"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Jun 9, 2020

Let's Be Fair Now...

We've tackled the LGBTQ issue head-on,  but I was very disappointed to recently hear a young singer/songwriter lament the loss of gains and momentum for their community, can't speak to that.

Now we're tackling racial discrimination with a renewed passion. I'll be thrilled when racism ends, I hope it's sooner than later. In response to race riots of the early 70's, my NY metro-area high school offered a course in Black History for the first time, as an elective. Should have been mandatory, but hindsight...

I signed up for the class, which contained a mixed bag of ethnicities, all interested in learning more. The Autobiography of Malcolm X in particular influenced my thinking (in a positive way); can't help wondering if today's protesters even know his name, but maybe I'm too cynical. Covid-fear prevents me from joining them, so in lieu of a microphone I'd like to reprint something I wrote in 2015, still appropriate today:

"Why don’t we try applying the phrase, “Tend your own garden” when it comes to race relations? If collectively we refuse to turn blind eyes to the racists within our own immediate circles at home, school, work and play, the problem becomes easier to tackle. We can’t rely on laws and politicians to fix things while we waste valuable time, resources and opportunities on superfluous garbage." From Little Black Sambo and Me.
But here's my point today: while we're at it, do you suppose we can slip in something about our country's POOR? Poverty, after all, is a common denominator of racial tension, crime and mental health. A good start would be affordable housing; the main reason Covid's affecting minority communities in such overwhelming proportions. Doesn't take an Einstein to understand that...just take a look at inner-city neighborhoods. People who have always lived in the suburbs can't understand, and in case you're wondering, my early years were spent in a two-bedroom walk up apartment (4th floor) in Sunnyside, Queens, so I'm not entirely talking through my hat.

I still support Joe Biden (and keep hoping he'll pick Oprah for a running mate). However, after hearing a young woman activist express her disappointment
 that JB isn't taking defunding of the police seriously enough; that he must deliver a comprehensive plan to fix everything NOW, I realized that Trump will likely be re-elected.  

If people don't care about spreading the Covid virus; dismiss all panhandlers as lazy good-for-nothings; and continue their conspicuous consumption while ignoring much of the country languishing in abject poverty; then please tell me why I should care about their issues if they don't care about mine?

Because I do.

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