It’s the end of a week that’s ‘one for the books.’ Endless news coverage has reminded us that we’re living in times during which not much can be taken for granted. It has been exhausting.
The week brought a vote by the House of Representatives to invade citizens’ privacy on one end, and a win by the National Rifle Association against all voices in support of sane gun control legislation on the other.
In other domestic happenings, this week also brought the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon and the eventual capture of the alleged perpetrator — a 19 year-old — after a massive manhunt while, internationally, the shooting in Greece of dozens of immigrants who simply wanted to be paid after receiving no compensation for 6 months made us realise that the rights of workers should be automatic and not simply ‘granted’ by those who feel it’s their right to withhold safety and wages from others.
Another domestic event, the explosion at a fertiliser plant in Texas that killed 14 and injured 200 others, reminded us of the devastation that can occur when greed gets in the way and government isn’t provided the necessary resources to do its job: regulate and/or inspect, especially as it’s clear that the private sector fails to police itself. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was last able to inspect that facility in 1985; how’s that for austerity and starving ‘big government‘? And with this event we saw rampant hypocrisy from the same politicians who wanted to secede from the Union and not contribute tax dollars to the federal coffers now requesting — no, demanding — federal dollars to clean up a private mess.
Internationally, death and destruction visited in the form of a powerful minute-long earthquake that struck the steep hills of China’s southwestern Sichuan province, leaving at least 181 people dead, more than 11,200 injured and countless others missing in the rubble. As is always the case, first responders were on the scene doing what they do best: helping without regard to their own safety.
Exhausting. Just exhausting.
This week has been one filled with many lows during which we’ve also seen people at their best, such as the Boston marathon runners who kept running after the finish line to the local hospitals so that they could donate blood, and the numerous sports teams that put aside rivalries in support of their opponents. They proved a point: we can be opponents without being hateful adversaries.
We also saw the worst: the zealots in the media who pointed fingers and used descriptors such as “dark-skinned male” with brown skin without neither real information nor evidence but based solely on a prospective suspect’s ethnicity, and we saw several shameful revenge attacks on innocent Muslims. Perhaps we should have expected that given the media’s choice to feed xenophobic fears.
Best and worst…in such a short period of time.
That’s the week in review, folks.
May next week be better than the last.