Who would have thought a week ago that something could happen to eclipse the global pandemic and its economic impact? And yet, sparked by George Floyd’s murder, we have international demonstrations that are the broadest in history. And we find ourselves opening a chapter of our country’s history where we are confronting systemic racism with all the tools and knowledge of the 21st century. The other tragedies notwithstanding, this last element carries with it the hope of a generation.
What will it take to understand racism not simply as the intentional and immoral work of a bad actor, but as an attribute of the larger social systems? This means that like bias racism is always present, and it is up to each of us to pay attention so as to discover where we unknowingly inflict racism and call it out so we can do something about it.
I am hopeful that new tools and insights will emerge so each of us who values equity can create a world that is different from the one we have now: better, less racist.
This has great potential for improving our world and the world of our children. I have a phoenix tattooed on my shoulder to remind me of all the times I have risen from the ashes of my life. Today it is reminding me of a great, new possibility emerging from the chaos that characterizes our time.
What will you do this week to help with reinventing, rebuilding, and retooling our world so we can all move forward?
“Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”
– President Clinton