I was in the midst of writing a thoughtful piece about how in the US and indeed in all free nations, we have an opportunity to effect change through voting. I pointed out how we are not oppressed like the people in many countries like North Korea and that means we need to vote and use our voting wisely.
And then I read this on twitter:
@thecounted, this is the sixteenth fatal shooting by American police this month. Or to put it another way, ‘in the last week’.
The last 16 fatal shootings by UK police cover more than 9 years. I know America has nearly 5x our population. But ~470x the deaths by cop?
And I realized – we are not going to change. Because we have been having this problem in slapped in our face for several years. We had riots in Ferguson and nothing changed. We have so much evidence that this is a problem and nothing has changed. We have demonstrations, and prayer vigils and send messages to our representatives. And nothing changed.
Voting is absolutely still necessary. But the people we get to vote for also needs to change. And that is a harder proposition all together.
We need candidates who are not influenced by big lobbies but by their constituents. We need to get enough of them in there so that they make wise evidence based decisions about making radical changes in turning this country into an actual place of peace and justice instead of just in rhetoric.
That doesn’t mean just changing how we police. The police are the obvious symptom of an underlying disease that is plaguing this country. Change means addressing the issues that lead to poverty and lack of decent education and therefore lack decent opportunities. That means fixing the problem of our justice system that is so HEAVILY biased against people of color, is bloated with minor offenders who learn in a harsh environment that their only future is crime and poverty.
But where are those candidates who will address these problems with radical changes? How do we get them to congress in enough numbers to make a difference. It seems overwhelming. It seems impossible.
And so probably nothing is going to change.