I’ll admit I haven’t kept up with the everyday happenings in Washington since January 20, 2017. Which means I’m not always current with my information pertaining to the shutdown. Some may think my disconnect is unacceptable. However, it’s necessary for my peace of mind.
In the past, I’d always be abreast of what was taking place, but after our government “shut down,” I found I was so disgusted, repulsed and angry regarding the rhetoric I constantly heard from our “leaders” it began to affect my mood and even my work. Therefore, I stopped tuning in daily and became selective about what I read, discussed and watched related to Capitol Hill.
I’m aware of the fact that 800,000 Americans who work for the government are missing paychecks, work and in some cases working without pay. I’m aware of the fact that our beautiful national parks are being decimated and vandalized because there is no one there, daily, to care for them. I’m also aware of the fact that the man responsible for the shutdown is having a continuous temper tantrum and has little interest in budging.
This whole thing is ridiculous. No matter what side you’re on, this is ridiculous and I’ll tell you why.
We have thousands of issues within the borders of our own country that need our attention yet our elected officials would rather focus on citizens of another country who desire to come to the United State to attempt to achieve the “American Dream” they see advertised. While our concentration should be on national reform and overhauls, we are forced to stare in the face of a matter that pales in comparison to what we’re dealing with on our home turf.
We have homegrown terrorists.
Race relations are rapidly deteriorating.
Violent crime is high.
Some communities don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Kids are hungry.
The prisons are full.
Our justice system needs to be obliterated and rebuilt.
Drugs are rampant.
#MeToo brought our rape and sexual harassment culture to the forefront.
Pollution is suffocating in some cities.
Police brutality remains an issue.
The wage gap hasn’t been closed between genders.
The achievement gap seems to be widening.
School shootings have become a norm.
And civil rights are being violated every day.
We have thousands of issues HERE. Here. Right here within our 50 states.
Before we can get “tough” on controlling who comes to this country and how, we need to work to ensure we’re making it a country worth coming to. We need to take care of home and right now we aren’t doing that.
Before pointing fingers at everyone else, we need to take inventory of our own nation and assess how we might be contributing to some of these issues. Before worrying about a wall, we need to be worried about the world we’re creating for the next generation.
A wall isn’t going to solve these problems. The issues aren’t the result of anyone entering this country without matriculating through proper protocol. These issues have been here for years, decades, centuries.
These problems continue because they keep getting swept under our enormous rug. Consistently ignoring them only leaves room for these problems to breed. And when things breed, they produce more of what they’re derived from.
This harvest of issues isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, especially if they aren’t tackled head on.
We must start addressing the issues in our own country before we are unable to see the roots because they’re engulfed in the forest.
Kassaundra Shanette Lockhart is a freelance writer.