Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Things I Don't Understand

Sometimes reading the newspaper requires fortitude—there's so much I don't understand. On the front page another shooting, civil wars, skirmishes that result in the loss of life, photographs of devastation, politicians posturing, conservatives battling with liberals, name calling... And I know that for every incident pundits explain underlying causes, ways to ameliorate the situation or how to quash the opposition.

That's what I don't fathom. How did we get to the place where my opinion, my land, my religion, my skin, my ethics transcends your right to exist? Yes, I know that students of history can trace the beginnings or attempt to place a thumbprint on the start.

It's 96 degrees and there are several men who work for a landscaping company weeding the lawns in this development. They wear long sleeve shirts and do back breaking work. Our governor vetoed a minimum wage raise. He said,"It's not good for business." The legislature disagreed and overrode his veto.

It's 96 degrees and I'm at our air conditioned library. Two young women with their toddlers spent the afternoon in the children's library. One of the women said to the librarian," You can't breath in my house." My next door neighbor runs her air conditioned twenty-four hours a day. I know what it's like to live in a hot apartment. I grew up in the Bronx and I recall some dog days of summer when the buildings leaning one against the other even kept the breeze from entering the neighborhood.
The newspaper chronicles inequalities.


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