Today, we discussed the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, talked to two local government officeholders and then discussed our thoughts. To me, one of the most striking points was that we are not concerned with injustice beyond what we perceive to be our community. For example, Iraq experienced its deadliest terror attack since 2003 on Sunday, which claimed around 300 people’s lives. However, since most Americans do not see Iraqis as part of their community, discussion and displays of sympathy have been minimal.
Another point that stood out is that we have become accustomed to seeing violence and hatred around us. We expect suicide attacks in the Middle East and police shootings in the US. Just as in the case of the Flint water crisis and the revelation of the NSA’s domestic surveillance, we experience a short burst of outrage and nothing more when a new issue comes to light. We do not feel directly affected, so we move on with our lives and forget about these problems.
It is highly unlikely that we, as a global community, will ever be able to solve all of our major problems. However, that should not stop us from trying. As our local government officials told us, making a change is not necessarily difficult. Voting, which only takes a couple of hours per year, can have a profound positive impact on our lives and those of the people around us.