the country’s infancy. But these racist and historically inaccurate summaries simply don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Rob Dunn, in his new book, “Never Out Of Season”, reminds us why so many people, from locations such as Central America, are coming here to work: because we sabotaged their economies. Dun relates,

“Elected in 1950, Jacobo Arbenz was Guatemala’s second democratically elected leader. He proposed to redistribute abandoned banana land to poor farmers in the country and paid United Fruit Company twice what it had paid for the land. Arbenz believed that this would be the first step in creating a better country for his people, a democratic country. The United Fruit Company had other plans. Its leaders persuaded the US government to authorize the CIA to overthrow Arbenz as part of Operation PBSUCCESS. The director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, and the secretary of state, his brother, John Foster Dulles, were both friends of executives of the United Fruit Company. They had even done legal work for the company earlier in their careers. The Dulles brothers helped to convince president Dwight D. Eisenhower of the need to overthrow Arbenz. It was a secret and, from the perspective of the United States, successful coup. As a result, Guatemala’s democracy slid into decades of military dictatorship and a brutal civil war. That war would cost the lives of more than two hundred thousand Guatemalans, many of them at the hands of government security forces. The coup also set back democracy in other countries in which the United Fruit Company wielded power. However one attributes blame for these horrors, they, too, are part of the story of the Gros Michel banana.”

Perhaps the resentment that America earns is not quite so irrational as we’ve been led to believe. Dunn’s work makes you look at the breakfast fruit we all so innocently enjoy every morning in a diffent light.


Dunn, Rob. Never Out Of Season: How Having the Food We Want When We Want It Threatens Our Food Supply and Our Future. New York. Little, Brown and Company. 2017.

Calling For a Ban On Terrorists Is Just That: A Call

The Trump administration talks about “Make America Great Again” and keeping America safe. And while I’m all for the latter (the former1 is a more nuanced conversation), this sabre rattling may only serve to call the sharks to us. This is another reason Trump needs to transition from campaigning to strategizing. Or perhaps that is all he is capable of.

In response to this kind of bravado, however, ISIS and the like will undoubtedly take this as a challenge, doubtless redoubling their efforts to penetrate America (which at this point it seems a tragic likelihood, though May God forbid it!) and wreak havoc and carnage: When one throws down a gauntlet, one must expect it to be picked up. And tragically, if such an attack were to take place, American Muslims would most certainly be the scapegoats, though it is clear as day that (American) Muslims do not craft counter-terrorism policies let alone hold sway over international terrorist groups. These are dangerous times. May God protect us all and inspire the leaders of this country to act and behave in ways which secures our safety.

1. We must determine what the metric is for [A] being great (i.e., is it more than simply when whites held not only economic and political power, but also had control over the bodies, movements and freedom of non-whites?) and [B] why isn’t it pretty good now?