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A New Call To Arms
Michael J. Carter

        We live in an age of constant change. Technological advances have been the impetus of many things of marvel. Communication from around the world is almost instantaneous. Advances in manufacturing and production have created a global economy. What technology has given us is a much smaller world full of continuing changes. Change sometimes happens quietly. Then again, sometimes it happens violently. As the world tries to understand the horrific happenings of September 11, we as a society need to be placated where questions of "why" run rampant.

         The United States is an anomaly among the nations of the world. This country was created from the soulful desires of men and women who demanded certain civil and religious freedoms and many of who fought and died protecting those freedoms. What sets this country apart from all others is the makeup of the nation's population. According to the 2000 United States Census, only 0.9% of the population of the United States is of indigenous origin. To put it another way, over 99% of the population arises from immigrant origins. We are a global society. Why did this happen? Why do they hate us? Who are "they?" These and many other questions are at the forefront of people's minds. Adults and children alike profess the need for answers to these questions. Every day the media broadcasts people's responses to these questions. "They don't know who they're dealing with." They don't know what freedom really is." These people don't even know us."

        I challenge the venues of journalism to ask these questions of their audiences in the United States: "Who are they?" "Who are we dealing with?" "Do they know what freedom really is?" "We don't even know these people." Think very carefully what these questions are truly asking. We as citizens of the United States live in a very isolated world. A self imposed isolated world that recedes farther and farther from our minds. Ask the average college student what countries border Afghanistan. Ask the average eighth grader what continent Afghanistan is on. We as the American people are hopelessly lost when it comes to global geography and general knowledge of other cultures and political systems. Ask Nelson Mandela what freedom is and I guarantee you will be sobbing like a baby from his passionate response. Ask an Afghani woman to read the preamble to our Constitution and listen carefully when she tells you that she and over 85% of her country's population cannot read. We are most likely correct when we say that these people do not know us. Do we suffer the same sin of ignorance as these people?

     The fact is that the United States is not an isolated nation was told to us loud and clears on the early morning of September 11, 2001. Our country was not alone in feelings of anger and loss. Nations from around the world have united in an effort to end the reign of terrorism brought forth from shadow organizations that have no feeling or remorse. Let the hate dissipate and let us replace it with continual cooperation and global understanding. This country has to develop new education guidelines to re-introduce geography and cultural studies. Cursory glances of geography in sixth and seventh grade are not enough. Let journalists illuminate the way by showing us, the multi-cultural citizens of the United States, what the multi-cultural planet earth has to offer. Ethnocentrism needs to give way to cultural relativism. This should be a new call to arms







Copyright 2000 EMIJ
Last update 10/07/2007