Goosebumps

It gives me goosebumps, all this attention being given to what’s happening in Russia.

Yes, I am concerned about the people who are and who have been affected by violence or the threat of violence. It has always struck me as odd that people who believe in God are so eager to get into war with others, killing innocent people.

But what gives me goosebumps is that America, which has so many examples of treating people fairly or just, is so indignant at the possibility that another country might be doing the same.

America’s violence against its citizens isn’t as dramatic as what we have seen in Egypt and Syria and others, meaning, there are no tanks rolling through cities, running over and gunning down innocent people.

But metaphorically, America has “run over” and “gunned down” innocent people throughout her history. Beginning with how America decimated Native Americans in this, THEIR country, moving on to black people, the interring the Japanese …Americans have violated the human rights of large numbers of her own citizens.

I recently heard a report on National Public Radio (NPR) of a car load of Muslim-Americans who were detained and harassed by American border guards. Apparently that goes on quite a lot.

There is the reality of people being incarcerated for 20 years for non-violent, primarily drug offenses. America incarcerates more people than any other modern nation in the world…Michelle Alexander says in her book, The New Jim Crow, that America “has not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” Incarceration is a form of racialized control which will only get worse because of the emerging and growing Prison Industrial Complex, created to bring huge profits to those who run it.

There are children who are dying of preventable disease because of their lack of accessibility to health care, and too few people seem to care. There is a feeling of disgruntlement amongst some law makers as government attempts to help those who are struggling; they see that as government helping the lazy remain lazy, even as the powers that be outsource jobs that many of these people used to have access to. Former Vice-President Dick Cheney said last week that President Obama would “rather give food stamps than build a strong military.” (http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/dick-cheney-pentagon-budget-food-stamps-103906.html).

What are unemployed people supposed to do to survive? And why don’t so many lawmakers seem to care? Why don’t the lawmakers who were instrumental in outsourcing jobs to which many Americans formerly had access…care? If they don’t get help from the government, if they don’t have money or time to go back to school to get the skills they need to get the high-tech jobs that ARE available here…what are they supposed to do to survive? How is the cold-heartedness of our lawmakers any different from what rulers of other nations are doing?

I get goosebumps because America has a human rights violation problem …but will not own up to it or fix it. I get goosebumps because America has ALWAYS had a human rights problem…but has ignored that problem while she has gone traipsing all over the world to help other people who are suffering. That help would be noble if America would just hear the cries of her own people.

Perhaps I am too cynical but I feel like if America is helping people in other countries, it’s not because she cares about the suffering of the people, but it’s because there’s some economic gain in it for America.

Can a world power remain in power acting that way? Don’t world powers who disintegrate into money and power grabbing entities eventually self-destruct? When nations, world powers, don’t care about the masses, doesn’t that eventually mean their power is curtailed or forever altered?

It doesn’t seem to me that a nation can be concerned about everyone else but which ignores its own suffering can survive, ultimately. Eventually, the oppressed rise up and fight back. Isn’t that what we’re seeing in other countries?

I get goosebumps. Can’t write much more about it right now…but I get goosebumps.

It’s a troubling candid observation …

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