If you’re upset about Nike featuring Colin Kaepernick in their new ad campaign, that’s you’re prerogative. If you want to burn, rip up, or otherwise destroy the clothing or shoes or schwag you’ve already paid for, also your prerogative. If you think his kneeling is disrespectful to our military, that even though he was exercising his First Amendment right, peacefully protesting, you’re entitled to your opinion. That’s your First Amendment Right as well. I get that you’ve paid a few hundred dollars for your seat, another hondo for beers and brats, and you won’t be able to get that minute and a half back out of your life. Totally get it.
While you’re at, please consider the following list that you might also find offensive, disrespectful or otherwise dishonorable. No particular order.
And by the way, this is not an “exhaustive” list of what might make you pissed off, it’s just a sampling.
A mass shooting happened in Jacksonville, FL and one in Cincinnati, OH, recently. “Breaking news” and a few mentions on the evening news, are all that marked yet another mass shooting in our country.
Native American women and girls are murdered at 10 times the national average rate, on some reservations (from 2008 DOJ report) and 84% of native women have experienced violence in their lifetime and 56% of native women are survivors of sexual violence (2016 NIJ report).
In Detroit, 16 of 24 schools had their drinking water shut off right before school started because of high levels of lead and copper. (Detroit Free Press – 8/29/18)
Flint still does not have safe water – four years later. (Source – every person who lives in Flint and is afraid to drink the water.)
1 in 113 people in the world is now a refugee. Every three seconds, someone is displaced from their home because of conflict, climate change, or persecution. 68,500,000 were displaced at the end of 2017. (UN Refugee Agency)
Every year, nearly 2 million CHILDREN will be homeless in the United States with 40% of the ENTIRE homeless population, under the age of 18. (Covenant House – though the National Center for Family Homelessness actually puts that number around 2.5 million or 1 in every 30 kids, as of a 2014 study.)
Nearly 80,000 people in Michigan voted in 2016 filling out their entire ballot but DIDN’T check the box for President. (Mlive.com – Michigan Elections and Politics)
There are 12,800 immigrant children being held by the Health and Human Services Department. An HHS spokeswoman confirmed, that is the highest number ever. In 2016, the monthly average of kids in HHS care ranged between 4,000 and 9,000. The average stay is 59 days up from 35 days at the end of the Obama administration.
The opioid crisis claims 116 people every day. (HRSA.gov/opioids – the official government organization of Health Resources and Services Administration). And the same pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, that started this crisis by pushing oxycontin saying it was “safe”, now wants to “fix it” by prescribing another drug meant to help treat opioid addiction. (Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Independent, etc)
Wells Fargo continues to defraud customers after admitting to opening fake accounts, mortgage and auto loan issues and compliance risk management issues and paying out billions in fines because of their greed. (Bloomberg, LA Times, The Nation, etc)
A nominee for the Supreme Court has demonstrably lied under oath on multiple occasions. (Slate, Vox, QZ, etc)
A foreign government interfered in our election process and our government has no central strategy for election security to protect the upcoming mid-terms. (Source - every law enforcement agency in the country)
The news media in this country has been called “the enemy of the people” and journalists have been threatened at rallies, bullied online and killed, for doing their jobs. (Source - President Trump, every news outlet that has covered rallies and Capital Gazette, Annapolis)
1 in 6 people face hunger which translates to nearly 41 million people in the US, 12 million of which are children. (Feeding America, Do Something.org)
769 million people around the world live on less than $1.90 a day, according to the World Bank.
The Catholic Church is still protecting pedophiles and abusers.
Nearly 500 children still remain in detention centers separated from their parents. Source – Trump Administration)
The San Juan Basin (Four Corners area of the US) is home to the highest concentration of methane pollution in the US: methane waste is far worse than carbon dioxide for the atmosphere, contributes to millions of dollars of lost money and is linked to toxic pollutants that cause cancer, neurological diseases and respiratory ailments. (Source – San Juan Citizens.org)
Food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply. This estimate, based on the USDA's Economic Research Service of 31 percent food loss at the retail and consumer levels, corresponded to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010.
Nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in the United States in 2016 — more than twice the number of homicides — making it the 10th-leading cause of death. Among people ages 15 to 34, suicide is the second-leading cause of death. (Source – National Institute of Mental Health)
The administration wants to allow children to be separated from their families and detained for an unlimited amount of time. Most, if not all of the facilities that “house” these children and immigrants in general, are run by private corporations. They are funded by us, the taxpayers of the United States. It costs around $700 per day per person. (Source – Trump Administration)
In the United States, 22 million military veterans account for 7 percent of the population. But veterans make up about 12 percent of the adult homeless population, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
1 out of every 9, or 821 million, went hungry in 2017 according the annual State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition report, published recently by five United Nations agencies.
The founder and president of a pharmaceutical company that last month raised the price of an "essential" antibiotic from $474.75 per bottle to $2,392 per bottle tells the Financial Times the 400% was a “moral requirement”.
What may be millions of water bottles. meant for victims of Hurricane Maria, have been sitting on a runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, since last year, according to FEMA. Nearly 3000 people died as a result of the devastation.
An 8-year old girl from New Jersey and a 9-year old boy from Colorado committed suicide after being bullied. An 8-year old girl from New Jersey and a 9-year old boy from Colorado committed suicide after being bullied. An 8-year old girl from New Jersey and a 9-year old boy from Colorado committed suicide after being bullied. An 8-year old girl from New Jersey and a 9-year old boy from Colorado committed suicide after being bullied. An 8-year old girl from New Jersey and a 9-year old boy from Colorado committed suicide after being bullied. An 8-year old girl from New Jersey and a 9-year old boy from Colorado committed suicide after being bullied.
In 2012, a North Carolina law banned the state from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific predictions of how much the sea level will rise, prompting environmentalists to accuse the state of disrespecting climate science. Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue decided to let it become law by doing nothing. Hurricane Florence brought the Carolinas life-threatening storm surge killing at least 15 people including a baby, catastrophic winds and inundating rain in its wake.
We have been “at war” for 17 years in Afghanistan with no end in sight. Projected cost at present is around $2 trillion factoring in long-term spending on veteran’s care and interest on debt. Nearly 3000 US soldiers have been killed. Tens of thousands of Afghans have died including children. (The Pentagon)
Yet another unarmed black man was shot and killed. In his own apartment. (Dallas Police Department)
Duke Energy pled guilty to criminal violations of the Clean Water Act in May 2015. Since then, Duke has downplayed ongoing problems at its coal-fired power plants in reports to its federal court-appointed monitor, who oversees the company’s compliance with terms of its five-year probation. (Source - Waterkeeper Alliance) Now rains from Hurricane Florence have caused a collapse at closed power station near the Carolina coast likely spilling enough coal ash into the Cape Fear River, to fill 180 dump trucks.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott slashed environmental programs during his two terms and his resistance to regulations and to the scientific study of the sources and causes of the algae blooms and red tide have evidently contributed to the plague of pollution in Florida’s waters. And there is the issue of flooding from sea level rise: rising seas, a population crowded along the coast, porous bedrock, and the relatively common occurrence of tropical storms put more real estate and people at risk from storm surges aggravated by sea level rise in Florida, than any other state by far. (Politifact, Governing.com)
Millions of dollars were taken from other programs including FEMA and given to private corporations that run the detention facilities “housing” immigrant children and families. (Trump Administration)
Global warming has already doubled or tripled the odds of extreme high-water events over widespread areas of the U.S. coast. They are likely to see storm surges on top of sea level rise reaching at least 4 feet above high tide by 2030, and 5 feet by 2050. Nearly 5 million U.S. residents currently live on land less than 4 feet above high tide, and more than 6 million on land less than 5 feet above. (Scientific American, National Climate Assessment, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
Nearly 3000 people died in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Our President, says that is a lie. (An independent study by George Washington University's Milken Institute of School of Public Health.)
Lions, tigers, elephants and rhino are among the many wild animals that are being hunted to the edge of extinction. (Too many sources to list)
Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate our marine environments. (Ocean Conservancy, Scientific American)
Per capita, the US spends more on medical care than other country in the world but has lower life expectancy and worse health. (Harvard University)
And if you’re reading this on a laptop, mobile phone, smartphone, or other electronic device, you may very well be funding violence and conflict in many parts of the world where the minerals that are in these devices, are mined.
As of this year, nearly 10,000 first responders / others who were in the WTC area have been diagnosed with cancer. More than 2,000 deaths have been attributed to 9/11 related illnesses. (The Centers for Disease Control)
So….Be pissed at Nike. Call Colin Kaepernick “unpatriotic”. But find something that really matters in the grand scheme of things. Your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will thank you for it. Just Do It.
EVERY MONDAY AM CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS
I HAVE BEEN ON THE TRAIL FOR ALMOST TWO DECADES DOCUMENTING THE MOOD IN THE U.S. AT THE DAWN OF THE 21 ST CENTURY
I give voice to those whose stories provide us creative inspiration to rethink how to stay engaged. Activism incites change, and I have made a career out of identifying the story we have not heard. As a photojournalist my focus has been to take photographs that create awareness to celebrate the human spirit. When I began my photographic project , I Protest, I was in search of a visual template that could help me relate the successful marches of my generation, in the seventies, to today's protests. I never seem to tire of documenting what compels people to rise up. Maybe that's because I still believe a single photo has the power to affect our over stimulated culture. The challenge is to present the image that would have never have been seen. After eighteen years on the trail there is no shortage of drama and chaos. Today the frenzy is at a fever pitch. I have witnessed the growing establishment of two distinct Americas, as the divide in the U.S. today has challenged the stability of our democracy.
I felt i needed to hear from those I had covered on the trail and decided to create America Speaks Podcast; a groundbreaking weekly show that challenges us to go beyond the political malaise and find inspiration from everyday heroes who are dedicating their lives to alternative ideas and actions.