Monday, October 20, 2008
by Pete Guither
Oh, yes, it was Red Ribbon Week again. This is that annual celebration where, in memory of one person who died in the drug war, the DEA encourages school children to celebrate the drug war and ignore all the other deaths it has caused.
The celebrations reach incredible heights of absurdity.
Throughout the country
Each school may have different activities, but for the most part they'll follow the same agenda. Students will follow a different anti-drug theme each day of the week and dress accordingly, such as wearing camouflage to "join the fight against drugs."I guess they don't actually issue them guns... yet.
But they sure tease them.
Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Jodie Underwood -- dressed in black and packing her service revolver -- looked armed and dangerous until she turned toward a bunch of 8-year- olds with a grin on her face and asked: "Are you guys having fun?All right, kids! War is fun! And you might get to shoot people!
The three letter agencies were there: DEA, ICE, FBI. As children wearing red sweaters and blue pants or tartan skirts lined 42nd Avenue Southwest, agents in raid jackets, swat gear and even hazardous-material suits slapped palms with the pumped-up youngsters.
Ah, but what if hazardous material suits aren't sexy enough?
It's not enough to just tell kids not to do drugs. It takes a helicopter, the military, a federal agent, a professional sport team's mascot and cheerleaders to send the message.That's right -- these grade school kids celebrated the war with "soldiers from the Colorado National Guard's Counter-Drug Program, accompanied by a special agent from the Drug Enforcement Agency, two Denver Nugget dancers and Edson the Eagle, the mascot for the Colorado Rapids." Now that should make a 12-year-old boy sit up straight for the war on drugs.
One lucky student, Louis Morales, 12, got a photo with the ladies.
"It was awesome, especially because of the cheerleaders," Louis said. "We have a lot of homework so we are in class a lot so it was nice to get out of class for a bit."
And for those not interested in the cheerleaders, you had the helicopter.
"It was awesome, because it's a helicopter and helicopters are awesome," said Zach Glynn, 12.
Tarika Wilson, 26, shot to death in her home by police while holding her baby. Kathryn Johnston, 88, shot to death in her home by police. Ashley Villareal, 14, shot to death in her car outside her home by DEA agents. Xavier Bennett, 8, shot to death in his home. Veronica Bowers, 35, and Charity Bowers, 7 months, shot down and killed in their missionary plane over Peru by drug enforcement operations. Patrick Dorismond, 26, shot to death by undercover drug police on the streets of New York. Tony Marinez, 19, shot to death while sleeping on the couch. Lynette Gayle Jackson, 26, shot to death in her bed by a SWAT team. Alberto Sepulveda, 11, shot to death by SWAT while lying face down on the floor in his home. Esequiel Hernandez, 18, shot to death by drug war Marines on U.S. soil while herding his family's goats. ...Awesome.