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That was a comment to one of the many, many posts I've read about the travesty of justice in the Trayvon Martin murder case since I arrived home this evening.

And I wish that were the case, but it's not, folks.

Hoping the world riots and sets itself on fire over what happened to Trayvon Martin is pointless. It won't. People will rage for a few days, sign a few online petitions, maybe write their senators or the President, and then they'll forget that a white man shot an unarmed black kid for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Americans just don't give enough of a damn about others anymore to care. If we did, we'd be rioting about food, social welfare, and the economy. We aren't.

Here are some of the other things that tell me Americans just don't give enough of a damn about others anymore to care:

1. A black woman fired a warning shot in Florida to scare off her husband, whom she felt was threatening her. She received 20 years in prison for a warning shot. Apparently "stand your ground" only applies to racist white guys who try to (or succeed in) shooting black kids.

2. Programs that would help the poor and needy are being systematically stripped out of government, while the poor and needy are being told they are lazy, unmotivated, useless, and a drain on the economy. The non-poor and non-needy (increasingly few) are being told how lazy, unmotivated, useless, and draining to the economy the poor and needy are, and they are believing it because they need someone to blame for their privileged discomfort at having to know that there even are poor and needy.

At the same time, corporations pay no taxes, ship jobs overseas, scoop profit and value out of the income stream and move it offshore to keep it from their workers, and do everything they can to pass more "business-friendly" (which means worker-unfriendly) laws and statutes so they can continue to get away with it.

3. Women in Texas were just stripped of necessary medical care, abortion procedure coverage, and other important protections by a vote taken after a legal filibuster should have sent it away for the entire legislative session.

4. Student loan debtors were just saddled with another $1000 per year in debt as their interest rates were doubled by a do-nothing Congress. Most current college graduates - myself, my students - graduate saddled with debt that cannot be bankrupted and which will keep us from ever buying a home or establishing other necessary markers of responsible American adulthood: investments, vacations, retirement.

5. Food, gas, and home prices are skyrocketing at the same time that employment opportunities are shrinking.

6. Americans are getting more degrees, and at the same time they are getting stupider. Education in this country is a joke. It is no longer funded, it is monetized and for-profit, and it's frankly worthless.

These things are happening, and nobody is having a revolution. Marx was wrong. Human beings are too apathetic to give a damn.

Where are the food riots? Where are the debt riots? Where are the strikes against the corporations? Where are the boycotts? Where are any of the activities that might change things?

I don't see them.

That tells me that Trayvon is just today's news, and in two weeks nobody will care anymore. There'll be a new crisis, a new cause, a new murder, a new scandal.

It sucks, and it's wrong, and it's disgusting, but that's still the way it is.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

    by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:43:55 PM PDT

  •  ASDF (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, Bryce in Seattle

    There are many instances of human beings not being "too apathetic to give a damn". And world set on fire would kill a whole new crop of innocents with dubious chances for an overall positive outcome. More voices are better, more action is better, but that is not the same thing as pretenses that there currently are no voices or that all action is positive.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:56:29 PM PDT

    •  All I see is a world I don't want to leave my kids (10+ / 0-)


      I used to be optimistic that we could change the world. Now I'm just sick of the world. Prove to me that your average Joe Q. Public really gives a damn about Trayvon, or debt, or tax-evading corporations, or any of it. Take a look at one of the most-recommended diaries on the Rec List today. Those apathetic fuckers CHEERED in small-town Texas when Zimmerman was acquitted.

      That has me so disgusted that I have zero hope for this country tonight.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

      by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:00:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heartbreaking. n/t (3+ / 0-)

        If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

        by Bryce in Seattle on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:53:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Read Les Miserables (5+ / 0-)

        I dont think you can say that Marx was not right. (But thats an unimportant sidetrack).

        More important, think back hundred fifty years. In what I think is called the gilded age, there too was an establishment and a settled bourgeois opinion that was "the recceived public opinion" of its day. And it too did not give a shit about the injustices of its day - injustices that were arguably öarger than today´s.

        They were not overcome by politely talking to this established bourgeoisie convincing them to spontaneously make a better society. They were overcome by the countless injured classes of people organizing themselves, responding to only their own judgement, and then "setting the world on fire" if I may use your metaphor.

        Changes back then, and changes today, dont come from hoping that "Joe Q" changes their opinion, they will not. The fixation on received public opinion needs to go. Racists cheer in Texas, when did they not? To who does that matter? Just like with the old socialists, excluded and suppressed people have to take their independence from the views of the ruling groups and create their own world, and yes that will clash with the ruling groups, and these clashes have to be had and fought, but it needs giving up on the expectation that somehow the rulers and profiteers - be they rich or white or both - would ever "see the error of their ways". The more people make that step the more change comes near.

        •  What I'm saying (6+ / 0-)

          is that there will be no revolution this time.

          We aren't Les Miserables. We are Les Medicated and Les Repressed. And we're so medicated we're not even aware we're repressed any more.

          "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

          by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:21:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i'm feeling the same way (0+ / 0-)

            but still hoping for real resistance

            it probably won't come from this country though

            if change comes from here, it may be the result of the rest of the world having to stand up and oppose us

            that light pic of the united states of stasi is going to be the norm around the globe

            if we use our mercenaries to put one more country down, something is going to break

            we are going to be culturally and economically isolated from the rest of the world

          •  Idiot Wind (0+ / 0-)

            Huxley predicted it in "Brave new World"...there's an Idiot wind, to borrow from Mr Dylan,blowing across this country.  It's disgusting and disheartening.  Read the other day that the average TV show is built on a 3rd grade level. Our society has become so inundated with instant visual entertainment, sedentary from our diets, and dumbed down in our can the seeds of revolution take hold in that...

            “Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others.” ― Robert F. Kennedy

            by docreed2003 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 11:42:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  They're not loud enough. eom (0+ / 0-)

      None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

      by achronon on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 03:12:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I felt a twinge of rage when the verdict was read. (3+ / 0-)

    I know anger won't make him guilty nor bring back Trayvon, but damnit, I thought that for once, the bad guy would get punished. It's bad enough that Florida let Casey Anthony walk, now they let Zimmerman walk too.

    TIL that Florida is a bad place to be if you're a black teenager OR a toddler born to an overgrown spoiled brat.

    Forgive me, I've been drinking a bit.

  •  Frustration (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, LadyMiseryAli

    We can't fix everything at once, but we can learn from the successes supplied by history.

    If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

    by Bryce in Seattle on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:57:10 PM PDT

  •  I agree with you Cows (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Most people will muddle through their lives, just trying to make ends meet and not get too upset with the world around them.  Maybe it is because, unlike the baby boomers, who became the voices of the 60's to some extent, there is no glut of intelligent, middle class, college educated people that are willing to sacrifice everything to make a change.  

    Maybe, there is little to no media that is willing to show the problems and protests.  Arab Spring happened once and all were aware of it.  Arab Spring 2 is happening now and nobody is aware of it.  

    Maybe we are overwhelmed with what problems exist (corporate greed, climate change, failed justice, failed economy, etc, etc) and the targets are too hard to find. Or people realize that we are all targets--we drive somewhere and know we contribute to climate change; or our now necessary 401k is tied up with companies that abuse the workers in some way, that is if we even know what companies are in the 401k.  

    It is so complex and interwoven that there is no one thing to stand up for, or against, that is not tied to everything else.  

    I fear for my son and his future.  He wants to design roller coasters.  May be he will be lucky, because at least he will be contributing to the passivication of the masses as they try to block out the blankness of their lives.  

    Of course I have been known to be a bit (or more) pessimistic.. so I can (and hope) to be wrong and some sort of shake up will happen.  But this will have to be a deep renewing and replacing of our current "governing" system.  Maybe a representative parliament where all groups that get a percentage of the vote get to play and have a voice in a coalition.  It seems to have helped Germany to some extend in some areas, it can only help here.

    Two quotes I wish to live by "Strength and Honor" (Gladiator) and "Do or Do Not, There is no Try" (SW-ESB).

    by SQD35R on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 12:53:02 AM PDT

  •  If you want fire, start rubbing sticks together. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not condoning that you or anyone else take "direct action", but if you and others think it should happen, then perhaps you should do more than merely writing a diary about it.

    That's one of the problems with progressive social movements in social media on the internet, it's more like group therapy than agitation. People don't know each other well enough to know how to goad them into action, and people don't know each other well enough to trust them with ideas that might get them into trouble.

    Maybe all the progressives on the internet are wimps. Or maybe everyone thinks that the process of justice was just, even if we think they happened to get it wrong. It's harder to get worked up into a frenzy about an injustice if we conclude that the jurors were merely incompetent instead of malevolent.

    -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

    by JPax on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 01:33:35 AM PDT

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