Garrison Keillor wrote a moving article called America Eats Its Young and his words are especially sharp today on Labor Day in the United States where we celebrate the working person before the real work of the Fall takes us over:
If we insist on looking for something of value in this war, then maybe it is this: Maybe we finally have the painful knowledge that we can never again believe everything our leaders tell us. For years they told us one thing while they did another. They said we were winning while we were losing. They said we were getting out while we were going in. They said the end was near when it was far.
Maybe the next time somebody says that our young men must fight and die somewhere, we will not take their word that it is for a worthy cause. Maybe we will ask them to spell it out for us, nice and slow, nice and clear. And maybe the people in power will have learned that the people of this country are no longer willing to go marching off without having their questions answered first…. If we haven’t, then we are as empty and cold as the intersection of Madison and State.
I recently heard on the radio 45% of American Black males do not graduate from high school. Why does their education end before their 18th birthday? Is there something culturally askew where education has no value? Are they born not to succeed in life? Is there a genetic code that denies them fruitful opportunity for living? The answer to those questions is a resounding: No!