The year 2015 was surreal, and 2016 promises to be even more so.
Weather catastrophes and abnormally high temperatures. Horrendous terrorist attacks and murderous shootings by cops all over, along with political cover-ups. War buildups and bombings by the U.S., Britain, Russia, France, etc., which only serve to intensify the appeal of fundamentalists and apocalypse-obsessed fanatics. Political wannabes and demagogues like Donald Trump whipping up reactionary haters and causing violence against Muslims, Planned Parenthood, minority communities and progressive movements. Extensive poverty and unemployment. An ineffective and wimpy, overly head-tripping president who pleases no one. Homelessness continues to be a gaping problem, here in San Luis Obispo and everywhere, contrary to the falsely optimistic statements of social-service bureaucrats and politicians who cite massively flawed homeless count numbers.
On the other hand, we’ve seen the rise of large and serious progressive movements and mobilizations. We see the Kurds with limited means being the best fighters against the bloodthirsty crazed fanatics of ISIS. And we see high levels of contributions and voluntary help for displaced families and children (even amid calls for “excluding all Muslims”).
Is there hope for us humans and for this planet that our kind has all but junked? Yes, some. But time is running out. None of us can afford to remain silent and not involved. There are no guarantees.
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Jim Griffin, San Luis Obispo