The day is breezy and sunny in Tarpon Springs, Florida. It’s fifteen minutes past 11:00am and the whirring of construction is nearby and in full swing. Flowers have begun to uncurl and birds and playing along the power lines.
Across the Tampa Bay area, thousands of women are on their way out to downtown St. Petersburg to march in the Women’s March on Washington to protest against the inauguration of Donald J Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
It is a painful reality to confront at 7:45 am as I walk to Hellas to get a cappuccino while my household slept. The newspaper says there are protests happening with hundreds of thousands of people in around 250 countries. A small flock of tears are welling but of course i’m in public but I feel proud as can be for the fighters and their stories. This is the reality of that future I spent years dreaming of.
Those of us enamored with the idea of technology believed: surely the internet will bring the world together. Surely we will finally have peace and equality for all on the planet. Learn and love each other for the first time. And maybe we still might, but the journey will take longer than we knew.
There is just so much more hate than we could have anticipated and hate is hard to unlearn. You can consider the huge advance of programs, not even programs with the internet but programs from entrepreneurs and businessmen and women who want to see everyones lives improve because technology has that power.
In fact, these companies are investing more in educating the people than any of the government programs which have been left collecting dust for so long while we spend trillions of dollars on war and bailing out the big banks. You look at LinkedIn’s investing and acquisition of Lynda, the uprising of MOOC culture and sites such as Courser.org , Udemy.com, EdEx.com, and even universities themselves offering training and educational content for free. The way we teach and learn as a society is evolving because the danger of having and nurturing uneducated masses is more obvious than it ever has been before.
For so long, we allowed systemic gentrification and mass relocating to the massive and growing urban sprawls, meanwhile allowing rural communities to be driven into economic collapse, abandoning them, their education and their future.
I hope now, as the Unites States of America, we the people can really ACTIVE ourselves and make a difference in the direction of good in 2020. We need to stay strong through this presidency, and fight every step of the way to protect our rights and our progress so far. We need to hold our governments accountable, as they represent us.
We cannot stand by and expect them to do good, ignoring our rights as citizens. These are truly dark and historically significant times and the time is not now to do nothing.