Domestic Terrorist or Political Activist – What’s the Difference? (Essay 2008, Genetically Stupid Magazine, The Stay Press Vol. 1, 16 years old)

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The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act (S.1959) is a widely unknown bill presented by Congress in early 2007. It is an abomination of our most precious right of them all: our right to freedom of speech. If you want your right to preach your beloved anarchy, socialism, communism, fascism or even just taking out the public officials and restoring our Republic, then it is strongly suggested that you look over this information at hand. Our liberties are at risk.

Violent Radicalization can be taken in many different ways, it seems that this bill is directed towards groups like the IRA, the neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, but if you read the description carefully, it does not describe specifically what kind of “groups or individuals” they are talking about.

“The term ‘violent radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence [the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs] to advance political, religious, or social change” – SEC. 899A. 15-19

It is understood that there is a problem with extremists going around having their way with people they hate because of their affiliation to extremist groups but then let’s think about the other morally good “extremist” groups such as Skinheads Against Racial Prejudices (SHARP), or Restore The Republic (RTR), the animal activists, the green activists, or even the Ron Paul Revolutionists. They will be persecuted once this law goes into effect.

Then you may wonder about how they’re going to persecute any political activists or writers like me. Not to worry, they have it covered in SEC. 899A. 20-22, and they call it Homegrown Terrorism.

“The term ‘homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

The problem here is the question of what is and is not “force.” One alarming dictionary definition is the “power to persuade.” Writing about the good of our country, protesting for the good of OUR country means we are a terrorist in the eyes of the government, and the worst part about it is that they are smart enough to know that since most of the US population either doesn’t know about this act or doesn’t care about it that they have all of the power. They know that people are too interested about what’s going on in American Idol, what the latest fashion is, or where the latest band is going rather than caring about their safety, their safety from their own government.

It seems now-a-days that everyone is a terrorist and that terrorists are everywhere but they never really say as to where they are getting these precautions from. They never say where they get their information from. Where are these terrorists they keep on talking about? Are they thieves? Are they drug fiends? What are they? We do not have anyone with bombs around their chests going into buildings and blowing them up. We do not have random militias set up around the United States to kill innocent civilians. That also raises another question… How come the “proles” of the United States do not question this?

Things keep on getting worse in this country. What happened to the America I grew up in? What happened to the American Dream that my hero Hunter S. Thompson once wrote about? It is being destroyed and the nation does not know it. Soon we will have to get Real ID cards, or “Enhanced Driver’s Licenses,” “Secure Social Security Cards,” and if we don’t, we will lose our right to travel or enter government facilities until we do. Our veterans are being labeled as terrorists… And a whole mess of other things I cannot begin to cover.

“We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear — fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts, or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer.”- Hunter S. Thompson

Cassandra Kerkman

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