Behind Enemy Lines

Behind Enemy Lines

By: Josh Cameron  |  Our Voice Contributor

“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” -Adyashanti

Feb 25th, 2020. I, like normal, am dropping class consciousness in every day conversations. In this case, it was with an executive at my work. I mentioned that there may be a new Winter Soldier coming out. He snickered and said, “of course”. I then said, “well it is owned by Disney. They need to keep pumping these movies out so their CEO can keep making $65 million a year while their park workers sleep in their cars”.

He said the same old tired talking point: “well, they could get a different job”. To which I quipped: “doesn’t that mean we’re saying anyone who holds this job, deserves to live in their car”? Isn’t that the logical conclusion? If the only answer is to get a different job, then anyone who has that job is expected to live in extreme poverty. Where the CEO’s steak dinner can cost many times more than the daily earned pay of these workers.

I spent four years in the Army. During that time, it was drilled into my head that we don’t leave Americans behind enemy lines. Why is that so different in garrison? Why does not leaving fellow Americas behind enemy lines only apply to war and not applied to domestic issues?

My fellow Americans, who I feel compelled to not leave behind, are behind the enemy lines of perverse wealth and income inequality. Behind the lines of extreme poverty, lack of healthcare, overpriced childcare. It was exposed by Jordan Chariton from Status Coup News that as bad as Flint, MI is with their poisoned water, there are ~3000-4000 municipalities that are as bad, or worse.

Why do we feel it is okay to leave fellow Americans behind these enemy lines? Now let’s take the premise of “they can just get a new job”. Is it that easy? Do you wish to have a job and *poof*, the new one is there to be had?

Before I got hired on at the University of Utah, I lost my job at Halliburton due to the oil bust. I decided, no matter what, I was going to get a job at the University. It took nearly three months and a total of 20 interviews. Do you know anyone who is struggling to live hand to mouth, that has three months to wait for a new job that doesn’t treat them like a Parasite? How about someone who lives out of their car, with their family, do you think they can face rejection nearly 20 times before it just destroys what’s left of their mental health?

Look, I get it. Employers put a lot on the line but do employees put less? Don’t they have their families, mortgages, car payments, student loans, prescription medicines, etc. to pay? And if they can’t, what? They file for bankruptcy and live in their car? Meanwhile if a corporate employer files for bankruptcy, they rob the pensions of all their workers to give millions to their executives while having bankruptcy protections which prevent them from having to pay out money to families they’ve destroyed.

Is this the America we want to live in? Isn’t this an enemy line we’d be willing to cross in order to save our brothers and sisters from a soulless existence? Wouldn’t Jesus tell us to care for the poor? Why don’t we?

Can I count on you to storm this hill with me? #NoAmericansLeftBehind




About the Author:

Local Utahn, born and raised

Iraq combat veteran

Currently resides in West Valley City, UT

Data analyst for the University of Utah

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