Week 12: I am Not OK; We are not OK

I would be remiss if I did not recognize that this past week has been a difficult one.

  • The death toll from Covid-19 in the United States surpassed 100,000. Many of the dead are people of color and/or elderly in nursing homes.
  • An unarmed black man, George Floyd, was killed by a white police officer (we all saw the cell phone video).
  • A white woman threatened to call police on a black man who asked her to leash her dog (we saw that video too).
  • There were protests in Minneapolis, Alabama, and elsewhere over the weekend. The protest in Boston was peaceful all day Sunday and later in the evening ended in violence and looting (played out on live television).
  • A racist line from a Miami police chief years ago, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” is being repeated on twitter.
  • Journalists covering the protests in at least two major cities (Minneapolis and Louisville) are either arrested and/or fired on as they broadcast live.

Our democratic values are under attack. People of color are under attack. Freedom of the press is under attack. I am not OK with this. It’s OK if you are not OK with this too.

What are we, as individuals and as Countway Library, going to do about it? I’ll start the conversation. I propose the following: We are going to practice social honoring. We are going to condemn racism and treat each other with dignity and respect. We will continue to work towards providing evidence-based, accurate information to improve the health of the public. What else? Email me your thoughts. We are not OK.