America Has Failed in Every Way But One

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This year has been a disaster.


We are living through a global pandemic yet have inadequate health screenings, medical equipment or a viable vaccine.


We are witness to public lynchings of black people at the hands of law enforcement yet our legal system continues to be slow to act if at all.


Our schools and hospitals are starved for resources yet police have riot gear, tear gas and army surplus tanks to patrol the streets.


Climate change causes unprecedented storms, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes and other extreme weather yet our policymakers refuse to take any action to change it or even acknowledge it’s happening.


We’re experiencing record unemployment and a stalled economy yet the super rich loot and pillage recovery efforts to record profits.


White supremacists are terrorizing our communities yet we ignore it until someone is killed and refuse to see any pattern, just a series of loners unrelated and unstoppable.


Refugees with nowhere else to go seek shelter at our door and yet we respond by rounding them up like criminals, separating them from their children and caging them like animals…


Guns are unregulated. Truth is uncelebrated. Fascism rebranded.


All while America burns and the President hides in his bunker.


But he is not the only one.


Nearly every leader in America has failed to meet these challenges.


So maybe the problem isn’t just our leadership but where these people come from in the first place.


Our politics is so beholden to monetary interests it cannot function for anyone else.


We are left out of the system and told that the only solution is participation in it.


We go door-to-door, organize and hold rallies for our chosen candidates. We navigate political labyrinths of red tape in an edifice labeled “Democracy” but at every turn stifled of collective voice. And sometimes we even win and see our preferred public servants inaugurated.


But every year nothing much changes.


Things get progressively worse no matter who is in office.


And we’re told to clutch at changes that are not nearly adequate or which are cosmetic at best.


It’s no wonder, then, that so many folks have taken to the streets to express their outrage and demand justice.


No one really wants a revolution we’re told, until the streets are on fire and the riot shields and rubber bullets come out.


In frustration we burn the place down begging to be noticed, to be heard, for anything to finally happen.


And the only response is echoes of the past: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”


America is a failed state.


We are a failure.


But there is at least one thing that gives me hope, and it is this.


There is one major way that our country and our people have not failed.


There is one way that we have surveyed the present scene and responded appropriately.


We have not lost our outrage.


When George Floyd, a black man, was murder in May by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes, we did not look away.

Nor did we forget Breonna Taylor, a Black woman, who in March was killed in Kentucky by police serving a “no knock” warrant at her apartment for criminals they already had in custody.


Nor did we forget Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man jogging near his home in February who was followed and shot to death by two white men who claimed they suspected him of committing some sort of crime.


It would be easy to become complacent about such things.


They happen every year. Every month. Nearly every day.


But we have refused to accept them.


We refuse to shrug and let this just become normal.


America is angry. She is sick and tired of being unheard and unheeded.


She is fed up with unjust systems, gas lighting leaders and political thugs.


To quote James Baldwin, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”


We are trying to face the truth.


Only time will tell whether it destroys us or we conquer it.


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16 thoughts on “America Has Failed in Every Way But One

  1. We all know the three R’s. It is time to recognize that the three S’s are just as important: social studies, science, and systems. Children are natural systems thinkers, however we all need to learn the basic terminology and principles so that we can talk to one another about the interconnectedness of everything and begin to successfully solve these many problems. Unfortunately, this natural ability is too often discouraged, not unlike when we perpetuate myths such as “only some people can do math.”


    • Good points, Matt. Isn’t it something that so few high schools teach civics anymore? That was all about one system – our own. I can’t imagine how administrators were dumb enough to be convinced that wasn’t necessary. It’s a crime.


  2. Everything you mention is the perfect recipe for the Civil War Trump apparently wants. Trump is NOT a peacemaker and he never has been. Trump has said before that he loves chaos. Trump has hinted before that his deplorable supporters should rise up and start a Civil War to keep him in power.

    The current protests may give Trump the Civil War that he dreams about, but the results might not be what his twisted malignant narcissistic mind expects.

    30% of the active military are minorities.

    70% of the officer no matter what their color does not support Trump.

    A significant majority of Americans of all colors do not support Trump.

    If Trump gets the Civil War he has called for in the past, the odds are that he will end up hanging from a lampost along with his entire family hanging from other lampposts on the same street.


    • I want to be clear about something. I’m not calling for civil war. However, if our government won’t or can’t work for us, what other option is there? I want a peaceful, nonviolent revolution. But a government that does not get its power from the consent of the governed is not a legitimate government. Something must change.


      • Steven, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.”
        People, especially people of color, are tired of being unheard. Not just unheard, but arrested, beaten, killed.
        The poor of all colors are being p!ssed on by the wealthy and being told “this is trickle-down economics!” The sad thing is that a lot of the poor whites don’t realize that they are being p!ssed on, that they are being sneered at and exploited by the rich. They are still, sadly, pro-Trump, and he is actually laughing at them and playing them for fools. And so is Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Pompey, Barr- all of them.


      • I know I come off as a hawk sometimes, but I also do not want a Civil War. I’ve been to war and it is not pretty. There is nothing good about war. Millions will die. More will suffer. Cites will be burned to ashes. The country’s infrastructure will be sabotaged and destroyed. The U.S. might turn into another Lebanon or Serbia … or worse.

        At this point, I’d accept Pence if he used the 25th Amendment to get rid of Trump. As bad as Pence is, I don’t think he’d encourage a Civil War. And, we’d only be stuck with him for about six or seven months.


  3. This about sums up my thoughts currently, which tend to be always in flux. An address attributed to Oliver Cromwell, speaking before the Rump Parliament, 1653. ‘Ye are a factious crew, and enemies of all good government. Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. Ye were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance. Go! get you out! Make haste! In the name of God, Go!’


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