Covid-19, it has been said, has “awakened” or “uncovered” the prevalence and extent of poverty and racism in our society. Structural poverty and racism have been in the foundation of the U.S. since the pilgrims landed. Poverty and racism affect every element of what is needed for a good quality of life
There is not one segment of U.S. society that poverty and racism does not intersect with: health, employment, housing, education, environment, the criminal justice system as it is commonly known, cultural institutions, violence and war economy, etc. One only has to view current statistics and history, to know of existing societal injustices. A blatant example, in the “time of Covid-19, is who is disproportionately affected and dying? It is people of color, specifically Black, Latinix, and Native Americans. Yet, with all the praises, and indications of thanks and appreciation being given for “essential workers” will their lot in life change? An old saying comes to mind, “Thank you does not buy bread.” and one may add, any of the needs for a person’s quality life.
Will there be a resultant change in society to address and ameliorate the injustices of poverty and racism? Can opportunities for restructuring of society be attended to? Can the lie of scarcity of U.S. funds, in the midst of plenty, be exposed? For example, look at money expended on the military, tax breaks given to the 1% and corporations, and lavish government spending.
It is We the People must make government accountable and take action to do so. Is there a will for working to eradicate poverty and racism? Can there be equity in health and quality health care, living wages, safe housing, access to excellent education, repair and environmental protection, abolition of mass incarceration and righteousness in societal policing, a fitting decrease in military spending for protection in our country, and eradication of nuclear weapons? We the People can effect change if there is a will to act. That we must do, out of a sense of duty toward and respect, for those who suffer the inequities of poverty and racism.
Two of the national organizations addressing poverty and racism are Poor People’s Campaign (PPC), https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/about/
and Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ), https://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/ A visit to their websites may suggest actions to be taken. May there be will!
Phyllis Cunningham – for the Granny Peace Brigade