Where Are We And Where Are We Going?
At the ripe old age of 76 soon to be 77,I feel like given all the events of recent days, I have been here before. The down economy, people out of work, riots in the streets, concern over race relations and a general feeling that things are about as bad is it can get. If you are old enough to remember, even a part of the great depression, the riots of the 60s and race relations going from bad to worse to better to worse again, you know what I am talking about.
The question we need to ask is how we turn this country of ours around again, for what seems to be the 14th time. My answer is we have done it before and we can do it again, it just needs leadership, a willingness to understand we have a problem, but we can fix it with effort-lots of effort. The death of George Floyd will not be in vain but will create –if we work at it- a movement toward fixing the major problem we now confront.
That problem is our inability to confront race relations in this country. We occasionally create committees to deal with this systemic problem, but eventually they fade away and we go back to normal.
I would ask the following questions, how many times, assuming you are white, have you have crossed the street or looked down your head so as not to knowledge your black and brown counterparts. On the opposite side, how many times have you complimented a black woman on how cute her child in the stroller is? Or how many times have you stopped and engaged African American youths in their neighborhood. Do you feel threatened and if so why? All of those issues are ingrained in us white folk. And guess what, the reverse is ingrained in our black and brown brothers and sisters.
To move change forward will require lots of work and effort. Are we now up to it-I guess we will find out! Lets give it a shot.
By the way, I was very proud of our local law enforcement and how they handled the demonstrations the last few days in Des Moines. They will be key to helping us move forward.