I wanted to write about something fun today, but my heart hurts too much for that. There should be plenty of fun things to discuss in the summer, but instead, here in the US we are overwhelmed by repeated tragedy. I did not intend for this blog to become a political platform nor do I want to hear any hateful or derisive comments. Any negative comments will be deleted.
I really just wanted to say that I’m tired about being sad for our country. I’ve gone from listening to very little news for most of my life to listening to NPR almost every day for several months. I also get a lot of news from the “comedy news” cycle of The Daily Show, The Nightly Show and Last Week Tonight which tends to gear itself towards younger people and activism (however, they make some pretty damn good points). That coupled with watching the recent FX miniseries The People Vs OJ as well as the ESPN series OJ: Made in America has made my consciousness of race issues increase greatly. But it’s not only race issues I’m talking about here. We had a horrific shooting of 5 officers in Dallas following 2 widely publicized shootings of unarmed men earlier in the week. All of these killings are inexcusable.
I tend to be a fairly empathetic person and for some reason right now it just seems like all of this negativity is weighing on me heavily. It feels weird to just let all these things pass by without acknowledging them. I’m not sure if it’s my age and greater awareness and interest in the world or if there really is just a huge increase in publicized hatred and violence but it seems like a pretty bad time right now. I guess watching the OJ stuff, particularly Made in America, made me realize how white I am and how black Americans have been fighting the same fight for years in a way that I could never possibly understand. Then of course there is the issue of gun violence, which I don’t even want to touch right now.
The point is, I’m not feeling overwhelmingly patriotic after this July 4th. Don’t get me started on this election either. There’s a lot of changes needed and it’s hard to know just what to do about all of it. Certainly it isn’t just America that has problems but that happens to be the country I live in so that’s the country I’m going to worry about. I’ve never been particularly interested in politics but the more I learn, the more I realize the necessity of having a voice. We can complain all we want but if we don’t do anything about it then we aren’t very good citizens. I’m not really sure where to begin but at least acknowledging that these problems aren’t just one-sided and making our voices heard seems like a good start. Awareness has made me more interested in local politics because that’s where everything starts. I don’t want to be just mushy and say let’s project positive energy into the world because while that definitely is important, it clearly isn’t enough by itself. We need positive energy and positive action. This feels like a generation capable of big changes so I hope we can all get off our phones and care about each other for a second.
That’s all I have the energy for today so on that note I’ll leave you with a thought from Trevor Noah.