Racism: Another public health crisis
Saturday, May 30, 2020
I don't watch the news; it is too depressing. So I did not recognize the names mentioned in my union's special member email with the subject "PROTEC17 stands for justice. We cannot sit in silence." I admit I don't read everything my union sends me either, but that title intrigued me.
The opening paragraph states "As we stay in our homes to stay socially distant and protect public health, another public health crisis is ongoing -- racism." Then it brought up 3 names I had to Google: George Floyd, suspected of forgery, shot & killed by police in custody; Ahmaud Arbery, a young athlete out jogging, shot by white men who were not arrested for murder until 3 months after his death; Breonna Taylor, an EMT shot 8 times in her own home which was raided by police looking for a drug dealer who had been detained elsewhere. Not surprisingly, each of the victims was African American.
I am appalled by these events, and others mentioned in the stories I read from The New York Times, The Cut and Mother Jones. I don’t know what to do with this disgust and this anger, but I know we can’t pretend that racism is dead. I wanted to do something, anything positive, so I am sharing it here.
My need to take some step reminded me of that quote Mercy Thompson (the urban fantasy heroine in the superb series by Patricia Briggs) has used more than once “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Although when I looked up the quote just now, I found out it was misattributed to Edmund Burke.
I won't find a quick answer to the following questions, but I invite you to ponder them with me, and offer any suggestions and take those actions that may help us all: How do we overcome hatred and ignorance? How do we oppose violence without becoming violent or victims ourselves? How do we teach children empathy and inclusion in this era of greater separation and isolation?
I wasn't sure how to finish this, so I will add a link to the artist whose posters of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor were included with that email from my union. twitter.com/arie
Blessed Be, Amanda