2020 Pandemic

Other than thinking that 2020 was going to be the year we “fired trump,” I would not have guessed, had no inkling, 2020 would turn out the way it did. I knew a Corona Virus had hit China hard, but never thought we would see the devastating results we have seen in America and all due to the incompetence and narcissism of Donald Trump (yes, at last, I capitalize his name).

From January to March—we coasted—not recognizing the rollercoaster ride we were about to take and all the while, going about our “normal routines.” Now, we wonder if in fact, there was anything normal about those early months—especially now that we know trump knew in December what China was facing—well, actually what the world was facing, but he downplayed at the beginning and is now—at the end of 2020—still not dealing with the reality of this deadly virus as we can see in the 333 thousand deaths of Americans, with many more expected, by the time we reach the end of the year.

Our lives have changed forever.  What we thought was normal, is now a thing of the past. We are living in a new normal and no one can adequately predict how long the new normal will last which includes masking up—especially in close quarters with others. What we already know is that some will rebel and cost others their lives simply because they do not care about other people—though they will never admit it. That is the bottom line. Wearing a mask for them—infringes upon their freedom. They do not want to look like “sheep.” They do not want to maintain social distancing or follow any of the other guidelines determined by the experts—and of course—none of the rebellious are actually experts at anything other than complaining about “their rights,” while totally ignoring the rights of others, those of us who want to live a long life, totally unencumbered by the effects of COVID-19 or any of the mutated variants, now coming to light.

Many of us, while at home awaiting orders to resume our lives outside of our homes, took up baking. We baked and baked and baked and then we gained weight. Some of which, we have yet to shed because getting outside with mask-deniers is simply not worth the risk. So, we find other things to do—that are, unfortunately, not related to exercising. We watched more television, both news and movies. The news depressed us, so we retreated to heartwarming movies that gave us a bit of a reprieve from the devastating news of death totals across the country. We learned the art of video conferencing, thanks in no small part to Zoom, Google Classroom and Facebook Video Chats. Other companies have come aboard with the video capacity for those of us who are not corporate elites, but the retired and otherwise, working poor who can now communicate with family and friends without jeopardizing our health. Amazingly, churchgoers (not necessarily Christians) discovered they could actually worship God at home or enjoy church services via a video platform on their phone or laptop or tablet. How about that? God is everywhere! Of course, there is always a downside to just about everything, church leaders missed their offerings and so they filed lawsuits against wise government leaders who restricted the attendance of churches in person. We can see where their priorities lie—in the offering plate—not in the safety of their congregants.

We have seen throughout the four years of the current administration more blatant expressions of overt racism and bigotry than this country has seen in a long time. So much so that we have given the white women who make false claims against black people a name—Karen. The white males who are haters are more likely to kill a black person than to just call the police filing false claims, and then the black males, mostly, end up dead, for no apparent reason other than being black. We have seen protests arising from the disproportionate incidents of black deaths and we have also seen the total ignorance and lack of understanding of white people who simply choose to ignore the obvious. They have ranted against Black Lives Matter because they simply do not understand that the movement is not about ignoring the lives of others but highlighting the loss of black lives—specifically those killed by police officers or other angry white men. What we have seen in this country is the totality of ignorance abounding in people who refuse to research, using credible sources, and instead, choose to regurgitate the hatred and discompassionate rantings of idiots—including the orange menace. Though there have been some, as usual, who dared to stand up against the hatred and bigotry risking repudiation from members of their own families and certainly political parties and communities, the hatred abounds and swarms over communities of color with reverse racism, felt across the land. Too many people, so-called leaders in the black community, are engaging in efforts to vilify all white people, while promoting the antics of black people that are questionable, if not downright illegal.

We have watched while small businesses went under, not only because of the pandemic, but because rich lawmakers helped themselves to billions of dollars intended to help the small business owners. Families have suffered due to lost jobs and lost loved ones. The economy has certainly suffered, but it could have been saved sooner if those who have been and are still rebellious had just complied with the guidelines provided by the experts.

No doubt about it, this past year has been a rollercoaster ride for most of us and the end of the ride, is not yet known, even with the production of vaccines or getting vaccinated. All we can do to ameliorate the incoming year, is to remember this past year is to commit ourselves to doing better in caring about all. Mask-Up America, for as long as needed, without complaining or putting yourself or others at risk.

A Rightful Place In History

Deb Haaland, President-Elect Joe Biden’s pick as Secretary of the Interior, the first Native Inhabitant to hold a position in a presidential cabinet will be a welcomed sight for many.

While listening to him describe her background, I was moved to the past, a past before America was America and struggled not to be angry over the treatment and massacre of so many human beings. I have always had an affinity towards the “Indians” in movies and hated watching them being accused of something they didn’t do and then being killed. My stepfather loved watching cowboy movies and unfortunately, the cowboys always won. The depiction portrayed was that Indians were evil and the cowboys were the good guys except for the fact that some of the cowboys were just downright evil.

All the cowboys portrayed in the television shows of old were white. All the bad or evil people were either black or Indian. And this is what generations of people grew up believing, until now. Until now, most chose to ignore the history of this land. How the Europeans came to this land, were helped by the Native Inhabitants to survive the elements and to grow food they did not know. Then, after surviving tenuous situations, the Europeans repaid the Native Inhabitants by stealing their land, killing off entire tribes, and relegating them to dry arid lands (reservations) where they were expected to just die off. They did not just die off and Deb Haaland is proof that no matter how terrible her ancestors were treated, the Native Inhabitants of the land knew how to survive, all the torture and mistreatment they have endured.

And they will survive to tell the story, a better story than the Europeans would ever tell because of the history in the making. What is shameful is the fact that there are still people (of European descent) who still think Native Inhabitants are inferior to them and they publicly treat them abominably. But then again, we have a segment of our society who treats everyone who does not “look like them or think like them or worships like them” abominably, still.

Now, there are number of people who might be reading this who might be wondering why a black woman is so outraged at the treatment of Native Inhabitants. Perhaps, the outrage is because they are human beings, just as I am, and I understand how hateful it is to be treated with disdain because that’s exactly how my ancestors were treated. The Native Inhabitants were already here, my ancestors were brought to this land in chains and forced to forego their native languages and customs to assimilate themselves to the white European ways. Or maybe the outrage stems from the blood flowing through my veins that aligns with tribes of the land.

There is so much that I can say about ill-will and faux superiority of white Europeans that it would take volumes to say it all. The true (unabridged) history books tell the story, how elected leaders ordered others killed, and no one cared, how faux negotiations were made for land and then the white man stole the land, breaching the negotiations made in good faith, forcing the Native Inhabitants to be on the move, giving up their way of life, just to survive the atrocities lodged against them.

America could have learned so much from the Native Inhabitants, had they been able to put their robe of superiority in a closet and donned a robe of humility for a few hundred years. Had there been an ounce of humility in any of those who came across the pond to this land, slavery would not have been an issue that has kept human beings in bondage for hundreds of years and in a state that many would like to see that particular position continue. Like the Native Inhabitants, black descendants of slaves learned survival and because of their inherent innovative skills, are responsible for multiple creations that have helped make life easier for all, though they were not always given credit for their contribution to this society.

What is country needs, is a microscopic look into the history that has brought us to this place and understand that if change, real change is not initiated, America will cease to exist as we have known it and the planet will die without the bold, creative genius employed by descendants of slaves that has so often been ignored. The Native Inhabitants knew how to take care of the land to keep a supply of food and resources available and the descendants of slaves, knew how to create what was needed from the resources sustained. If anyone should be wearing a robe of superiority it should be the Native Inhabitants, who had it not been for them, white Europeans would never have survived living in this land.

But all things being equal—at least that is the fight of the 21st Century, that we are all treated equally, and no one suffers injustice—watching this step up for Deb Haaland and a host of ancestors will be the beginning of something wonderful and I sincerely hope, those who insist onto holding to their bigotry will move out the way or be moved out of the way so freedom and justice can be enjoyed by all.

Biden Taps Rep. Deb Haaland to Lead Interior in Historic Move - EcoWatch