First and foremost, the entire Hospitality House family extends its heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and so many, many others killed by the pandemic of racism. Communities of color bear much of the pain and unimaginable loss – but like most pandemics, all of us are at risk of the virus of racism.
However, all of us are not victimized or brutalized or disadvantaged equally. By our economic system. By our education system. By our healthcare system. By our political system – 45 Presidents, ONE black male, NO women. By our financial system – to participate in a capitalist system one needs capital. And without question, by our justice system. We can save the debate for another time whether or not class or race is the real disease.
If we’ve learned nothing else, this much is clear: ALL LIVES ARE NOT EQUAL.
None of our lives are diminished by that acknowledgement, nor does it value some lives more than others. Failure to acknowledge it, however, DEVALUES some lives more than others. Which is why hard and brutally honest dialogue about the pandemic of racism – the cruelty of it, the trauma of it, the lives and communities indelibly damaged by it, the violence of it – is needed NOW more than ever.
Undoubtedly, progress on this defining issue of our time is compromised by pathologically dysfunctional leadership. It’s up to each of us to summon up all that we are, and can hope to be, now, in this moment.
Hospitality House will not judge those protesters whose actions – as covered by network news – may or may not reflect the best of humanity in this moment. Anger is rarely rational; but anger may well be necessary before healing is possible.
Hospitality House IS PROUD to stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives, The Coalition of Asian American Leaders, MN Freedom Fund, Young Women’s Freedom Center, Chinese Progressive Association, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, The Color of Change – these and so many other intergenerational champions engaged in the ongoing struggle for racial and economic justice.
We at Hospitality House grieve for the families scarred and ripped apart by the scourge of racial injustice, and the pandemic of racial violence. In the words of a former journalist, “Racism is more than simply a stain on the fabric of America – racism IS the fabric of America.”
To all those racial justice warriors committed to a better country, to a better global community, to a better, safer future for their children and their children’s children – this week’s events clearly show that the struggle is now where it has always been: on the street where we live.
All of us at Hospitality House salute you, we are grateful for you, and our hearts ache with you.
America, the world is watching.