Thursday, December 4, 2014

The end of apathy in America

I have long wondered what it would take to rouse the American masses from their coma.

9/11 didn't do it - that seminal event lead instead to a discussion about why "they" hate "us," and paved the way for endless war on "evildoers" abroad and endless war on civil rights at home. Americans went along with the profoundly flawed strategies of their ruling class.

Losing trillion dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan didn't do it. America can't afford universal health care or a functional education system, but trillions can be squandered making enemies throughout the world and the American people shrug and turn back to their screens.

Seeing America's evil exposed on their own screens after Abu Ghraib, the American people still didn't get it. The pundits downgraded humiliation and torture of human beings to something akin to a fraternity hazing. America stayed on the couch.

Their heroic point one percenters looting the treasury post 2008 was accepted as an inevitability by Main Street America. Banks too big to fail, led by self-dealing swindlers too politically influential to jail, bankrupted America by any conventional accounting standard, yet the people remained loyal.

Having their supreme court declare that corporations are people didn't unduly disturb the comatose masses either. Between working their various screens and working three jobs in a futile attempt to make ends meet, Americans let that one go with scarcely a voice raised in protest.

But suddenly, Americans are in the streets.

Michael Brown and Eric Garner were ordinary Americans. Black Americans. They did what thousands of Black and Brown and yes, even White Americans have done many thousands of times before the summer of 2014; they died at the hands of their own police forces.

Suddenly, Americans realize they live in a police state, and enough of them don't like it that they're taking to the streets. This could be the beginning of something beautiful...

I haven't felt so hopeful for America in fifty years!

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