I think I've changed my mind on a lot of things, but mostly through reading and learning more. I've had peers and teammates challenge my world views, particularly on race and policy. I think I've evolved on a lot of things by virtue of getting older and just learning more. More than one particular person, I think my time in college generally caused me to realize that I need a more nuanced worldview.
Broadly, I'd want to speak as carefully and clearly as possible on the ways that so many of the challenges we're facing as Americans and a global community are interlinked and so too are their solutions. We can't dismantle the police state until we have a candid understanding of how it's propped up by capital and how it props capital up in return, for example. We have to be clear about the ways that societal fracturing is in some part due to the way we consume and interact with our world and each other. None of it is easy or simple, but there's got to be a better broader understanding of these interconnections by Americans.
I believe in a woman's right to choose what is best for her body. I think the state has a role to play only in providing free, or at least easily affordable and accessible reproductive healthcare. I don't think the state has a place to legislate what someone can or cannot do with their body. I would say that I am not only pro- choice, but actively pro-abortion. I think it's imperative to appoint Supreme Court justices that are actively pro-choice and it is similarly imperative to make sure that legislators are passing pro-choice legislation that makes abortion safe and easily accessible. We know that anti-abortion laws don't actually reduce abortion rates, they just make them less safe. Anti-abortion legislation also falls heaviest on the poorest people, including communities of color and indigenous Americans.
Like abortion rights, it should be the right of any person to identify with whatever they see themselves as and to love who they want, and to do so without the fear of persecution by the state or anyone else.
I support the Black Lives Matter movement wholeheartedly. I knew about it after the 2014 Ferguson Protests but I admit I didn't follow it that closely. It's an indictment of our national mythos that we even have to state that black lives matter. It is of course tragic and not entirely surprising that it took the execution of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery for enough white Americans to really wake up and take stock of what black, brown, and native Americans have always known about the U.S. I hope that Black Lives Matter and anti-racism generally does not become a corporatized and capitalized campaign of profit and marketability. I am proud that it has reverberated across the world, but it's infuriating that we're fighting the same forces and systems that've existed domestically and internationally for decades.
Capitalism as a system is predicated on the exploitation of workers, it is about the means of production being owned by owners, rather than laborers. As a result, ethical and conscientious consumption isn't really possible, no matter what we tell ourselves. To tackle the climate crisis, to ensure a more equitable future, to narrow the global wealth gap all require decoupling ourselves from a system of exploitative global capitalism. I have no idea how we would do so without global cooperation between our allies and our adversaries.
An intersection of almost every policy challenge that faces us: housing, education, wealth redistribution, national security, global security, healthcare, transportation, energy creation, and resource management. Already we see the impacts of climate change in the U.S. Heat waves, drought, and endemic wildfires in California, flooding in the mid West, tropical storms coming earlier and earlier in the southeast U.S. and serious water insecurity across the southwest. Globally, climate change exacerbates existing inequalities and instability. Extreme weather events drive internal and external human migration, wreck havoc on infrastructure and crops, and can force governments to react hastily. Climate change is about who has access to resources, who controls them, develops them, and consumes them. As with so many other crises, those countries and individuals least responsible for climate warming bear the greatest burden. It does not have to be this way, but to change course requires a sustained national and international commitment to fundamentally altering the way we live and interact with the world and each other.
It's a crisis of greed, rather than scarcity. A crisis of resource misuse and mismanagement, rather than a failure of individuals' responsibility or personal decency. To cast it as anything else is irresponsible. Poverty in the U.S. is an intersection of so many ongoing challenges: housing, education, healthcare, environmental justice, racial justice, and policing, to name just a few. How we regard our poorest citizens is a reflection of ourselves and our priorities. Again, it is a failure of policy and of resource distribution. We have the resources and the manpower to seriously address the food, water, and housing insecurity that faces so many Americans today. What we lack is political will and sustained cultural pressure. Poverty is not inevitable.