Not Just a Can of Paint

I will keep this short…

There is a global pandemic…Covid-19
…also anti-black racism
…also violence against women
…also fear and isolation of disabilities.

…and more.

The United States faces its own unique epidemic…gun entitlement
…also militarized (hyper-masculinized) concepts of policing
…also health and wellness that is the national equivalent of cotton in the early 1800s.
…also an economy that relies on poverty
…and a distrust of knowledge and information.

…and more.

Together, these make for a powerfully toxic stew.  We cannot fix one, without fixing the others.  We cannot have a response for one, without a response for the others.  More police will not fix the spike in gun violence.  Fewer guns will not de-militarize policing.  Ending violence against women will not un-enslave millions from health care that wants to keep them sick and without access.  Fixing healthcare alone will not end the assault that men and the government wage physically and culturally on women’s bodies.  We have to be willing to look holistically at strategies to untangle the whole knot.

…the solutions to social discord and sickness and violence and fear is not as simple as a can of paint or choosing not to wear a mask out of self determination.

Watching a woman attempt to paint over the Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez, CA (a city I know well from my time in the Bay Area) it became crystal clear to me that we have become a culture of people who believe that we can act as solo agents with a can of paint and erase things we don’t like or don’t understand. We are both lazy while being resentful of being told what to do.  This is also why wearing a mask to prevent the spread of covid-19 is political. This is the real challenge we face in this time; the solutions to social discord and sickness and violence and fear is not as simple as a can of paint or choosing not to wear a mask out of self determination.  What is required is more intimate, more interconnected and much more time and energy consuming. What is more, the solutions cannot come from a place of rage.  The solutions we seek, have to come from a sense of shared humanity that honors difference and different perspectives, because we collectively and individually value the way our own difference is mutually respected by others.

Human beings have incredible capacity, to learn, to understand, to grow, to evolve.  It is time for us to reclaim these capabilities before we forget that we have them altogether.

-ALD

05xp-unrest-mural-pix-articleLarge
…a can of paint. (Martinez, CA)

 

Please also read this important information from Everytown for Gun Safety about the connection between gun sales, gun violence, our response to covid-19 and public health: Gun Violence and COVID-19

2 Comments

  1. Read this, “Adam: Racism Is Killing the Planet” from the Sierra Club Insider: https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/racism-killing-planet?utm_source=insider&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter
    Really, at the heart of most if not all our ills is white supremacy and, saddest of all, you don’t even have to be white to subscribe to it–so insidious is its message of entitlement that even some of the marginalized are duped into its toxic message. But, hey, the Supreme Court put a hold on DAPL and also basically stripped the Electoral College of it supposed power–gotta find bright spots where we can!

  2. The pandemic holds a mirror to society, revealing the existing faults in our infrastructure, the gaps in our relations with each other, and the grave inequities in the distribution of resources and opportunities.

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