If the heartbreaking images of border patrol guards whipping Haitians, and Marjorie Taylor Greene screaming at the women standing up for women’s rights on the steps of Congress, started to sap away this writer’s hope, then the weekend’s Global Citizen Live event went some way to restoring it. If there’s a song I needed to hear this year, it’s Chloe x Halle’s soothing, hair-raising, “Cool People”.
Sure, when they sing “there’s still cool people in the world,” they’re referring to a loved one holding their hand. But dammit, isn’t that a message we all need? On a more general level? When it feels like there’s an asshole at every turn, just remember the words of Chloe x Halle.
It had been a funny week prior. The report from the sham Arizona audit came in, provided in chaotic fashion by the severely amateurish Cyber Ninjas (I could live a hundred lifetimes and still not know how serious politicians could trust a company with that name). Despite the fact that smart people already knew there was no widespread fraud, it was still slightly shocking that the Cyber Ninjas totally failed to manufacture any. It just felt like they were going to pull some shit, and all they could really do was complain about procedure. For a bunch of self-proclaimed “ninjas” it was the most pedantic nonsense ever heard.
That hasn’t stopped Texas from starting the same money and time-wasting exercise. Trump won Texas (because Texas), but the desire to continue to sew doubt is overwhelming for these wretched wastes of flesh. Get used to this because it’s part of American life for the foreseeable future. The civil handover of power from right to left, or the concession of an election with humility and decency, is a thing of the past because Donald fucking Trump has told his cronies that those very things are a sign of weakness. And they all believe him.
So on one hand, the Arizona audit crap felt like a good thing. On the other, it just hammered home that the Big Lie is not going anywhere. It’s in the fabric of the country now. Most Republicans think that a person can’t be a Republican unless they’ve signed on completely to the bullshit. A person, much like Liz Cheney, can be conservative to the core. They can believe in small government, less taxes for big business, all that awfulness. But if they say the 2020 election was fair, they’re a RINO. How insane is that?
Fuck ’em. We on the left have our problems, trying to get the progressives (most of us) and the “moderates” (Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema) to agree on this infrastructure bill. Something’s got to give, because right now the Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot right before the midterms, and Trumpian candidates are looking on gleefully. Get your shit together!
So with all of that said, it was great to see people really come together, all over the world in fact, for the Global Citizen Live event. “Defeat poverty, demand equity, defend the planet” are the big points that Global Citizen is taking on, so there’s a lot under that umbrella. Of course, it essentially all boils down to, “look after the planet, look after each other, don’t be a dick.”
“The campaign calls on world leaders, businesses and philanthropists to urgently commit resources to meet the $15-20 billion funding shortfall of the US$100 billion promised annually to the most vulnerable countries confronting climate change; businesses to help curb emissions through joining the Race to Zero and pledging 1 billion additional trees by 2022 in support of the 1t.org ambition to conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees this decade; $6 billion to provide food to 41 million people facing famine; 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines to be redistributed to low-income countries by the end of 2021; and for Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna to Share mRNA Technology with Africa. Throughout the campaign, more than US$1.1 billion, 157 million trees, and more 60 million COVID-19 vaccines were announced,” reads a Global Citizen statement, spelling it all out.
On the night, World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley said, “SHAME on us. At the height of COVID, the billionaires’ average net worth increase per day was $5 Billion. And, yet, I am begging to feed the poor! SHAME on us… If we do not act today, millions will starve, nations will destabilize and millions will migrate by necessity. If we are struggling today with a population of over 7 billion, what do you expect will happen when there are over 10 billion people on earth by 2050. And, by 2050, due to climate change, we anticipate over 1 billion people to be displaced around the world! Wake up NY. Wake up planet earth.”
On the subject of COVID, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, said, “Every single person on this planet has a fundamental right to get this vaccine. That’s the point – yet that’s not happening. While in this country (and many others) you can go almost anywhere and get vaccinated, billions around the world cannot. This year, the world is expected to produce enough doses to meet the target of vaccinating 70 percent of people in every single country. But it is wrong that so much of the vaccine supply has only gone to just 10 wealthy nations so far, and not everyone else.”
And when a young person appeared on screen reminding us that, “no person is illegal on stolen land,” the crowd quite correctly applauded loudly.
Here in L.A., we saw amazing performances from Stevie Wonder, H.E.R., The Lumineers, Chloe x Halle, Migos, Ozuna, 5 Seconds of Summer, and more. But this really was all about the message. We encourage you to go to globalcitizen.org and find out more. We all have a duty to do our bit.