in·e·qual·i·ty inəˈkwälədē/ noun
- difference in size, degree, circumstances, etc.; lack of equality.
“The only way to move forward,” says Alex Ocasio-Cortez, “[is] to change for the better or for the worse because status quo is not an option anymore.”
Ocasio-Cortez is right about the status quo. Complacency is dead. Putin’s puppet made sure of that when he signed the order to open ICE’s child zoo. If we, as a nation and as individuals, want equality, we have to demand it—louder than the fossil fuel shareholders, louder than the climate deniers, louder than the xenophobes. The sham of a Senate Judicial hearing for the Supreme Court made the issue of inequality glaringly clear.
In this issue, there are memoirs about inclusiveness, volunteerism, and giving; essays of frustration and injustice; a modern theory on the domains of freedom; enlightenment about the Fourteenth Amendment, birthright citizenship, and how corporations became persons; a review of a new Nietzsche biography; poetry exploring the contemporary understanding of our culture and environment.
How does individualism intersect with community? What does freedom mean in an unequal world? What is economic justice? Does climate change disproportionately affect the poor? How does wage inequality—gender, educational, racial—affect society? What about access to medical care? How does residential segregation affect class and opportunity? What is white privilege? How does de-regulation of the labor market affect your life? Immigration, incarceration, homelessness?
Inequality affects each of us everyday. Maybe it is the economic divide between the CEO and the janitor, the inability to get medical care or food stamps or have your wages paid by your own federal employer. But often our own perceptions create external conflict. We all have different needs. Compassion is key.