Monday, March 23, 2020

Life Is Cheap In America

When Michael Brown and Eric Garland were murdered by the police and their killers walked free I realized that beyond what these killings said about race and policing, they pointed to a fundamental truth: life is cheap in America. 

This is a country with an infant mortality rate much higher than peer nations. Women also die in childbirth at higher rates here than elsewhere. Our lack of universal health care means thousands die prematurely every year. We fight our wars with drones and high altitude bombings that kill with ruthless efficiency and lots of collateral damage. We sent our own citizens to die for a lie in Iraq. Our worship of the automobile has led to a pedestrian carnage on our streets that no one even bothers to notice. The proliferation of guns leads to high rates of murder and suicide. Every now and again a student goes and commits a mass murder at their school, and it's become such a commonplace thing that we have come to expect it. Nevertheless, the easy flow of guns remains. 

Life in cheap in America.

So we should not be surprised when the president and other conservative politicians advocate for ending quarantine measures and risking the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people so that the stock market can go back up again. Not only are they doing this, hordes of their voters are enthusiastically given their assent. This is what America has become, a nation so psychotic that it devalues human life in favor of money and power. I am not sure how long a nation so oriented can survive.

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