My country, ‘tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Little Accountability
By: Alana Macmahon
"Whether you had a negligent parent, or whether you had someone who was verbally abusive to you, whether you are a survivor of abuse, whether you experience any sort of trauma in your life, small to large," Ocasio-Cortez said. "These episodes can compound on each other.”
– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
I watched Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Instagram live along with 400,000 fellow witnesses. With raw emotion, she described her fear during the events of January 6, 2021. She explained how this trauma compounded her past trauma from surviving a sexual assault. With her honestly, she invited us to acknowledge our own trauma by sharing a sentiment we do not hear often enough: no past trauma, however “small”, is isolated from our current experience.
Watching the storming of the United States Capital unfold in real time traumatized a nation. But the inciter of the violent mob was probably watching on his television, enjoying the show with a fried meal as if it were an episode of his reality tv series.
In the final debate of 2016, Hillary Clinton stated:
“Every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is is rigged against him …. This is how Donald thinks, and it’s funny, but it’s also really troubling. That is not the way our democracy works.”
And it stopped being funny on January 20, 2017 when Donald ***** got his greasy hands on our democracy.
He was not held accountable by our “Senators” in 2020, no witnesses.
He was not held accountable by our “Senators” in 2021, we all witnessed.
He was not held accountable 26 times for sexual misconduct, including rape.
He was not held accountable for screwing over his workers.
Yet, a young woman of color sharing trauma that she is still processing is met with a wave of backlash for “exaggerating.” Her analogy to abuser tactics has only been proven true.
But neither trauma nor hate stopped her from raising nearly $5 million for Texas relief because the real, current impacts of climate change are traumatic and life-threatening. So, while Senator Cruz fled his state and the responsibilities of leadership, AOC provided relief for a freak storm and its resulting infrastructure catastrophe produced by a deregulated fossil fuel-based energy market where utilities benefit from focusing on profit, including price spikes during shortages, instead of safety and quality control. This means that $10 billion worth of electricity was sold on 02/15/21 while millions were without power (1). Gas producers, Australia’s Macquarie Group which is the second largest gas marketer North America, and Jerry Jones, General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys, have all been profiting handsomely from surges in gasoline prices.
Just like trauma, energy and water are not isolated, so in addition to bursting pipes, power outages cause reductions in water pressure that prevent the proper treatment of water, leaving 14.6 million Americans without safe water.
We need policies like the Green New Deal to prevent more climate deaths. But to prevent more disasters, we also need all-around accountability.