Sunday, December 31, 2017

Who will be our heroes in 2018?

The past year -- 2017 -- has been a very hard year for America. We've experienced a government that promotes racism and other forms of bigotry, hatred and abuse of minorities of many kinds, withdrawal of help for the poorest and most in need, and outright destruction of the environment to benefit special interests.

Erica Garner, who died this week, became a voice for
police accountability after her father died in police custody.
I may not agree with every position she took, but I hope for
more leaders who try to push back against the system.
We've experienced a large minority of our population who have no sympathy for these mistreated groups, and who are in many cases willing to give up financial advantages and other benefits to themselves in order to deprive the "other." Meanwhile a variety of trolls who used to be held beneath contempt become more and more powerful and free to attack and persecute whatever groups they detest by whatever means they choose.

This immoral minority promotes the government's cancellation of programs to inspect or regulate the food supply -- even if they personally experience food poisoning. They prefer government support for predatory banks and fake educational institutions -- even if they fall prey to these sharks themselves. As long as climate change is denied, they don't care if their own homes are washed away -- in some cases both literally AND figuratively. They prefer that the government cancel medical insurance programs for poor people -- even if it affects their own access to affordable medical treatment. They have lots of other analogous preferences too. As long as abortion is illegal, they often say, the rest is a matter of indifference, including the morality and truthfulness of their leaders.

On the other hand, many individuals in America who have the means to take care of themselves and who aren't directly poisoned, defrauded, drowned, burned-out, or impoverished by the current treatment of government programs still find much to fear from the current political juggernaut. And perhaps would be willing to push back.

So I wish in the coming year that more heroes emerge to lead us and that they find new and creative ways to express themselves and effectively struggle against the ugliness, darkness, and oppressive measures we've seen in 2017. I sincerely wish you a happy new year in which our better natures can prevail.
"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels…upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop!" -- Mario Savio, 1964.

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