I made a commitment recently, to approach every situation by first asking myself, “what is the most loving way to handle this situation?” You may have noticed that I’ve been conspicuously absent from social media, lately, because sometimes, silence is the best response.
This particular post is in response to an article posted by a dear friend. It was from the Guardian, and titled, “We often accuse the right of distorting science. But the left changed the coronavirus narrative overnight.”
It begins with an image captioned, “Progressives blithely accepted throwing millions out of work to fight coronavirus – but now urge street protests to fight racism.”
I have several problems with these two sentences but I’m going to focus on the two that bother me the most. The first is that it never addresses the issue of the Right distorting science nor does it suggest that the Left distorts it. So it’s a misleading heading that will immediately appeal to right-leaning readers and alienate those who lean left.
The second requires me to define “blithely” – “in a way that shows a casual and cheerful indifference considered to be callous or improper.” With great restraint, I’m just going to call this a misrepresentation. Programs were immediately put into place all over the country to ensure that children still got school meals. Stimulus packages were approved. Unemployment was immediately offered for those out of work due to the shut down and an additional $600 per week was added to the benefit, due to continue through the end of July. I worked full time at above minimum wage just two years ago, and did not make $600 per week.
So, when we remove ecomonic factors (which I am only doing for a moment) what we have are a group of people unnecessarily gathering to protest what amounts to a temporary inconvenience.
Four Hundred Years of institutionalized and systemic oppression and violence against black people and people of color is not a temporary inconvenience.
If my black neighbor cannot watch her husband or her teen son leave the house without fearing that this may be the day that one of them, in her words, “meets the wrong person”, then none of us deserves the luxury of sitting home in comfort and safety. Not me with my exceedingly vulnerable lungs and compromised immune system, nor anyone else. We have a duty to demand that our constitution be held to its word, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I can pursue happiness from my back yard. From my car. From a park if I have to, because I’m not worried that I will be shot because I “match a description.” Our black brothers and sisters do not have that luxury. So we stand with them, potentially sacrificing our lives or endangering the lives of others because it’s what Jesus would do.
I want to go back to that economic factor. In my humble and only mildly educated opinion, all of the ails of this country boil down to greed.
Racism was deliberately manufactured by slave-owners to keep free labor so that they could live on lovely plantations…Greed
When I was in high school, we were taught that the Civil War was about state’s rights. But the only right that got them angry enough to go to war was the right to own human beings to continue their privileged way of life…Greed.
How many of our wars have been fought over greed?
The outrageous costs of healthcare…. greed
The outrageous costs of post-secondary education … greed
The surreptitious segregation of public schools … greed
The stock market collapse of 1929 …. greed
The housing bubble of 2008 …. greed
And what is one “essential business” that will never have to suffer? Banks. Banks that have shareholders to encourage unethical practices.
Banks need to eat this pandemic. Home owners, rental property-owners, small businesses and people who are self-employed, need to be forgiven the loan payments that were due during this down time with an additional few months for recovery. Banks can tack those payments on to the end of the loan with no additional interests or fees.
Inequality is only one head of the many-headed snake that is greed.