America Is Broken
It's hard to process how many things are wrong with this country.
A gunman killed at least 18 children and a teacher on Tuesday in a rural Texas elementary school, officials said, in the deadliest American school shooting since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary a decade ago.
The Buffalo white supremacist massacre is yet another reminder that our nation is broken.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor writes about the intersection of gun violence and racism:
Once startling and noteworthy, mass shootings have melded into the background of life in the U.S. Since January, there have been almost two hundred shootings involving at least four victims shot or killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Buffalo is one of the poorest cities in the nation, and the poverty is concentrated in the neighborhoods with the largest Black populations. Racism there comes not only in the form of a teen-age white supremacist murdering Black people at a grocery store. It is also evident in the policies that encourage disinvestment from public schools attended by Black students, in the annual failure to develop affordable-housing policies, and in the continued use of fees and fines that disproportionately impact Black residents.
Speaking of public schools, the New York Times covers plunging enrollment rates. This story caught my eye, and illustrates the suffering that goes on every day in our broken nation:
Jaime Parish’s three children also were gone from their former class as the year started. Rendered homeless in late 2020, they had struggled for months to keep up academically, shuffling for almost a year between motels, relatives and Ms. Parish’s 1997 Honda before they quietly stopped attending school entirely.
First their Wi-Fi was spotty. Then Ms. Parish’s mother got Covid-19. Then the car broke and a plan to move to Bakersfield fizzled. By February, a local nonprofit that helped them find housing could find no record of school enrollment for her sons, 17 and 6, or her daughter, 15.
“We tried,” said Ms. Parish, 38, who was camped under a bridge near Disneyland at one point. “But it just got too hard.”
How do we have tens of billions of dollars for war in Ukraine, but not to help our own citizens?
And how about America’s COVID response? Gone.
NBC News @NBCNewsPresident Biden will urge states and cities to use unspent money from last year’s $1.9T Covid relief package to fund crime prevention programs and hire police officers. https://t.co/aWLTOesHww
From kids in cages to rampant gun violence to obscene inequality, the litany of things that are wrong in America is endless. It’s painful. And infuriating. Yet we must continue to fight the system, to imagine a better world, and to build it. Thank you for doing your part. Thank you for caring.