No Going Back
Updated: May 31, 2020
As we stand in the midst of a global pandemic, I realize there is no going back to where we were. How we interact in work spaces will change, how children re-integrate into our school systems will change and the already complicated process of travel will adopt another painful but necessary layer to passenger safety. And while we all anxiously await a post-COVID return to normalcy, uncertain of the after effects of a too fast too soon re-opening of our cities, the unimaginable happened; the senseless killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. All of sudden, the threat of COVID-19 took a back seat to the ugliest threat to date-racism. That it wielded its grotesque head, in the midst of this anxiety heightened pandemic, is a jarring reality that trumps all. As women of color, leading the 40fyd + brand, we realize that the concern re: post normalcy for COVID means nothing if the civil rights of Black and Brown people are continually being violated. There is no "going back" for us.
As I observed the national and international out cry, it was a most powerful dynamic to see countries such as England, Germany, Italy, Iran, South Africa and Ireland stand in solidarity with us to ensure the fair outcomes for these injustices. It is clear that many feel like we do and there is no "going back" for any of us. The sobering reality that our world has reached a tipping point is evident. We are already wearing masks to help mitigate an explosive pandemic, we cannot afford to wear another to pretend these instances of racial hatred do not exist.
So as numbing as this experience has made us, we must find ways to re-calibrate. Contact your local elected officials to begin understanding moves being made near you to support change and to ensure that justice is served. There will be no normalcy in this country without holding those responsible for our safety accountable and there will be no normalcy without demanding that basic civil rights of Black and Brown people be respected and protected. This is all of our responsibility. This is the real meaning of solidarity.