There has been so much turbulence and upheaval of late, certainly catalyzed by the global pandemic and the resulting consequences with layoffs and unemployment, uncertainty around a timeframe when we can operate freely in the world again, and the lack of leadership and political climate (at least in the U.S.). However, things have really heated up in the past few months with racial issues and hate crimes, and the resulting protest marches, looting and overall anger, frustration and outrage.
It’s astonishing to me that racial issues in particular are still going on in the 21st century in this country. When I grew up in the 60s and 70s, the cultural revolution was in full swing as was social justice. I recall vividly (though I was only six years old) when Martin Luther King Jr was shot, the protests in Berkeley and more. My mom was a college professor and I grew up in an integrated society of students, faculty and never experienced issues of color or race firsthand. I’m a big fan of the work Bryan Stevenson does with the Equal Justice Initiative (and has done for over 30 years).
I have to say, I can’t understand why 50 years on, we’re still dealing with these mindsets and consequences. I thought for sure when Obama got elected, a lot of the issues around racial divide would finally be put to rest. But apparently that’s not the case; these challenges run very deep in society. I don’t have the answers but I wonder what it’s going to take for these issues to dissolve — it shouldn’t have to involve violence. We’re in the middle of a global wake-up call for humanity with this pandemic. Can we get it right this time? We must — there’s simply no option, and the time has come to embrace integration, balance the scales, and just get along.