Some post-Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day thoughts…
Yesterday, many refused to celebrate Columbus Day since it honors a dark moment in our history full of bloodshed and the vicious oppression of Native Americans.
Recently and especially after Charlottesvile, some have realized that statues honoring Confederate generals are a slap in the face to African-Americans in their quest for civil rights and some of those statues are coming down–even in red states.
This enlightenment, compassion for others not like us, and truthful telling of our history took centuries to arrive at. Will it also take centuries for us to denounce the mass slaughter we’ve wrought and are still wreaking upon the Middle East? Both political parties seek to continue this atrocious legacy and they have no problem grabbing half of our tax dollars to fund wars which most of us can’t even name the mission of: Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan, which Obama campaigned on exiting in 2013, is now the longest war in US history with no end in sight. And we wonder why we can’t afford the healthcare most industrialized countries enjoy. Or affordable college. Or aid to the hard-hit people of Flint, Michigan or Puerto Rico. But we’ve always got money for more bombs. Because bomb manufacturers routinely bribe our government.
The Senate just voted to increase the military budget by $80 billion per year, an amount which could make public college free if our government cared more about helping the citizens of this country as it does destroying countries which never attacked us. Only Bernie Sanders, four Democrats and three Republicans voted against this budget increase. Wait–Trump’s crazy, right? Then why are all but eight Senators voting against his budget which might bring new conflicts in North Korea or Iran? But our “news” didn’t cover that military spending increase much. We’re more concerned about the $200,000 it cost for an NFL appearance by the Vice President gone wrong and the tweets surrounding it. Not about just added $80 billion per year to fund our murderous foreign policy which is as barbaric as any of the heinous episodes in our history which some are finally admitting to. Could we possibly speed that enlightenment up a little to include denouncing ongoing atrocities as well as historical ones?