Monday, June 12, 2017

No Place To Hide!

I wonder if there ever was a time when escape was possible.  Maybe – maybe not.  But one thing is for sure – today there is no place to hide!

Let’s begin with the subject du jour – terrorism.  There is no place on this planet that is really safe.  Not a day passes during which people are not killed brutally, without warning.  It’s not only in war zones where terror is around every corner.  We expect carnage in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Somalia, and the rest.  But Manchester?  Orlando?  Moscow?  Portland?  And the rest?  There is no place to hide!

Inequality has always been with us.  As sure as the inexorable movement of the tectonic plates on the earth’s crust will reshape our land, so will inequality continue to be part of the human condition.  We have always had the rulers and the ruled, the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots.  The difference now – with the Internet, social media, and the instantaneous flow of information in all directions – is that the spotlight shines brightly on the top 1%, or the middle class, or the bottom 80%, whatever interests or angers you.  As a result, constructive or destructive action is more likely to occur.  Either way, there is no place to hide!

“The Others” have never been easy for us to relate to.  If “They” are different I am uneasy about them, or afraid of them, or hostile to them.  If they are a different color or a have a different religion or come from a different culture or speak a different language or have a different sexual preference, they’re not one of us and I am uneasy, afraid or hostile.

And so we come to immigrants – millions and millions of them, everywhere and no let up in sight.  The conditions under which most of these Others live is horrific.  But have they been welcomed into new lands?  With few exceptions the answer is no.  Quite the reverse.  Walls have been erected, tiny quotas have been established, we have turned our backs and looked the other way.  Shame on us, starting with this country of mine.  Do we think the problem will go away?  Not a chance.  And there is no place to hide!

All of this is just the tip of the iceberg.  With global warming the ice may be melting, but it won’t melt fast enough to save us from needing sooner or later to confront these and other issues.  Unrest is on the rise.  It will manifest itself whether we like it or not.  And there is no place to hide!


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