Four hundred and one years ago, we brought Africans here against their will. Since then we have brutally worked millions of them to death without pay, told them they were worth three-fifths of us, denied them the right to vote, lynched them, legally denied to those who fought for this country the benefits of the GI Bill, continue to “redline” people of color away from white neighborhoods, and those who are supposed to protect them continue to choke and shoot them to death, including children—Tamir Rice would have turned 18 this weekend. A black man walking down the street in a white neighborhood at night eating Skittles is committing a crime, and may be legally shot to death.
We have willingly decided to ignore a deadly virus—choosing beer over safety—becoming the only developed country that has not only NOT turned the curve down, or flattened it, but increased it. We were so unprepared, with the heads of the federal government choosing to remain so, that we continue to use algorithms to decide who to save and who will die, while we refuse to provide adequate protection for the people who take care of us. Our leaders tell us that Covid-19 will “just disappear” as the virus continues to grow and people continue to die, many of them needlessly.
We not only stole land from the original inhabitants of this country, we have forcefully contained them in desolate areas, refusing to provide them health care, and have ravaged the land, water, and air that they cared for, rendering it unsafe for them, us, and our children.
We have a racist president, supported by 37 percent of voters, who is more concerned with preserving monuments to racists and traitors than wearing a mask, endangering even his own followers. That president and his party want to end health care for over 33 million of our population, including those with pre-existing conditions, the overwhelming majority being people of color.
Six members of one family has more wealth than 43 percent of US families combined. The company they control—Walmart—strives as a matter of policy to hire part time workers, at minimum wage, so they don’t have to provide them with health care. Amazon has the same policy and pays no taxes.
We even absconded the name America to make it ours, ignoring that people from Chile, Canada, and Mexico are also Americans.
Yes, we are exceptional.