Do you sometimes get the feeling that it just doesn’t matter? In the whole the big old largeness of EVERYTHING but then also closer to the ground, things like the January 6th hearings and, for folks like me in Flint, the quest to punish people over the water.
That none of it really matters.
It doesn’t matter because in the end the bad guys will still win and we’ll be left with what we tell ourselves are ‘Moral Victories’.
Those are great but, as folks like to say sometimes, it don’t keep the lights on.
Mind you, I am glad we are having the hearings over January 6th. While it won’t change the hearts of the diehards, nor the minds of the conservatives, it is necessary for history to have all of this out in the public. It’s necessary for everyone to hear what happened and to see it. We forget so quickly, as a nation, how close doom comes to us and once in a while we need to smell the crap in our pants to remind us. Heck, we are clearly already ‘over’ the war in Ukraine because it’s interfering with our lives, darn it. Sure, tens of thousands of innocent people are dead and a nation has been ravaged for the sake of ego but darn it, we’re bored. NEXT! We changed our profile photos to Ukrainian flags, and you know, we cared for a while. We are just ready to move on now.
Just like January 6th.
Just like the Flint Water Crisis.
We just wanna move on.
An easy thing to do if you can move on.
The fact that so many of us don’t care or believe that what happened in the Capitol happened or was as horrific as it was tells you where we’re at. HEY, they’ll tell you, WE GOT RID OF ROE v. WADE, DIDN’T WE? And that’s all that matters. By any means necessary they got what they wanted. They bent and broke tradition and law. They sided with a monstrous man who is more ego than man. They looked the other way as people unworthy for the courts got in there just so they could take body autonomy away from women.
The price of Trump is what we are paying today, and will continue to pay.
You can dislike Biden all you want but the fact is that he is a compassionate person who cares about the nation. Trump cared about his constituents so long as they supported him. He cared about America as a brand. He cared about White people because they were his base.
He’s no Christian.
He holds the Bible like a child holds a hammer – What’s Dis Ting?
It’s a tool, and if you bash it around enough you’ll knock something in.
And January 6th is what knocked loose.
The crazies who think they aren’t simply tough guy cosplayers but are really WARRIORS who are going to take on the gubmint. People who band together online as they rant about whatever talking point has been fed to them that day by rich people.
They are afraid of the world changing around them, of losing their power, of losing their jobs, of losing their standing, and of losing their virility.
They need rage to show how masculine they are.
They need guns to back that rage up.
Trump and his parrots gave these people at target, the U.S. government which was taking their votes and voice away.
Because it’s easier to believe a comfortable lie than the painful truth.
They didn’t lose.
They couldn’t lose.
We may be over January 6th but that doesn’t mean we should be over it. Ever. We need to see how ugly we are and how close we are to the edge. How close we are to handing our freedom and Democracy away. Freedom beyond gun rights and ‘illegals’.
We always talk about how we ‘don’t wanna be a Commie’ but brother, we’re strutting that way.
In Flint I can only pass on my own heartbreak at the news that the criminal cases in the water crisis have been thrown out. I am not surprised. I don’t think any of us can be because the people in charge never ‘pay’. Never. That’s not how the system works. Heck, a lot of people still think it was overblown and that Snyder was a great governor. His penny pinching indifference to people cost people their health and this city a lot of business and residents, at the very least. We’re a mess in Flint. Our city council is a clown show that is led by a man that is too smart for his own good and talks just to hear himself. He is a chauvinist and a racist and just a terrible person and he’s been on the council for ages. We have a mayor that doesn’t sit down and do the hard work to get this city moving forward (and he’s a world better than the last one we had, who was more interested in her police escort and water crisis celebs). We have a school board that wants to close schools without a plan for the whole of the system or what we’ll do with those closed schools.
We are a mess.
There was a con job pulled years ago where people insisted we needed to have our own water source to save money and not buy water from Detroit. So they built a pipeline. That pipeline not being ready after years and years and tons of money was one of the reasons the crisis happened. Then there was the crazy thought that hey, our river can work as a source if we filter it, our river that has GM and other industrial businesses on it (and which just had a hazardous flow from one of them, whoops!). Then they added more and more chlorine to purify it. Oh, gosh, we have lead pipes in an old city that never spent on infrastructure?
We never did get on that new pipeline, which exists and is working. We just never got on it.
Water rates are still outrageously high.
And no one will be charged.
I don’t know what I wanted, other than at least for people to get found guilty of collusion and for them to have to live with this. I dunno that any would see jail, because this is the sort of white collar crime against people of color (primarily) that doesn’t really get a lot of punishment. Still, I was hoping for something.
Leave it to an idiot judge to not follow protocol and to do things their way and screw it all up.
But then, that’s where we’re at with ALL of this.
People commit white collar crimes in plain view of everyone but somehow there’s never evidence of it. Or the right evidence.
And they get away with it.
This is nothing new.
All the pain and horror we went through and no one will be punished.
I remember working tangentially with the Flint schools and hearing how ‘the kids are different’. That the lead had affected many of them. Whatever futures they would have are changed.
They are changed.
Because their lives mattered less than money.
Because Flint is seen as a poor city.
A violent city.
A ‘Black’ city.
People took offense to the notion that Black Lives Matter when over and over we have shown them that, well, maybe they don’t if it means we can save money or if they may be guilty of something.
Or could be.
This isn’t Out Loud racism but that systematic kind that is a foundation that we have built from with the base idea that, well, they ain’t as good as we are and we keep doing things to show that too many of us still think that way.
Because we act that way.
We needed, NEEDED to see some sort of justice in Flint because it would show that hey, we see you Flint, we see your pain, we see your suffering, and we got you.
But ineptitude has plagued this case from the beginning.
It’s all par for the course.
And when it’s all over we’ll have been paid some hush money to move on and forget and these kids and their lives and their families and their bloodlines are changed.
God Bless America.
Except we DO do great things.
We have GREAT people.
We can aspire to be better and do better.
If we can break from our laziness and our malaise to see one another, to see our humanity and that we are all American or wanting to BE American then we can move forward.
I know we are all over everything.
We focus on ourselves and our phones because it numbs the pain.
It takes our minds off our minds.
It’s a distraction from a loud, scary world that tells too many of us that your body, your life, and your love do not matter.
But now is not the time to look away.
January 6 matters because the lies of a few almost created a civil war in our country.
Flint’s water crisis matters because it could truly happen anywhere and even if you aren’t a person of color the infrastructure in our country is old and bad. Sure, you may not suffer like Flint did but what if they just never told you?
You’re telling me we can suddenly trust politicians and business people?
All of this matters because this country, flaws though it has, can sometimes be great and when it is great it is because all of us made it that way and that doesn’t happen when we look away and stop caring.
That’s just not how it works.
I write books, do podcasts, and do all manner of weird stuff. Hit the links and check it out.