One word seems to summarize July 2016: trainwreck. On Tuesday, a memorial service was held for the five police officers who were murdered late last Thursday evening during a peaceful protest directed at police brutality. What appears to have precipitated the murders were two acts of police aggression, which occurred earlier in the week: one in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, resulting in the death of Alton Sterling; and the second in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, resulting in the death of Philando Castile.
Shortly before July began, our friends in Great Britain voted to leave the EU, causing immediate seismic negative global market reactions, which have since somewhat stabilized. This too, sadly, was preceded by the murder of a Member of British Parliament while the attacker yelled "put Britain first," indicating his allegiance to the Leave movement.
To pile it on state-side, the GOP recently released their 2016 Presidential Platform, with some of their main ideological tenants being:
- A Constitutional amendment to overturn the recent Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which ended states' prohibition on same-sex marriage;
- Potentially the strongest anti-abortion platform ever, directly contravening the even-more-recent Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, et al.;
- Waging war on porn as a "public health crisis", while refusing to budge on the mere concept of debating whether researching gun safety is a good idea; and
- The Border Wall... sigh.
So what's the deal? Are we really just this fucked?
Shortly after some maniac claiming to pledge his allegiance to ISIS committed the deadliest mass-shooting in US history, and while some other maniac called for their deportation, a Muslim group actually urged members to break fast during the holy month of Ramadan and donate blood to local hospitals.
Chick-fil-A, a company which was exposed in 2012 for having a hardline, anti-gay political position, was making food for blood donors in Orlando shortly after the massacre targeting homosexuals at Pulse.
Italy, in exchange for tax breaks, incentivizes its supermarkets to donate unsold food to shelters for the needy rather than let the food go to waste. Earlier this year, Starbucks launched a similar policy.
A high-end restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio, employs ex-convicts through a nonprofit cooking course and gives them a second chance at finding honest work. The results? 114 graduates, 90% of which are employed, and none have returned to prison.
There is no Small Pox, Black Death, Spanish Flu, or other cataclysmic disease wiping populations off the map. In fact, just this month, Australian scientists dealt a major, if not fatal blow to the AIDS epidemic plaguing their nation. That, and global hunger is at its lowest point in over two decades.
The O-Zone layer over Antarctica is healing. A former-NASA engineer has created a startup which aims to plant one billion trees a year by utilizing drone technology. And, much to Fabio and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter's chagrin, it has been concluded that there is no direct link between butter and heart disease.
At the Dallas memorial ceremony, former President George W. Bush stated: "we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions." He went on:
At our best, we know we have one country, one future, one destiny. We do not want the unity of grief, nor do we want the unity of fear. We want the unity of hope, affection and high purpose.
President Obama echoed these sentiments:
We know there is evil in this world. That's why we need police departments ... But as Americans, we can decide that people like this killer will ultimately fail. They will not drive us apart. We can decide to come together and make our country reflect the good inside us, the hopes and simple dreams we share
Amidst the immediate hysteria of the Dallas shootings, a child in a stroller was caught in the mayhem. A group of people were caught protecting and assisting the stroller to safety...
A former reporter at the Boston Metro, Nate Hortman, wrote:
In the middle of the horror, in the wake of nightmare, amid the outrage and the call to arms is this moment of humanity: People, black and white, surrounded a baby stroller in Dallas as the gunfire broke out. This is the better nature of our angels. This is who we are and who we should strive to be.
There's good news everywhere, we just need to look for it.
[cover photo via Independent]