Voices

Climate, shootings, anti-immigration: Stop the world, I want to get off

2019-08-11 14:50

What a week. A climate change study which basically says we are doomed; mass shootings in the US; children there left without their parents by President Donald Trump’s racist, anti-immigrant policies; cops being attacked in Johannesburg; the continuing bloody gang warfare in Cape Town; and more besides.

It is hard not to be depressed or just plain angry all the time when this stuff is going on.

I have taken to sitting in front of my TV set and just yelling at it in the vague, and vain, hope that it will make me feel better.

I have taken to sitting in front of my TV set and just yelling at it in the vague, and vain, hope that it will make me feel better.

The week started with two mass shootings in the supposedly greatest country in the world. Latinos were targeted in El Paso, Texas, by a young white man who believed the utter nonsense spouted by Trump.

This is a country which holds itself up as the bastion of democracy and free speech, while at the same time allowing you to buy lethal guns alongside bread and milk. I remember my first shopping trip to Walmart, with my two-year-old in tow, where the guns were sold in the aisle next to the washing powder and bread.

People there thought I was insane when I objected, because the US Constitution gives its citizens the right to bear arms. It is an argument we cannot even get into because it is so stupid and so lame, but there you have it.

The 21-year-old murderer was barely old enough to buy alcohol, but three years earlier he could legally buy an AK-47. Just stupid.

We need to be better than this. We need to do better than this.

So, here I sit on Women’s Day, staring at footage of small children in the US crying their eyes out because their parents have been arrested by a racist regime. I read the news story of the cops attacked in Johannesburg, then another story of how young men in the hopelessness of the Cape Town squatter camps lead lives destined to end in death. And I can feel the tears coming.

I may have a little weep at home tonight, but then it’s time to get it all together again.

We need to be better than this. We need to do better than this.

We need to stand up and be counted when it comes to healing the ills that affect our society. We need to become moral citizens again.

The troubles and strife around the world may dull our senses, but we cannot let these be the reasons to stop caring, to stop fighting back.

We have one world to live in. We need to make it the world we want to live in.


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August 25 2019