On October 16, 2017, I penned a column entitled TIME FOR CHANGE NOW.
Sometimes things in America are simple and easy.
Black people in America have faced over 400 years of oppression in this country. As people of African ancestry, known as African Americans, we have suffered in silence long enough. Even though we have made gains, institutional systemic racism still exists. Racism is a learned behavior, it’s taught, and as a school system, we teach. Just like we teach students in the classrooms and in schoolhouses, we must also teach our students in the classroom of life.
In the face of an unstable mutating virus and the uncertainty of an effective vaccine, global public health protocols have been sensibly advocating the importance of a healthy immune system, personal hygiene, physical distancing, wearing masks, testing widely, contact tracing, patient isolation and treatment. Caribbean countries have been augmenting the facilities, staffing, equipment and supplies at their treatment centers.
“We are not going to be driven by a date, we are going to be driven by protocols that make us safe because we want to remain safe for our people, we want to remain safe for people who are visiting us”– Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, chair of the 15-member Caribbean community, says the region will not rush to re-open for tourists in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the midst of the murder of George Floyd, the fires rage across the United States of America. The South Florida Black Prosperity Alliance understands the pent-up rage within our community as Black people - men and women - continue to be murdered by those who have decided that it is open season.
The past two weeks have witnessed unprecedented fervor in nationwide and international protests sparked by the extra judicial killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. The failure of leadership which contributed significantly to the alarming death toll of more than 100,000 persons in the United States, with Blacks disproportionately accounting for approximately 30% of those killed by the global pandemic, fueled people’s uncertainty and anxiety and created the perfect firestorm for protests to erupt at the unmasking of systemic and institutionalized racism in the United States. With such a sobering start to Caribbean-American Heritage Month, is there a reason to celebrate?