On Friday, we acknowledged the sixth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary Faculty taking pictures that left 26 college students and workers lifeless. There have been 1,920 mass shootings since then, and the US nonetheless has essentially the most gun deaths of any nation within the developed world, in addition to the weakest gun legal guidelines.
Final week, a court docket stated Cyntoia Brown must serve a minimum of 51 years in jail for killing a 43-year-old man she stated employed her for intercourse as a youngster and threatened to kill her. Right here, within the U.S., we have now solely 5 % of the world’s inhabitants, but 25 % of its inmates.
In the previous couple of weeks we’ve additionally seen escalation on the border, the place migrants searching for asylum (together with youngsters) have been tear-gassed and detained. And just some days in the past, we realized of a 7-year-old migrant lady who died in Border Patrol custody.
If the Trump administration have been actually attempting to make America nice once more, it could be listening to points that inherently preserve us from being nice, just like the deaths of youngsters in mass shootings, our flawed jail system, and the institutionalized racism that results in violent reactions towards any foreigner attempting to enter our land.
But President Donald Trump and his supporters show again and again that they might somewhat shift focus and combat with migrants and refugees than present any concern for points happening inside U.S. borders.
If the Trump administration have been actually attempting to make America nice once more, it could be listening to points that inherently preserve us from being nice.
Nobody shows this greater than the childish caricature of patriotism that’s Tomi Lahren. In midst of all that occurred this week, in her continued ideological campaign for a border wall, she tweeted, “$5 billion spent on a wall would be the BEST $5 billion taxpayers EVER spent! Construct the wall. Safe the border. America FIRST!”
Lahren scrapes the underside of the barrel of political commentary, utilizing hyperbole and sarcasm to create media uproars. So, when 11-year-old Mari Copeny responded to this tweet and it’s extra problematic concepts on Twitter, Lahren discovered herself bodied by a younger lady from Flint, Michigan.
Copeny tweeted, “$5 billion for water infrastructure upgrades and testing in faculties looks as if a a lot better approach to spend that a lot cash…however what do I do know…I’m only a child from Flint who was pressured to study all issues water after the federal government poisoned us.”
Copeny factors out the unhappy actuality that to really put “America first” isn’t to easily shield hypothetical individuals from hypothetical threats, however to acknowledge the rampant poverty, demise and leeching identity-based oppression that damages People and takes their lives every single day.
There are numerous points dealing with America that we may deal with, that may talk that we care about our individuals. We may combat racialized violence by the hands of the police, or shield transgender individuals’s rights (as an alternative of attempting to take them away). We may extra holistically create fairness for impoverished communities, girls, these with disabilities and LGBTQ individuals.
We may care in regards to the actuality that the U.S. glorifies energetic navy however discards its veterans, we may search peace as an alternative of violence. However that may require us setting apart our concern first, one thing that the US has by no means been in a position to do.
We use our nationwide funds to be towards many extra issues than we’re for. We might somewhat spend on protection and navy than take care of the poor inside our borders. In easy phrases, what good is protection if the individuals you’re defending don’t have entry to scrub water, like within the case of Flint, or they’re among the many 40 million individuals who expertise meals insecurity yearly?
To do good is to not double down on bullying the remainder of the world in an try to put ourselves first, however to work for the betterment of our nation and others.
“America First” ought to imply really taking a look at our present realities, not simply stopping our politicized and sometimes hyperbolized fears from being realized. Solely a rustic with nice concern would spend as a lot as we do to stop ourselves from hurt. America is attempting to make use of power, violence and bullying to alter ideologies, and all it’s doing is creating concern, not freedom.
It has grow to be clear that the U.S. can largely now not inform the distinction between patriotism, propaganda and nationalist rhetoric. As a result of, let’s be trustworthy, a border wall is extra political flexing and institutionalized racism than it’s a protecting measure towards undocumented entry.
The Trump administration appears to consider that greatness solely occurs behind the barrel of a weapon, on the opposite aspect of a wall, or by means of seizing an increasing number of international political energy. We aren’t nice, a minimum of for all individuals, and no quantity of bullets, partitions and rhetorical violence will make us nice.
To do good is to not double down on bullying the remainder of the world in an try to put ourselves first, however to work for the betterment of our neighbors, cities and country by taking an excellent have a look at those that have gotten left behind in our makes an attempt to place our fears, racism and energy first.
Brandi Miller is a campus minister and justice program director from the Pacific Northwest.