Friday, February 19, 2016

Harsh But True

I have slowly come to realize that I can’t bring myself to care about some of the most common topics that elicit sympathy from many people:

  • Curing cancer, people with cancer, children with cancer; really any disease cure
  • Veterans, disabled veterans
  • Animals
  • Soldiers and “supporting our troops”
I’m afraid some of my lack of care about these topics is because everyone else seems to care about them, and I have always tended to not want to do what others do (or read what others read). That may be related to being a third child. But I think it’s more than that: Because these topics and causes already seem to have plenty of people on board, they don’t need me.

(Note: My lack of care extends only to the groups. If I know a specific person in these circumstances or an animal, I think I am as empathetic as the next person.)

What groups or topics do I care about? Regular readers will not be surprised to read this list, which is in no meaningful order:
  • People who are oppressed because of who they are
  • White supremacy
  • Maintaining a planet that can support this thing we call civilization
  • The education of children to be free people with creative purpose
  • Health care for all people
  • Livable cities where people want to be
  • Economic justice (income/wealth inequality, workers’ rights, cooperative business models)
  • Democracy and fair elections
  • Living until you die, dying with dignity
I’ve probably forgotten something important, but that's the best I can do for now.

On a couple of those topics, interrelated as they tend to be, there was a great letter in today’s Star Tribune. It starts out with a really long sentence, but it's worth it.
Noting that the Legislature has refused to pass a law that would increase cash assistance for the state’s poorest families every year since 1986, that overall school funding has failed to keep pace with inflation since then and also that the Legislature passed a law in 2013 requiring state schools to boost most levels of educational achievement with a threat of defunding schools that don’t, I have a question for the Legislature: How is it you can place responsibility solely on schools for student achievement while you have failed in your responsibilities to provide schools and poor students and their families with basic financial resources? What strange logic is this that you can believe you are not a major piece of the problem that you insist the schools alone solve?

Paul Rozycki, Minneapolis


Anonymous said...

Great letter! This post makes me think about how my hot-button causes have shifted lately. I think I'll blog about it when I'm more awake!

Gina said...

I've recently become more aware of the water issue in the U.S. Not just in Flint, MI, but everywhere. Having safe, potable water should be a no-brainer, right? Well, it's not. Especially when Capitalism takes over water rights. I'm really tired of politics, especially the GOP. I'm especially tired of BLM and I'd probably be harassed as a result, but I think their methods are misguided. When someone chooses to sign up for one of the military branches, rather than being drafted, I think a thank you is appropriate, but it's taken to the extreme most of the time. Otherwise, I agree with you.