An interesting thought occurred to me this morning as I conversed with a good friend. Like me, she has seen no evidence of coronavirus being a real thing in her day-to-day experience. I mean, other than the dreaded mask, walking back to my car before entering any public place to retrieve the always forgotten mask, not being able to travel as planned to see my grandkids, etc., coronavirus is invisible to me. I don’t know anyone who has it, nor even anyone who knows anyone who has suffered any loss from the virus.
The same thing could be said about my experience with racism. I don’t see racism in my day-to-day experience. The only connection I have to racism is my deep desire to wake up to it and not be part of the problem. I have been watching black media, and reading black authors, and learning a lot I never knew I didn’t know.
What if coronavirus is here to teach us that while we don’t see it in our daily lives, it, like racism, IS real, and it DOES affect people of color in graphic and brutal ways? What if it’s here to teach us to look more closely, to have more compassion, to give a damn about the realities of our brothers and sisters of color? What if wearing a mask and staying home could be one of my small contributions to anti-racism?
Taking it one step further, I see that perhaps coronavirus is bringing the rest of us to our knees, economically, as well. Maybe it’s here to show us what our brothers and sisters have endured for too long? The systems we have taken for granted are crumbling around us, and they never did work for people of color. It’s time for us to all work toward systems that do work for all of us, and not simply for the upper crust. Let’s choose to support The Green New Deal with an eye to bringing balance to our planet, and to all the people of every color.