I may not be the best writer, nor do I express myself with much (if any) grace, but my point is a simple one; we are all human beings and deserve to be treated as such. Each day I read a number of articles from several different sources and try to pick two or three (which hopefully have something in common) and write about them. I post all of the articles I read on Facebook and a friend left a comment the other day, informing me that I should start my day by reading a piece of good news. While I don’t consider articles about suicide bombings or government corruption to be happy stories, we can work towards making them such. Every time I read about secret prisons or an unpersoned drone killing 20 children , it makes me want to work harder to change these things. Many “what if’s” come into my head and I can see a brighter world. Today, I’d like to briefly cover three articles I have read in the past hour.
On September 11th, 2001 we all know what happened. Some of us were closer than others, some know people who died, while others don’t, but all of us were in some way affected by the events. I like to think that, had I been in the area, I would have dropped everything and done what I could to help. Fortunately I was in the safety of my own home (only a few miles normally, but light years on that day) and did not have to see the things that many people did. People from all over the city came rushing to ground zero to lend whatever skills they had. People blindly ran into the smoldering buildings to see if there was anyone to be rescued. Some of these people died heroic deaths and some lived, only to almost immediately experience serious health problems. The people in charge of their health (not themselves or family members, but faceless corporations) at first denied any correlation between what they breathed in on that day and the sickness they were experiencing afterword. After the connection finally became fact – and more and more people began to get sick – it was swept under the rug. Now, almost nine years later, these people (the one’s who haven’t died) are being bent over and rammed by people who they will never meet. The US House of Representatives (ha!) decided to vote down a bill that would have given all of these people help. The insurance company lobbyists had louder voices than the people who risked their lives without as much as a second thought.
Each and every day a person wakes up somewhere south of the United States and decides that she or he will risk life and limb to come to the United States. It gets harder and harder as more walls are built and more racists with guns come of age, but this doesn’t mean less people try. There is a line in the sand that separates the United States from everything south. Despite the fact that this line does not really exist, millions of people honestly believe it does. These people get very angry when people born on the other side of the line, try to come to our side. They don’t stop to wonder why these people – despite knowing what’s ahead of them – would do something like walk for seven days in the desert with barely any water; instead they try to make it even harder. They don’t ask why the people from the south have to stay on their side, but the people from the north can drive over this line. Their brains don’t seem to understand that to a billion dollar corporation looking to increase profits, the line doesn’t exist, but to a person trying to make money to feed her family the line is heavily enforced. They listen to news reports and insane politicians and sheriffs tell them that these crazy brown people are coming over here to take their jobs and rape their daughters, instead of stopping to think for one minute about what a world without borders would really look like.
People join the US Military for many different reasons, and while I am against this institution and the wars they engage in, it is still a tragedy each and every time one of these men and woman (or boys and girls) die. I have never known anyone who was killed in a war, but I imagine it is a heart breaking thing for those who have. That grief is multiplied an infinite amount when it is a family member who loses their life for no good reason. Although not a consolation, these family members receive payments from insurance companies to help get them through the hard times. Often times, questions aren’t asked; imagine a 20 year old woman left to fend for herself and her two children after daddy gets blown up; when she gets a check in the mail there isn’t much time to wonder if she’s being ripped off. Turns out, she probably was. I don’t really understand the intricacies of how this was happening, but this article does so you should read it. It is mind boggling to think what must go on inside the head of someone who is ripping off the families of dead soldiers.
I don’t know where we went wrong as a species; when we started seeing the world as us vs them. Maybe it has always been like that and people like me – people who think there is another way – are naive imbeciles. Maybe we are creatures destined to destroy ourselves in order to attempt to live more comfortably. Or maybe we have been fooled by a small group of people into thinking that the only way to survive is if someone else doesn’t. I choose to believe that there is hope; that one day caregivers will drop everything to help sick people. I believe that one day borders will not matter and people will see the world as one big family (and not in a weird hippie way, rather in an ‘I don’t want to kill you because you look different’ way). I believe that one day people who take advantage of others in order to make a few more dollars will be in the super minority. Until that happens , I still feel the need to fill the first hours of my morning reading about how far away we are.