I’m beginning to understand the politics

I was taught there are two subjects you don’t talk about at work: politics and religion. If you would like to see people in an uproar, start a conversation about one of these two subjects. It seems that life is politics. How much you know, don’t know, and if you can benefit from them. Let’s talk about politics.

I noticed I haven’t seen any homeless animals since I came to D.C. from Philadelphia. There are homeless people, people living on the street yet, there are no stray animals here. Why? Is it because animals are more valued? What’s going on? Does it not break your heart to see people on the streets, digging in the trash? Or is it more heartbreaking for you to see a cat eating out the trash? 

While I love animals, I don’t understand why people seem to be more concerned about keeping animals off the streets than helping people find homes. Last year, 77 people died from being homeless, according to D.C.’s medical examiner. I think things have to change. We can’t just let things continue on like this. 

When I was younger, if someone had a mental illness, their family would take care of them at home or take them to a facility. It was the same thing for people with disabilities. But now it appears as if these groups of people have been abandoned and left on the streets. Why? 

When I was younger, I couldn’t spot a person with mental illness. But today you can see them everywhere. How does it feel to take a walk with your children and have to explain tents, people sleeping on the ground in blankets? Don’t tell me it’s embarrassing. How many of you are keeping the truth from your children?

I know for sure kids are very intelligent. But this is something that’s really been rocking my brain since I came here. I see a lot of people with mental illnesses just walking around aimlessly. I didn’t know that mental institutions were widely shut down in the eighties. It feels like an episode from the “Twilight Zone.” 

Ronald Reagan put into motion the effort to shut down mental hospitals across the United States. In my research, I learned that John F. Kennedy was the one who came up with the idea to have mental health care centers. He had a mentally ill sister, so he understood the problem. Initially, he planned to build 1,500 outpatient mental health centers, according to USA Today. But the only reason why this never happened was because he was assassinated. So how come this idea hasn’t come about? How many people have to suffer directly or indirectly for there to be change? 

I believe the reason has to do with politics. Politics brings you back to racism (remember, the stat about % of homeless people in DC being people of color). Is that a coincidence?

It is capitalism’s fault we have people homeless on the street. Systems and social programs are designed to make it difficult for homeless people to vote. Elected officials work in buildings where you need an ID. When you’re homeless you’re viewed as a problem, not as a person with rights. People in power are making and saving money by cutting those human rights. If everyone was rich would that stop all these problems? No, because there would be no one to take care of wealthy people. Some politicians love controversy! Politicians are not all bad, the same goes for people.

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