Written by: Terry Budget
The cusp of change in America is looming and the divide within the country remains ever-present. What will become the catalyst for that change? Will it be the pandemic spikes in multiple states which were propagated by the executive order to reopen the country by the current administration? Or will it be the heightened attention cast upon the Black Lives Matter movement which sheds light on the continual racial disparity amongst the different minority groups, specifically African Americans?
The pandemic spikes in Texas, Arizona, and Louisiana just to name a few are evidence of misinformation and attempts to restart an economy that was geared to raise the profile of the “so-called” leader of the United States. Consider the rallies in the battleground states and the lack of effort to set the example of slowing down the virus spread. My question is, “Where is your mask?” Society seeks leadership that not only promotes safety to the nation but also personifies it through personal action. This is the rise and fall of American life happening before our eyes.
Meetings in public forums, cabinet meetings, social engagements with other leaders, or even a White House briefing without demonstrating the appropriate protocols expresses the sentiment that although the “so-called” leader issues executive orders, he is not mandated to abide by them himself. This pandemic, affectionally referred to as COVID-19, exhibits the fact that no one is immune from its devastation; not even congressional leadership as seen by White House staff contractions.
In a statement by the Vice-President regarding the spread of the virus, he says, “We have made a truly remarkable progress in moving our nation forward. We’ve all seen the encouraging news as we open up. The reality is we’re in a much better place.” These words dismissed any suggestion that the rising spikes across the country should initiate a return to the country shutdowns. An issue that the President desperately desires to downplay or avoid altogether.
It is evident that although American’s have expressed their concerns about being placed under a stay-at-home order again, the advantage of saving their lives is far better than the generation of revenue at this time. This virus is still on the hunt and the number of cases is significantly increasing each day especially amongst those who refuse to comply with expert recommendations. The mentality of some is if the President doesn’t do it, why should we? Well, you can oversee your own decisions, but weigh the risks of that decision. You wouldn’t swallow disinfectant if the President recommended it would you? Oh, that’s right, he did suggest that option, didn’t he? Interesting!
Black Lives Matter has identified some inconsistencies with the words and deeds of this administration. Leaders are held to a higher standard and when that standard is breached, it becomes increasingly difficult to gain the respect of those it impacts. Let’s consider the removal of monuments that have stood for decades and some, more than a century which represents historical contributors of past eras. It is easy to stand against the idea or issue executive orders against removing those historical figures when you only understand one aspect of it. What about the historical facts that remained hidden, but are now exposed?
I can understand the ideology of those removals due to the actions from the past and social conditions they represent. However, there must be a balance between those conditions. Each of us has produced positive and negative events in our lifetimes. Some of which will never be known to the world. We cannot embrace the idea that all monuments that have been erected are necessarily evil. The time will inevitably come if each is removed, a target on those statues representing other cultural groups to be removed will occur. Negativity can be found in anyone’s past if we look hard enough. My recommendation is to consider the long-term effects of these decisions.
If we want future change in our lives to matter more than our past experiences, the racial disparity must be addressed by all cultures and nationalities to present a peaceful resolution. If we cannot come together as a nation of equals, we will become a nation of separatists. Such action sparks the change of American life from a great melting pot to separate frying pans. Make change for continuity, not for convenience. Let’s work together to get it done.
Active Agent: Ms. Eulalia Gaston