this is america

The majority want the powerful to answer for their abuse and indifference but can’t get it.

The majority want meaningful gun control but can’t get it.

The majority want a system of law driven by justice, not money, but can’t get it.

The majority want universal health care but can’t get it.

The majority want a health system that does not exploit their suffering for profit but can’t get it.

The majority want the wealthy to pay their fair share of the tax burden but can’t get it.

The majority want everyone willing to work to earn a livable wage but can’t get it.

The majority want leadership accountable to science and justice and even with a mountain of incontrovertible evidence of abuse and disregard they can’t get it.

The majority want a system of government rooted in compassion, but can’t get it.

Why are people of color still struggling for the rights and privileges I have enjoyed my entire life? Why is it permitted that their lives are lived in fear? Why is their peaceful protest against brutality met with more brutality? How dare we act indignant when these confrontations turn violent? This is a white problem, and not enough white people are ready to confront that.

Why are women still fighting for control of their bodies and for justice in the face of horrific abuse? Why are their demands for basic acknowledgment of their humanity still swept under the rug in case after case, court after court?

Why do Americans permit a for-profit health system that lets you die if you cannot pay? Many defend this as their god-given right. They have been told to think this by the people who profit from it.

Why are American police armed to the teeth while American children go hungry and uneducated? Why are mental health and addiction programs defunded while militarized police forces reap ever greater budgets? There is no way that this is a path to a brighter future.

The system does a very good job of serving the wealthy. My life has been comfortable here with my panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline. But I have not felt comfortable. Lies are spun wholesale by the profiteers and the ignorant who parrot them, and even though most of us see through it, we shrug from the comfort of our privilege. Selfish people in power drive the narrative, the ignorant buy it, most of us enable it, and a precious few of us waste unfathomable amounts of time fighting it. Almost half of Americans don’t vote in federal elections, never mind state and local. Some have been systemically blocked from it. The rest have been guided into thinking there’s no point, if they think about it at all. “I’m not political” is somehow an acceptable position rather than a shameful abdication of responsibility. They don’t trust the system, and somehow this justifies not participating in changing it.

I deeply appreciate the opportunities I’ve had here, and the many excellent people I’ve met and befriended along the way. I love you all. Your heart is the reason that the US has accomplished so much good in the world. You are what makes America great, and I truly believe if you continue to demand better, things will improve. You deserve it. And I will continue to add my voice to that cause. But I can’t keep my family here any more. The path forward for this country is dark, though I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. Still, right now, there is too great a chance that my family might come to harm in a system that profits from a lack of compassion. They will be safer and we will live healthier, happier lives in Canada.

*Footnote: of course I’m not leaving the company. We are accomplishing great things in education – see We are helping good people lead better lives. That work has to continue. Fortunately, a lot of that work can be done remotely — especially in the age of COVID-19 — and I will happily travel for the work that needs to be done in person. We have so much more to do.

2 thoughts on “this is america”

  1. My brother I’ll miss you. I wish we had more time but doing whats right by your family is all that matters. We have to meet up at least once more before you head out. Your brother and friend. Sam

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