When the truth is considered “too controversial”

I’m beginning to realize how spiritually broken we truly are as a nation when I see a young incoming politician like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez say something as logical and sane as “sick people shouldn’t have to die because they can’t afford healthcare” and is labeled everything from a radical to a communist to a wacko and even invited to leave the United States (the country she was born in!) by the mentally unstable man we currently have as president. 

Growing up, I was taught to be blindly patriotic, to accept our white-washed version of history and to never question my country’s stances and policies, especially its foreign policies. As much as I’d like to think of myself as a rebel (I was one in many ways), I’m embarrassed to admit that intellectual laziness made me automatically obey those rules.

Who knows, maybe if I hadn’t broken my neck and become paralyzed  – thus a burden on a system that was designed to favor those at the top while squashing those at the bottom – my intellectual laziness would have lasted to this day. It took getting kicked around by a cruel system to open my eyes and not only learn actual history, but come face to face with my country’s bloody past and ugly present.

Growing up in what was once labeled “the whitest state in the country”, Maine, I don’t remember witnessing a single instance of racial profiling or police brutality, for example. That changed very quickly when I moved to New York City.

Yes, I was aware of the many issues that so often divide the so called left and the so called right, but I had very few first-hand, personal experiences.

It was also my first time meeting a large group of people devoted to changing the things they couldn’t accept: social, racial, environmental and economic injustice. 

I’m not going to drag this out. I’d just like to finish by saying that I find it disheartening and heart-breaking to see empty people like the Kardashians get tens of millions of followers on social media and an unbelievable amount of media attention while courageous justice warriors like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have significantly fewer social media followers and usually get negative media attention, often even getting ridiculed.

And since I’m too old to care about being liked by everyone, I might as well confess that when I post something mundane on social media myself and get a lot more attention than when I bring up issues of importance, I feel not only discouraged but hopeless.

Shut up, Shannon, you’re making us uncomfortable. Just post another cute picture of a pet, a meal, a joke, etc, you’re too political!

OK, I’ll obey, I’ll keep posting cute pictures and videos of cats. Actually of just one cat, a disabled one. But let me warn you: sometimes he sounds like a zen master and other times like Noam Chomsky!

If that’s how I’m going to get people to pay attention to important matters, so be it.

#SocialJustice #SocialJusticeWarriors #StrongWomenScareWeakMen

#ThePlanetIsOnFire #NoTimeForSelfies #UncomfortableFacts

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