The New Normal

Eden Knoop, Opinion Editor

Did you hear that the US voted against condemning the use of the death penalty on gay people?

In early October, the UN passed a resolution to denounce the use of the death penalty on LGBT people for being LGBT or for an arbitrary reason linked to being LGBT. And the US voted against it. They didn’t abstain, they voted no.

In other news, mid-October was the deadline to have tax returns filed. While it is usually an occasion that prompts the sitting President to release their tax returns, Trump has still yet to release his tax returns for any years.

Anyway, thousands of people are still suffering in Houston from the damage that Hurricane Harvey delt. It could take many of them years to recover. And Puerto Rico, whose state of devastation has outshone Houston’s and has received far more media attention, has still yet to receive substantial aid from the federal government. Trump threw some toilet paper. People are starving.

By the way, the House approved a spending bill with more than $1.6 billion set aside to begin the border wall.

The current news cycle is a tumultuous one. Dominated by natural disaster after natural disaster and the ever bubbling swamp of the Russia controversy, other news gets easily overlooked or buried. If a news story about Trump using $1 in every $10 of his campaign funds to pay for legal fees for his aides is circulating, a simple feud with the grieving pregnant widow over whether or not our President disrespected her husband should be enough to draw the attention away. Intentionally or not, Trump’s smaller controversies help him cover up his big ones. We are giving him passes on issues that any previous leader would have been crucified on.

Even as some news is hidden from us, we care less and less about what we do hear. We are becoming desensitized—every shock has less impact, every devastating event becomes the new normal.

We cannot let this happen.

Whether we like it or not, this is the world we live in. There is no looking away. As citizens, we have a responsibility to pay attention, to bring justice to those who need it, to keep our democracy afloat, to make sure that no one suffers or dies without witness. Stuffing our fingers in our ears and closing our eyes won’t make it go away.

Read the news. Share it. Even if you can’t personally do anything, when enough people are aware, there will be someone who can. Hold people accountable for their actions or lack thereof. And most importantly, don’t let yourself forget.