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United States of Fear

In April 2014, my girlfriend Jennifer passed away. She was a very, very heavy drug user and anorexic. It's miraculous that she lasted as long as she did.

In the wake of it, I saw human nature in its contradictory state hardcore. Nearly 100 people told me they were sorry and everyone who was ever friends with her contacted me. In my housing complex, a woman who fought with her apologized to me. However, some heavier drug users who were in my housing complex said nasty things, or so I heard, not knowing her at all. Some of Jen's drug using friends also said nasty things.

At first you could think human beings are evil but, well no. Nearly 100 people did contact me out of their own volition. Some of those same people, loving as they were to me, have posted weird, disturbing stuff on Facebook as the climate in the United States has gotten horrifically bad. Why are they like this?

Fear. Americans had the highest standard of living in the world, with autonomy and wealth no one has ever had in history. That has been shattered and with it their sense of the world around them. Beyond shootings, I have witnessed people being shouted racial slurs at them freely (something that never happened before - maybe in the deep south) in liberal cities like Berkeley and have found that friendships and relationships that were easy before now feel next to impossible for reasons that would have been easily forgotten years before.

That should explain the mass shootings and much else. Everyone around me talks and sounds terrified. I feel terrified too - I had trouble sleeping after this televised shooting occurred. I am leaving the situation I'm in - I work well when I have a project in front of me and my next project is a life in a place much more sane. I've been invited to Canada for a long while.

Goodbye America. Stay in your fear. I don't want it.

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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

© 2017 Radical Second Things