It would seemingly be easy for me to enjoy my life here in France and stop caring about what’s going on in the United States. Several people have suggested this, and it’s advice I desperately wish I could take. However, I can’t seem to stop caring about what might happen to my family and friends. You could say I cared too much about the Syrian war and refugee crisis. How can I look away now that it concerns everyone I spent the first 33 years of my life with?
I don’t think so highly of myself to imagine I could change a single mind, but here I am, about to make a desperate plea to find compassion and not abandon logic.
A global pandemic should never have become a partisan issue. With all the misinformation and distrust on the internet, it seems some people have over-corrected, wandering off to find sanctuary in the most blatant of lies. As death tolls rise, it becomes increasingly insensitive to deny the virus’ power. Imagine losing a loved one to cancer and then having to hear millions of people spew propaganda about how much of a hoax cancer is, making you quite the sucker for believing in it.
Most every developed country leaped into action, locking down, reopening slowly with masks and disinfectants enforced. These places were able to reopen their economies at the beginning of the summer, bounce back, and develop a plan for getting kids back into school by fall. France, for example, had two very intense months of lock down, then slowly reopened, new phases rolling out every three weeks, and here we are with the rest of Europe, coming back from vacation and gearing up for a new school year, albeit, with masks on.
Meanwhile, the US continues to have the most alarming fatality rates. With half the population trying to quarantine, and the other half trying to save the economy, both are suffering. No one is getting anywhere. Everyone is frustrated. It’s quickly spiraling into a mental health crisis.
At the same time, a second civil rights movement is underway. Anyone who once shook their head at the many Hollywood movies depicting slavery or segregation, must now take a hard look at which role they are playing in this current plot line.
I believe all this segregation and systemic racism (meaning, the system is designed to be racist whether you feel you personally are or not) has led to many American’s ability to remain oblivious to the plight of minorities.
If you don’t know any black people, you could be convinced they’re dangerous.
If you don’t know any Muslims, you could be convinced they’re terrorists.
If you don’t know any Latin people, you could be convinced they’re… I don’t know, what ridiculous things do people say about Latinos? Something, something, they brought you your favorite kind of cocaine at their own expense? Get real. And also learn the differences between each Central and South American country. You don’t confuse Germans and Greeks, do you? Latin Americans are as diverse as Europeans. You probably don’t even like to be confused as someone from another US state.
Again, part of this is the product of a systemically racist society, steeped in segregation, but also the main problem could be you don’t have any friends that don’t look and sound exactly like you.
Hindsight is 20/20, and I now believe it was the grace of God toward refugees that America stopped receiving them, funneling them primarily toward Europe. I’ve seen, first hand, just how effectively France is able to help people get back onto their feet, working, paying taxes, buying homes, and starting to dream again. The refugee resettlement program in the US is abominable, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, especially someone who has already suffered so much.
It’s laughable to me, that right now the most offensive thing Republicans can call a person is “socialist”. While no system is perfect, what is wrong with one that allows citizens and residents to benefit from tax dollars? (Side note: Socialism is France and other wealthy European countries with hearty middle classes. It is not Russia, China or Cuba. Go check your political science notes from high school). The US tax rate on certain groups can be just as high as in socialist countries, but US tax monies are used to fund things besides health care. Things like bombing poor countries and helping Saudi Arabia exterminate the people of Yemen, for example.
While I don’t agree with everything the Democratic party stands for, I was very encouraged by the few speeches I watched from the Democratic National Convention. We have the chance to redirect this locomotive, which is currently steaming straight for a cliff. One with middle ground, allowing us to remember what we liked about each other. I saw about as much of the Republican National Convention as I could stomach before my IQ started dropping. It’s important to at least try to listen to the other side.
If you’re someone who feels this is still just a toss up vote between two unappealing options, please understand that one side is a career politician, while the other is a failed experiment. People wanted to know what a celebrity with nothing to lose could look like for our country, and the answer involves a lot of obstructions of justice. Plus a devastating amount of violence, unemployment, sickness and death. Can confirm, the rest of the world is shaking their heads.
Please, for the sake of my nieces and nephew, vote out the lunatic that turned us on each other. This is not a toss up, this will mean life or death for many more people (and before you argue the lives of the unborn, just know that abortions go down under Democrats because of increased access to contraceptives).
Try to listen. Have a heart. Don’t burrow into a self preservation mode built out of fear. The Democrats are not trying to take your amendment rights. No one is doing that. This is a false narrative. Use your brain.
Writing this could be a massive waste of time, but it feels semi-therapeutic. Sometimes the only logical explanation to all the lunacy roaming about, is that the LORD has decided to blind eyes, and deafen ears, for the purpose of fully extending His judgement on a place in due time. For the sake of the children, please turn around. We ALL can find something to repent for.
I’ve felt myself growing judgmental and angry. I don’t want to be this way. I want to REPENT and go back to seeing silver linings and calling out the best in people. I bet quarantine regulating our social lives to the absurdity of social media has caused us to lose touch with the reality that even in dark times, babies are still born, neighbors still help each other, and unlikely friendships are still formed.
I might have just majorly offended some of my conservative friends. Maybe it’s because the majority of my real, day-to-day interactions are with friends who find themselves in these vulnerable groups. Muslim, Latino, black, disabled, displaced… these lives MORE THAN MATTER. It is an atrocious thing to have to say, and even more appalling to find it’s somehow considered debatable. They matter just as much as anyone’s, but since they are not treated as such, we must continue to fight.
Don’t become “color blind”, instead, look to see the beauty and fullness of diversity. Use your power to protect and uplift. Do for others as you would hope they’d do for you. Listen. Reject the fear-mongering which pulls us toward self preservation, and seek to uphold the “greater good”.
And, for the love, wear a mask. I can’t see my family until you all get a grip.