Thursday, June 17, 2021
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Students must become involved

America is in a crisis, and now is not the time to be apolitical.

Firstly, America is handling the COVID-19 pandemic statistically worse than most every other country on the planet. There are many things which contribute to this overarching problem, such as protests against wearing masks, insufficient government aid which would incentivize people to stay home and prevent further spread, the rugged individualism we’ve been taught which makes some of us think our individual “freedom” is more important than the safety of the collective, as well as the denial of COVID-19 as a threat worth shutting the country down.

Simultaneously, America is on the brink of an eviction crisis. The National Low Income Housing Coalition said that 30-40 million people could be evicted from their homes soon. These numbers were obtained through a study authored by 10 different researchers from multiple universities, and this is all while over half a million people are already homeless at any given time in America.

COVID-19 has also caused mass unemployment and pay cuts to some who are still employed. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 51 million people have filed for unemployment which contributes to what economists call the COVID-19 recession. Many fear this is worse than the Great Recession of 2007, and some are saying this is the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Among all of these economic and public safety issues, people are protesting against police brutality and systemic racism which surged following the death of George Floyd, and recently Jacob Blake who was shot seven times in the back by an officer.

Many people are counter protesting the aforementioned movement and feel the property damages along with demands from some followers of the Black Lives Matter movement are uncalled for and ultimately do more harm than good. Election season is also here which inevitably leads to many of these events being politicized.

These are just four of many ongoing problems in America. Wildfires are getting worse every year, the cost of living is increasing while wages stagnate, wars are still being fought, and the list could go on for hours and hours, yet some people have the audacity to be apolitical from fear of starting controversy.

If one truly cares about the issues and wants to change society for the better, then controversy is nothing but another tool which can be used to further the cause. A better world is possible, but a better world will not come about by simply talking about it nor dreaming of it. It’s going to take direct action and educating people that we are our only obstacle.

Just as one cannot love a family member yet turn a blind eye when he/she struggles, one cannot love all people while turning a blind eye to their struggles. This means we need to stand in solidarity and struggle with people against all forms of oppression, whether it be economic, environmental or social, regardless if we personally experience these same struggles.

Whether one wishes to acknowledge it, people are struggling, and the American empire is in decay. Our nation has solved problems in the past, but the reality is change is slow unless people unite and collectively stand in solidarity and demand change. People should become politically and socially conscious and help educate others so that way we can make the world a better place.

by Corey Blue

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