Monday, March 30, 2009

What I Want to See.

If there is a single emotion that I have buried in me about this country, it is anger.

The United States is in many ways the greatest place in the world. Consider for a moment the myriad of incredible features to this country: our massive and enormous infrastructure, our powerful military, our stable economy (when compared to third world countries) and our high-quality of life. All of us are well fed, have a great shot at education, have the ability to receive medical treatment if needed and overall the majority of Americans have very little to fear. We are not facing suicide bombers in our capital city. We are not running from ethnic genocide. The American way of life is one hardly of true trouble, misery or despair.

Before ranting about the horrors of The United States, I must admit that our lot in life is rather plentiful. I do not dismiss that. However, complacency only leads to decay, and in no way should any citizen of a country settle for a Government that is less than desirable.

The high-quality of life in this country has seemed to bring about a strange circumstance among Americans that makes them completely blind to the true horrors of this world. Starvation claims millions of Africans' lives each year, yet this country is so removed from this truth that when a steak is slightly overcooked citizens scream, rant, complain and refuse to accept such a violation of their rights. Have we lost our minds?

Our indifference to the terrors of the world is alone appalling, but our continued lack of concern for our own people is even more troubling. Why is it that conservatives loathe the mere idea of everyone being cared for? Why is the simple assertion of a medical plan that protects everyone somehow evil and un-American?

Look at our poor, for example. The poor in The United States already have to deal with the battle of attaining and maintaining a job, which, as many Americans are currently learning, is not an easy task by any means. But in their search they begin with fewer resources and less prospects. On top of having a small command of resources in order to yearn towards upward social mobility, the American response is not one of compassion or encouragement, but rather one of condescension. "You just need to work harder", "You can't help those who won't help themselves", "If only the poor weren't so lazy" many of these statements have you heard from Americans? I would be lying if I said I haven't indulged in the same kind of myopic judging. Yet there is a certain cruelty to these kind of statements: we expect--no, demand--that the poor work harder and better manage their finances, and we respond with scathing judgements of their allocations of resources. Yet, how often have we said nothing as the rich spend frivolously? We hold that the poor have sounder financial judgement than those who have the opportunity to learn how to best manage their money. Where is the accountability for the rich? Why do we not even bat an eye when they spend $26 million on a home yet won't drop a single dollar bill into the hat of a homeless bum?

I'm not an anti-capitalist and I supremely support the system that rewards those who work hard. Yet in this country we spend more money on putting black people into prison than we do on putting them into college--and that is utterly shameful. This country does nothing to help its lowliest citizens yet we judge them scathingly because they do not act how we would act. Is that Capitalism? One that locks black and brown people up for smoking dope yet lets white nefarious criminals who rob millions out of people continue to walk the streets?

What has gone wrong with this country? Somehow it is a sin to suggest that healthcare be provided for all, we stand by unrepentant as our poor class continues to fall down a nonreturnable path, we hoot and holler when our President begins to draw plans to repair our embarrassingly crumbled infrastructure, our obesity rates are on an unprecedented trajectory while thousands die every minute from I the only one who sees this utter epidemic we are possibly facing? When two-thirds of Americans have diabetes because of generations of flagrant obesity, will our healthcare be able to serve all us, insured or uninsured? When our minority groups are egregiously uneducated and our penitentiaries are maxed to capacity, will there still be peace in white suburbia?

These situations are dire and yet we are complacent. Complacent about our Government, complacent about education system, complacent about the way we treat our own citizens. This heralded indifference has me livid. This not-my-problem mentality has me pissed. And you know what? I am ANGRY about it.

You know what I want to see? I want to see people get angry. I want to see people start moving. No matter the cause, even if you're in complete opposition to my opinions, I want to see this shroud of tawdry unconcern thrown aside and people embracing their human dignity. I want to see people mobilized for every cause and issue that is infiltrating this country: global warming, Muslim extremism, whatever the case! I just want to see it, to know its there.

Goddamnit, America, I want to see you angry! Anger is the only way we will get people out of their love seats and onto Main Street. Anger is the only way we will have a strengthened community to go to our Government and demand that there be a change in this country. Our Obama Administration is certainly working towards that change, but we need to uphold our end of the promise too--we cannot continue to sit aside unconcerned as Ohio and the rest of the country funnels more money into prisoning pot smokers than educating our next generation. That is why I am angry.

I am angry because if I'm not aroused and shaking my fist at the man, if I'm not active in fighting for what I believe is the ideal for this country, I'm just one of the Americans who sits on the sidelines and lets fear paralyze them into the corner. I refuse to be that person, and that is why I am fucking angry.