Back to Start

March 26, 2010

A very good friend of mine recently ranted about priorities as an Army partner. Her concerns are similar to the ones I raised in an earlier post about independence and womanhood. Here’s a fun fact I learned from my aunt, who is the wife of a retired 4-star general: you don’t have to do anything.

The United States military doesn’t own you, partner. They can’t tell you what you will and will not do as the significant half of their property. And that piece of property can’t tell you what you can and cannot do either. You are not property, and you do not belong to your partners. And you most definitely do not belong to the US military. So no, partner, you do not need to live with that US piece of property you’re married to, you do not need to stay in those homes while that piece of property is deployed, you do not need to follow it wherever the government tells it to go, and you most certainly are not responsible for anyone but yourself.

This is exactly the kind of issue that motivates me to do a photography project on partners of people in the military. Wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, widows, and divorcees of military personnel are just too important to ignore.

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Ramblin’ On My Mind

March 1, 2010

I’ve been following this thread on Change.org about an undocumented student and her experience in the United States. The post is in honor of the DREAM act week of action. I’ve talked about my own complicated views on immigration law and immigrant rights, and this thread is just a continuation.

The question in this thread seems to be about the law and the money. It’s sad that we can’t seem to have a discussion about basic human rights without talking about economics and taxes. I get it. While Andrea’s family paid taxes, I’m sure there are plenty of illegal families who don’t. And I hear the argument “Why don’t they become citizens?”, which is another point I used to agree with.

How easy is it to acquire citizenship? And how much does it cost? And can you apply in languages other than English? It’s not easy. It’s not cheap. And you need to know English. We don’t seem to make it easy, so how can you expect that a girl who just turned 18 would have the resources to become a citizen?

The other point that someone brought up was: “People in this country that are here illegally don’t have rights (except human rights)….plain and simple!” Except human rights? So which rights don’t illegal aliens have? (Someone replied to my reply to generously inform me that the UN doesn’t create laws other countries have to follow, which is, of course, something I am well aware of.) It’s just not a statement I understand, and if you do, please explain it to me.

These issues really come down to simply being American. We’re born with our citizenship. We didn’t work for it (though some of us did). We benefit from taxes because we happened to be born here. How does that make us any more worthy than the people who’ve worked and lived here as long as they can remember? We take citizenship and nationality for granted. I think this video by a girl who went to Haiti (before the earthquake) explores how spoiled we are, and how citizenship and nationality is most definitely a human right: