Growing up in Pennsylvania in the 1980s, I was given the apple-pie routine. America is great. America is free. The land of opportunity. All is well or soon will be. But then I went to high school in inner-city Philadelphia and college on the south side of Chicago. Everything wasn’t alright. America is not free.
I’ve been a rebel my whole life. I became a troublemaker when Catholic grade school bored me. I published a broadsheet attack on administrative oppression at my Philadelphia public high school. I left a Chicago loop 67th floor bank job to drive a cab. I left the United States, too. When I came back, I was arrested, beaten and thrown into federal prison by US Marshals for exposing their abuse. Then I fomented an international uproar over airport grope-downs. I was even accused of being a terrorist on network TV.