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"Our Daily Blog" #3

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

"Sustainability" Part Two

By Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace


"In a real sense all life is interrelated. All men are caught up in an inescapable network of mutuality." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in "Why We Can't Wait". It has been declared that "All men are created equal"[1]. But, to paraphrase an observation taken from a book by George Orwell, "some [men] are more equal than others".[2] To distinguish between the two unequal groups, we have borrowed the terms coined by Ta-Nahesi Coates, i.e.," the Quality and the Tasked".[3] It is the latter group for whom the consequences of the shutdown pandemic are likely to be most life- altering. That "Necessity is the mother of invention" is a foregone conclusion. Thus, it is incumbent upon the Tasked to become a force that will voluntarily accept the charge of finding a way out of the prevailing situation. However, before "the Tasked Force" goes charging off in multiple directions, it is important to remember: It's not the man, it's the plan; it's not the rap, it's the map."

A major part of the dilemma is defining the problem, which is not limited to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the shutdown, the reopening of the schools, or the consequences therefrom. As disturbing and destabilizing as these phenomena are, they are merely symptoms of a greater problem. The causes (lower case 'c') of this problem are like a herd of elephants in an elevator going down. But, the greatest of these has already been identified. It has been ""hiding in plain sight" like the quilts on the clotheslines that gave directions to the travelers on the Underground Railroad. Yet, the clarion call of the indigenous people, i.e. the "Native Americans", remains unheeded while the "Inconvenient truth" continues to be ignored. As The Late Congressman Augustus "Gus" Savage observed, "Truth asserts itself". And, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. testified, "William Cullen Bryant was right. ’Truth crushed to the earth will rise again.' ".The truth of the matter --the beautiful, undeniable, truth-- is that the problem can no longer be obfuscated. As evidenced by our present predicament, our school system, like so many of our other systems, is unsustainable, i.e., unable to withstand the challenges of the kind it is now facing. The problem has been outed; the cause of the problem is UNSUSTAINABILITY. To attribute the shutdown of the schools, the market place, or the consequences thereof, to COVID-19 is obviously far afield of reality. This misconception is especially glaring when we consider that we are a First World country of approximately 330 Million people, yet neither our disruption nor our recovery is anywhere near that of China, a country whose population is reportedly 4 times the size of ours, I.43 Billion people. The danger of misplacing the blame for and, thereby mis-identifying the causal factors of, "the whole world having been put on pause"[4], may have consequences that are more earth-quaking than we have ever known. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. predicted, "We have some difficult days ahead". But, now is not the time to lose faith. As Albert Einstein proclaimed, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."


(To read part 3, click here)

Footnotes:


[1] Declaration of Independence


[2] Orwell, George. The Animal Farm


[3] Coates, Ta-Nahesi. The Water Dancer

[4] Joel Osteen






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