Olivia Cattabriga / art director

Kiana Wright

Opinions Editor

Some would say that we are the most united we have ever been as a human race, but they’re wrong. If we have grown so much as a country or universally then we shouldn’t still be facing every day with impiety. Statistics concerning our health, the environment, and our individual safety have been devastating within the past couple of years.

Health is very important, but according to PBS, “About 44 million people in this country have no health insurance, and another 38 million have inadequate health insurance.” Our nation needs to provide the care that its citizens need, because the CDC estimated that the /,flu sickened 49 million people, hospitalized 960,000 and killed about 80,000 people last year. Those numbers are unforgiving. The number of people suffering from heart disease has been cut in half since 1980, according to the Center for Disease Control, yet it is still the number one cause of death. Where is our health care?

People cannot care for themselves if they don’t have a place to do so. “The January 2017 Point-in-Time count, the most recent national estimate of homelessness in the United States, identified 553,742 people experiencing homelessness,” according to endhomelessness.org. Even people who do have homes can’t always afford meals. Dosomething.org posted, “1 in 6 people in America face hunger. The USDA defines ‘food insecurity’ as the lack of access, at times, to enough food for all household members.” In all, home or not, feedingamerica.com writes, “40 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including more than 12 million children.” Where is our livelihood?

Being a child in today’s society is a real nightmare. In 2017, 8,759 cases of human trafficking were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, representing over 10,000 individual victims, almost 5,000 potential traffickers, and more than 1,500 businesses involved in human trafficking. Woman and girls are most commonly taken into this illegal trade, with the average start age being 19 years old. If not taken from one of these tainted businesses, the government themselves might separate a child from their family. According to Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), “The government has since provided the court with data that indicates at least 2,654 immigrant children were separated from their parents or caregivers as a result of Trump administration policies.” Where are our happy families?

Sometimes we need to look aside from what is affecting us and look at what we could be affecting—our environment. The National Geographic explains that there are annually on average over 100,000 forest fires each year. They go on to report that, “In recent years, wildfires have burned up to 9 million acres (3.6 million hectares) of land. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, a study shows that 84 percent of wildfires in the United States are started intentionally by humans or by human activity. Animals that live on same planet as us, coexisting, are at risk. Weather.com reports, “While last year in particular didn’t see much wildlife extinction, the Earth is losing animal species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate, and as many as 30 to 50 percent of the planet’s species may be extinct by 2050, the Center for Biological Diversity describes.” Where are our environmental ethics?

America is a place that many flee to for safety and freedom, but here, in the land of the free, almost half a million Americans have died in the last 15 years from an overdose, and the majority of those involve opioids. On average, 91 Americans are still dying every single day from drug use, according to PBS. BBC reported that 2018 was the worst year for school shootings; there were 113 people killed or injured in school shootings this year. Furthermore, given the number of accidents this past year, BBC goes on to say, “With many parts of the US having about 180 school days per year, it means, on average, a shooting once every eight school days.” CNN reports that the United States is dealing with the most school shootings in the world, “The US has had 57 times as many school shootings as the other major industrialized nations combined.”

The US also holds the highest number of incarcerated citizens. CNN stated in an article, “According to a 2018 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), nearly 2.2 million adults were held in America’s prisons and jails at the end of 2016. That means for every 100,000 people residing in the United States, approximately 655 of them were behind bars.” Where is our safety?

Even in a small school like Keene State College, almost, if not every, student has been affected by one of these issues or knows someone personally that has. It’s far too common and the statistics show desperate times here in our country, and these are not nearly all the issues America is facing today. Understand that knowledge is power, and speaking for people who can’t speak for themselves is essential. The USA and its values might be in total chaos, but in one way or another, we are a community—it’s now or never that we start acting like it. Where is the love?

Click here for this articles sister article- Where is the love: All around us

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