A Country In Crisis

Are We Tired Of Winning Yet?

As if over 100,000 dead from a pandemic were not enough, now our cities are on fire. The system has failed. Can it be rebooted?

Carl J. Petersen
7 min readJun 1, 2020

Fighting fire with empty words

While the banks get fat

And the poor stay poor

And the rich get rich

And the cops get paid

To look away

As the one percent rules America

-Queensrÿche, 1988

I cried tears of joy on election day 2008. Riding a wave of “change we can believe in,” our first African-American president had been elected, clearing the path for an America that would finally exorcise its original sin of building its foundation on the backs of slaves. Hope soon gave way to reality.

From the Prison Policy Initiative report: Incarceration is not an equal opportunity punishment

As Barack Obama pulled the country out of Bush’s Great Recession, black families fell further behind. The president’s record-breaking streak of job recovery reduced the unemployment rate for African Americans, but the gap between the rates for whites and blacks persisted. Against the backdrop of an incarceration rate for whites that was 17% that of blacks, the killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner exposed the fact that institutional racism was alive and well in America.

To add further proof that Obama had not ushered in a post-racial America, a bankrupt business-man turned reality TV star began using his expertise in branding to gain the attention of white supremacists angered by the demographic shift taking place in America. Donald Trump had already earned his bigotry cred by calling for the execution of five innocent people of color in the Central Park 5 case and declaring that: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” It was, therefore, an easy step for him to propagate the birther myth against the nation’s first African-American president. We are still waiting to hear the impending news from the investigators he had sent to…



Carl J. Petersen

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children. www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com