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In This Country This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

In this country, there are children who have no home. They were born here, to citizens of this country, but no one in this country wants them.

Living creatures are treated as machinery for profit. The land, the sky, the water are raped for profit, and our fellow citizens are made sick from the fumes of this profit. But in this country, we do not care, so long as we make a profit.

In this country, there are neighborhoods in which violence is a way of life. Children give birth to children, people are killed for recognition, for status, and no one says a word for fear of their own family being killed. But in this country, that's how it is.

In this country, we have the problem of drug addiction. We buy them from the country to our south, supporting their biggest economy. Or we find citizens looking for a profit to give us what we want underground. But in this country, we have bigger problems.

In this country, we want our children to grow up and have lucrative jobs. But in this country, we are cutting education budgets, ­because education is not important.

In this country, we have many of our citizens deployed to other countries, serving in wars. And in this country, there is a lot of pain and disagreement about these wars. But in this country, that is okay, because it's okay to be called united without really being united.

In this country, some couples are allowed to marry while others are not. Isn't love love? But in this country, some important issues are just left up to the states.

In this country, we have black skin, we have white skin, and everything in between. We have really blonde hair and really black hair, and everything in between. Because in this country, our ancestors have come from other countries – except for less than 1 percent: the native population. Some of our families have come recently, while others cannot remember when they did not live in this country. But it does not matter. Some of us came to escape persecution, famine, war. Some of us came because we were forced. But we all came to believe in this hope: a dream of a new life here. We all want to live what has come to be called “the American Dream.”

So why is it that today, in this country, one of our biggest concerns is what we call “aliens” coming into our country? Why is it a problem that families are coming to this country to work, to go to school, to pursue the American Dream, just as our families did? Why are they aliens? If they are aliens, aren't we a country of aliens?

In this country, we are called the melting pot. But we don't mix very well.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 5 comments. Post your own!

Heidi said...
Jun. 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm:
THIS IS AMAZING. Good job. I love the use of how you talk about how our ancestors migrated here as well.
 
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TheJust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 9, 2011 at 9:27 am:
The whole point that you're missing is that we could care less about "aliens"...IF they come legally. What you are talking about is the illegals coming over and making a home in America, taking our money and not giving anything back. THAT is what we have a problem with.
 
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Equus_Borealis89 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 9:10 pm:
it was originally longer, but i wanted it to be more to the point.
 
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lindytrudy said...
Dec. 29, 2010 at 8:50 am:

Beautiful sentiments and well-written Lauren.  Love the use of anaphora and parallelism!

 

 
Equus_Borealis89 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm :
thanks mrs. goodwin!!!
 
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