History unravels in unexpected ways. And the past few days have been explosive. On social media, I keep reading posts and comments from friends, family and strangers nagging about the fuss and celebration regarding “trivial” things when there are “more important issues” to deal with. At the beginning, I thought it was better to ignore those comments. Not anymore. So let’s recap:
1. The lynching of nine human beings at a historically black church by a terrorist white supremacist triggered a national movement to finally challenge the last official symbol of slavery and hate against black people. That is not a small thing.
2. The Supreme Court decided to validate the Affordable Care Act protecting millions of Americans from losing life-saving health coverage while reminding that the responsibility of the government is to create and not to destroy. That is not a small thing.
3. After decades of treating them like second-class members of society, the States and territories of the US can no longer discriminate against their gay citizens in matters of marriage, granting their relationships the legal recognition and dignity they diserve. That is not a small thing.
Allow me to explain.
1. As most history books (and Google) will confirm, the Civil War was primarily about slavery, the right to own other human beings. “The burning issue that led to the disruption of the union was the debate over the future of slavery” [history.net]. The Confederate Flag is a symbol of those ideals and values. If you as an individual want to honor that flag and keep it as a symbol of “better days”, that’s within your rights. But having it displayed on top of a government building is despicable and inmoral. It is a big deal.
2. About one death in three in this country results from our very high-income inequality. High inequality results in more US deaths than tobacco, car crashes and guns combined. Inadequate access or lack of health coverage is one leading factor of those deaths. Protecting the people’s access to affordable health care saves lives. It is a big deal.
3. People with PTSD are at increased risk for depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and problems in relationships and employment. The incidence of PTSD in gays, lesbians and transgenders doubles when compared to the “normal” population. Why? Due to violence, bullying in childhood and young adulthood and social isolation. So, granting gays, lesbian and transgenders equal protection and equal rights, allowing them the tools to keep fighting on a leveled playing field, it’s a matter of public health, human rights, and sometimes life and death. It is a big deal.
As a person who have lived and witnessed, first-hand, the devastating effects of depression, PTSD, racism and discrimination, I can sincerely and respectfully tell you THESE ARE BIG FUCKING DEALS. Stop the bitterness, the whine and all the nagging; things are actually getting better.