America obsessed with mass consumption

America’s culture of consumerism must change.

By Denis Perez, Assistant Photo Editor

People of sound mind can agree that American social values and our extreme focus on materialism have ignored the sovereignty of other nations as well as that of its own citizens.

The way this generation is being brought up on pop culture, with an emphasis on money, is sending our society into a death spiral of despair.

America’s culture of consumerism must change.

Our values and priorities must be adjusted for America to chart a path of healing throughout the states.

A perfect example of this is the way American culture has negatively affected Native Americans. Today, many Native Americans live in poverty, abusive environments and communities that are disease-prone and suicidal.

Native American’s have undergone a myriad of traumatic experiences including loss of their sacred lands, loss of their communities and traditions.

Historically Native Americans have been the victims of brutal wars and systematic genocide.

These conditions have endured over the generations for hundreds of years.

The reality is that Native American rights is not the number one trending topic on social media, although it has been the longest in a line of humanitarian issues in American society.

It is scary because as a democratic society only a few of us have been able to say “no” to wrong doings in the name of equality. But for most of us it is not easy to take a stand outside of our personal lives if an issue does not directly affect our own bottom line. Recently I have been hearing so much about people who are “woke,” or those who are aware of the reality of the rampant consumer-crazy society we live in.

I believe older people know it, our teachers know it, both our candidates for President know it, some of the slave wage overseas workers in sweat shops manufacturing our clothes know it and some of the immigrant children who were brought here by their parents escaping war know it.

What do they know?

The American people, the youth, the small business owners, the working class and the 99 percent are the leaders of the future.

Collectively, people are “asleep” to issues that greatly affect America’s population, nationally and globally.

Native Americans and other minorities have the imprint of racism etched onto their brains.

Police brutality, illegal immigration felonies, over taxing, consequences of global warming, water pollution and the list could really go on.

At the same time, “white privileged” citizens are screwed over by the system as well.

I believe as time goes by more people are going to start caring.

Extraordinary change will happen by doing extraordinary work even though it is not an ordinary thing to do.

I believe that extraordinary acts of justice will become ordinary acts because of the extreme conditions that consumerism and its negative effects will spawn in the future.

People say let’s not buy name brands because they are made in factories that enslave women or deny basic human rights.

Or how about the terms boycott, sit-in or hunger strikes?

Let’s boycott this company because they practice wrongdoing. Or let’s shut down that foundation’s activities because it’s doing crooked deals.

If we don’t know our history, we are doomed to repeat it.