This isn’t gonna win me any popularity contests …

… because I know it’s not really any of my business, me being a Canadian and all, but I’m just too sad, and too shocked, to keep it to statue of libertymyself.  What in the world is going on?  This isn’t the America I grew up loving.  This isn’t the America I grew up envying.  This isn’t the America I wished Canada would be more like.  This isn’t the America where I wished I could live.

What the bloody hell!

Before ya’all get all up in arms (trust me, no pun intended), I know there are plenty of good guys in the U.S.  I truly believe there are more good guys than bad guys.  But I’ve gotta tell you, from where I’m sitting it looks like the bad guys are winning.

You elected a black President.  Twice.  Once by an absolute landslide.  But from the instant that man moved into the White House, probably before his personal belongings were even unpacked, Congress made it a point, a badge of honour even, to see to it that he accomplishes absolutely nothing.  They have literally hog-tied him, made it impossible for him to get anything done.

They’ve insulted him, questioned his citizenship, belittled him, threatened him, dishonoured him, ignored him, turned on him, worked against him.  I mean really.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t like everything Obama has done and I’ve been disappointed by what he hasn’t done.  But how can they get away with that when he was voted in, by a majority of Americans?  Aren’t they there to serve you?  Aren’t they your representatives in Washington?

I think it’s the apathy that’s bothering me the most.  In the America I remember there would be no tolerance for this kind of behaviour.  There’d be marches and rallies and activists and press conferences and whatever it took to get the wrongs righted.  To make your point.  To get it done.

And when, pray tell, is everyone going to finally acknowledge the fact that racism exists in the U.S.?  And lots of it, in all its ugliness.  In all its misery and bloodshed and hatred and coffins and weeping families.  In all those innocent dead bodies.  Yes, own up to it.  Admit it.  It’s everywhere.  It is not isolated.  It is everywhere.  Yes, it is.  In towns and cities, big and small.  In the north and in the south and in the east and in the west, “from sea to shining sea” in fact.  Where folks are ignorant and where they’re highly educated and you’d think, assume, hope they’d know better.

We all know it’s not enough to have vigils.  We all know it’s not enough to light candles and leave flowers.  We all know it’s not enough to show the same video clips over and over and over and over again, but never put an end to the violence that caused the murders everyone with a device is filming.

We all know it’s not enough to say “not again” if you’re not willing to get involved, if you’re not willing to confront the issues and the powerful lobbyists and the billionaires who contribute to campaigns in return for favours and the corrupt, greedy politicians and the over-zealous cops and the lack of proper diagnosis and care for the mentally ill and the lack of education and the huge disparity between the wealthy and the poor and say “It’s over.  Stop right now.  We are not having any more of this.”

Whatever happened to “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all?”

There’s a Jon Stewart monologue that’s all over Facebook.  If you haven’t seen it, you must.  Every second of it is profound and so important, but there’s one statement he made that really stopped me in my tracks.  I’m paraphrasing here but essentially he said that if the recent murders at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston had been a terrorist attack everyone, every American citizen, every politician would have gone nuts, demanding justice, demanding retribution, demanding troops and drones be sent to whichever Islamic state was responsible.

Yet innocent victim after innocent victim after innocent victim is killed for no reason, by Americans, in America and still nothing’s changed.  Nobody’s really moving a muscle.  The completely outdated Second Amendment still stands.  The NRA still has the power to see that it stays that way.  And for every responsible individual who has a gun (which I still don’t agree with, by the way) how many mentally ill people and how many vicious, unfeeling, inhuman savages can just waltz into Walmart and buy weapons for themselves and their 3-year olds?  Or order them from the Internet?

By no means am I suggesting, or saying, we don’t have problems and issues in Canada.  But I’ve gotta tell you, by comparison we live in never-never land here.  A fairy tale.  Seriously.  And the Fransi who, once upon a time, wanted nothing more than to move south of the border is now thanking God every day she lives here.

12 thoughts on “This isn’t gonna win me any popularity contests …

  1. I think many Americans acknowledge that racism still exists (here and just about everywhere else). The problem is that far too many of my fellow countrymen/women are actually proud of it and defend their behavior as their “right” (calling it “free speech” or “self-defense” to a phantom “threat”). It’s terrible.

  2. You’ve never been one to care about popularity contests, Fransi, and that’s what I like about reading your blogs. I’m not sure what to say about “what’s going on” here lately. Sometimes I wonder if it’s been going on all along, and our media has embraced the ratings windfall of reporting such stories and is now whipping it into a frenzy. Bigotry and hate exist in every country in the world, not just here.

    • it’s interesting Gwen. I have been wondering the same thing — whether it’s been going on a long time and we just never heard about it before. To some extent I think that’s true, although I also feel like suddenly there is an absolute epidemic of anger and hatred and prejudice everywhere. I think in some instances it’s predicated on fear — the world is changing pretty dramatically and there are a lot of folks out there who are not willing to accept those changes. And then there is just the pure evil. Whatever it is, it is sad and scary and leaves me with a feeling of hopelessness, which is not in my nature. And yes, I guess you are right — I do tend to speak my mind — not to be mean or disrespectful or offensive — but merely to share my feelings and start a conversation — even with those who disagree with me. I think disagreement and debate is healthy and can result in meaningful and innovative solutions.

  3. It is incredible that this sort of racism is still alive and kicking. I saw there is a big debate about being able to buy the confederate flag and removing it from a state flag(?). I had assumed that there were only a few old school racists that would be interested in it but apparently there are a lot more than I thought. And the whole way of reporting – if you are a muslim and kill people you are a terrorist, black and you’re a gangsta, white and you’re a “troubled young man”…

    • Totally agree with you. And there are scores of Americans who are just in denial about it. Lots who aren’t, of course and are as sad and upset and disheartened as the rest of us, but this culture of hatred seems to dominate. Awful.

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