Dear Future Folk,
Hi. My name is Jordan and I’m almost 30 years old. I’m not anyone famous or important. I’m just someone who wants to be a writer, or an actor, or maybe a musician. I also care a lot about the terrible things that are happening now – 2018 – and feel it’s important to let you know that not everyone just…went along with it.
I know – from experience – that it’s easy to look back on a people or country or whathaveyou and just want to shake them by the shoulders and shout, “What were you thinking? Why did nobody stop this?” And, now that I feel like I’m living through a time like that, I don’t think there’s any kind of easy answer.
I’m Jewish, by the way, so when I talk about looking back, I’m looking back to World War 2 and Germany and the Nazis and the Holocaust and thinking, “Why did no one care?”
And it’s easy to say, “Well, it was a different time, people didn’t necessarily know what was going on. And besides, the secret police!”
And, sure, maybe all that applies. But at the same time, it’s more than that. In the United States right now, a former reality TV star is president, and he’s ripping children from the arms of their parents and putting them into camps. People are angry about it at least, which is good, saying, “This is not America!” even though America did this a bunch of times.
The President then signed an order saying the kids could stay with their parents, as long as he could detain the whole family indefinitely in prison. Of course, that’ll get voted down, which means he can keep stealing the kids and prosecuting the parents for being “illegal immigrants”.
Meanwhile, he got the idea from us here in Australia, where we take boatloads of refugees/asylum seekers/illegal immigrants and throw them into horrible prisons in a different country and, essentially, throw away the key. In fact, we were condemned by the United Nations for crimes against humanity for the way we treat them. And our Home Affairs minister just asked us to “abandon compassion” for these refugees, because that would allow people smugglers to win.
This is all done in the name of “border security” which, of course, is nonsense. We here in Australia – and those in the USA – just want to maintain the whiteness of our countries. More brown people, especially if their Muslim = bad. White people, especially if their Christian = just fine and dandy.
And, no, there aren’t protests in the streets every day. Most people have tuned it out – and that includes me. I write articles for an online newspaper every now and then, and I get mad in person when it gets brought up in conversation, and I vote the right way, but overall that’s it. I don’t go out there and stomp any head. I don’t march on the capital.
And you know why?
Because people just want to get on with their lives. They want to enjoy life. And we’re lazy. We’re so lazy. It’s so hard to organize standing up for something when you have work and weekend plans and dreams. And that sounds selfish, but there is fucking is. That’s who we are.
And that doesn’t make us bad people. It just makes us people. If there was a protest on the weekend, or of an evening, yeah I’d do. But I’m not going to organize it. I can’t just not show up to work, or not work at all, I have an apartment to afford, and I need to eat. That’s the thing about all this: it’s all well and good to say, “Well I would have stood up!” But let’s see how big your talk is when you’re in my situation.
It all happens gradually, and the government makes it all legal – which, no, is not the same thing as moral – and after a while of eating it all up in the news day after day after day, you just become numb to it. You’re unable to muster the same rage. Because rage is exhausting, and so is life.
Don’t think ill of us. There’s lots of us trying really hard, doing more than I am. And I believe we’ll win – we’ll throw the bums out and shame them into living in caves – but the streets aren’t rioting all the time because, honestly, we just…don’t operate that way. Humans never have, and probably never will.
Until next time, shalom.