About Those Comments…

life2

 

I am very grateful for your comments, and I will do my best to respond. That’s the best way I can think of to show my appreciation.

Yes, Janice, the Democrats have not been reliable champions of the global black underclass. And you are right to be outraged at the mess President Obama and Hillary Clinton left in Libya.

You are right, Grace, to complain that America’s socio-economic system is rigged.

And, yes, Eddie, Democrats have failed to cure America’s shocking income inequality.

Pondering the very valid points you all raise, I concede that justice and fairness are often missing in this society.

But where is it any better? Who has done a better job of creating a system that works?

I admire Canada, but right now the Canadian dollar is languishing. With all its vast resources, Canada is struggling economically after a decade of misguided “conservative” government.

Great Britain, once the center of a mighty empire, is floundering. Europe is coming apart at the seams. The Soviet Empire is a vague memory and Russia is in desperate economic straits.

The Mideast is in flames.

Even China seems to be on the economic skids. And would you want to live in China, where the government dictates how many children you can have?

Janice, you and Eddie seem to be admirers of Gaddafi (or Qadafi or Kadafi, or whatever). But would you want to have lived in Libya during his rule? That society was certainly no model of morality. He was a brutal dictator who indulged his basest tastes and savagely suppressed dissent. This is your role model?

I’ve never lived in Libya, but I lived in Haiti when I was a young man, and compared to Haiti, America is paradise on earth.

And would you argue that Jamaican society is better than America’s? The Jamaican dollar is worth a few American cents. What do you say to that?

At least, here in America we are free to have this discussion without fear of reprisal. If we don’t like the job we have, we are free to find a better job. And, while good jobs are not as available as they once were, I personally have never been out of work in my 37 years as an American resident.

I have never been held up at gunpoint in America – as I was in Jamaica – or threatened or beaten up. I have never gone hungry (and trust me, I went hungry in Haiti!).

I concede that American society has its faults. Tribalism, and its toxic byproduct racism, are endemic. And, yes, the rich and powerful take advantage of the vulnerable. Some people are obscenely rich while others  must struggle to make ends meet. Government influence is bought and sold like a pound of sugar…

But where is life better?

You have to admit that most Americans are generous to a fault. Most of the wealthy donate to some kind of charitable work (some of it is bogus, some of it genuine – but the motive is laudable). And, be honest, who is stopping you from becoming obscenely rich? Go invent a catchy gizmo or sell something on the web for Heavens’ sake.

Or become a Wall Street investor. Money has no color bar or gender bias. Anyone of any shape or shade is eligible to make money. All you need is guts and luck.

You, too, are free to become part of the one percent. So what if the system is rigged against you? Try harder. If Carly Fiorina could make millions, what’s wrong with you? You’re smarter, nicer and better looking, that’s for sure!

And if you don’t like the system, fix it. At least here, we are free to try and cure our society’s ills.

As for me, an old, retired codger, the best I can do right now is vote for Hillary – or Bernie – and the other Democrats. Voting for anyone else would be counterproductive. And sitting home on election day would be unforgiveable.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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