Yesterday, I rough-drafted the comments seen below, and affixed the title you see above.
Today came the news of the most recent mass casualty school shooting, this time in Uvalde TX. 14 kids and a teacher, dead, is the report. The shooter killed.
More later on that; first the rough draft.
Separately came two items that dove-tailed with other continuing news in the U.S.
First, the New York Times had a very long analysis of the French economic revenge against the Haitians who declared their independence from France about the time of the birth of the U.S. Of course, the infant U.S. had concerns about a slave revolt on a nearby Caribbean island, and for years refused to recognize Haiti as an independent country. Then, from 1916-34, a bankers coup, where the U.S. physically occupied the island nation.
Here’s the entire very long article in the Times. My friend, Brian, a long-time expert on Haiti, gave a succinct comment: “It is great.” I agree. I’ve known the essentials of the story for years, but never the amount of detail.
Then, Sunday nights CBS “60 Minutes” – a weekly staple for me for years – had a very inspiring story of a wealthy entrepreneurs act of generosity to college-bound students on the South Side of Chicago. This program is also very well worth the time.
This leads to the present day, to all of us, from our poor to the wealthiest among us.
The United States remains easily the wealthiest country on the planet. Our country has about one of every 20 persons; and controls almost one-fourth of the total wealth.
Still, we are a nation of huge inequity in distribution of wealth. It is nice to have philanthropists; sharing is a greater problem.
I have previously sent some carefully gathered data about this fact, from my friend Dr. Joseph Schwartzberg. The data stands on its own and deserves a look. Here it is: Wealth of UN Countries.
POSTNOTE: I leave the draft as it is…there is food for thought in both the NYT piece and the CBS program and the World data.
Today, beginning late afternoon, I’ve followed the story as known in Uvalde TX. The news is repetitive; hearing the same story and analysis can be numbing.
In the older days it was more difficult to convey and even learn about crises. Pearl Harbor, where my Dad’s brother was killed Dec. 7, 1941, didn’t become known to Dad until late in the afternoon on Dec. 7 and then via battery powered radio. And my uncle’s death was not confirmed until some weeks later.
Even Columbine, in 1999, did not immediately dominate the news.
So much has changed particularly the last 20 or so years. We are inundated by information and as a result, sadly, we tend to take it for granted. (I include myself in the “we”.)
Where do I fit in this picture of Uvalde and the larger issue surrounding it – 400 million guns in our country of over 300 million people? Where do you fit? This is our country.
Is there something else for us to talk about than the price of gas, and the other complaints which are all in a greater sense empty and meaningless.
I was going to add, yesterday, that I was lucky to be born at a time when every single one of my mentors – every one of them – had dealt with hardship of the Great Depression and World War II. I was just a little kid, then, so I didn’t personally experience the times where nothing could be taken for granted. Of course, I was affected, but like other youngsters, hardly knew the difference….
As I said, this is our country. What goes on here is our problem, not someone else. The Dad of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS shooting victim some years ago in FL was on the tv this afternoon about Uvalde. His daughter is memorialized with this quote: “Dreams and Dedication are a powerful combination.”
We as citizens have a particular dilemma in our country. We – every one of us – is responsible for the action or inaction we see on matters of great or little importance. That is the dilemma of a democracy – “government of the people, by the people and for the people….”
We, people, are the people.