Writings-on-the-Wall

The fix won’t be quick.

It never is. There’s no magic wand to change the things that’ve been on your mind lately––social issues, inequality, poverty, politics, apathy or violence. Those ills didn’t arrive quick and they won’t leave quick, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says they can be repaired. In his new book, “Writings on the Wall” (with Raymond Obstfeld), he explains his thought.

When people ask Abdul-Jabbar what he might’ve become had he not played NBA basketball, his answer often surprises them; he would’ve been a history teacher. History fascinates him—especially in the way it reflects racism, religious intolerance and gender issues. In history, as in current events, the truth is sometimes bent.

Take, for instance, politics, which is on everyone’s mind. We rail and complain about issues and promises broken, and we like to think it’s all out of our hands. The truth is that we are the problem; we grow complacent about things we don’t want, acting “like children when it comes to politics” and hoping the government will “take care of us,” rather than taking steps to fix the system ourselves.

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