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COVID-19

No more business as usual

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What a brutal chapter in American history we are living through. And what a shame this same struggle is still playing—on repeat—incident after incident, year after year, and generation after generation.

What a sad state of affairs that we even have to declare that Black Lives Matter.

Why, in 2020, should we, as American citizens, have to rally and protest for such simple demands? Dear white people, stop killing black people. Dear police, stop criminalizing the color of our skin. Dear politicians, if you won’t put policies in place to protect our human rights, and enforce them, then you’ve left us no choice but to revolt.

Sorry, America, we can’t just keep ignoring what we see with our own eyes then continue to put our faith in the very system that brought us to this brink in the first place. We can’t simply assume or believe that our lives matter to police and the criminal justice system against a constant flow of evidence that proves the opposite.

Resolving this righteous unrest—the legitimate outrage expressed through protests—will take a level of courage I have rarely if ever seen in American society, and especially not in American politics.

So will America finally become who she says she is? Does America understand that going back to business as usual is not an option? Will white people voluntarily surrender some of their privilege and position in order to make it true?

Or is this just another flashpoint that will soon be forgotten, until the next one?

Hopefully, the right-hearted people of America have had enough and are ready to make equality real. That notion, sadly, still requires black people to wait until white people relinquish their power for the benefit of others. In world history, this has arguably only happened once—in South Africa, bringing an end to the Apartheid era. It’s not at all a perfect comparison, but it’s the closest example the world has ever seen to a ruling regime voting itself out of power and becoming subject to those they once oppressed.

Can America muster the morality to admit its wrongs and make amends? Now might be a good time for that bold action, considering the demographic shift toward a “majority minority” U.S. population by 2045.

What can America do with itself over the next 25 years to secure justice for people of color—the future majority? Whatever that is, it had better be done with the same relentless dedication used to deny our justice up to this point.

It seems that major corrective action toward fairness, equality, and peace—sooner rather than later—would be wise.

Jason Gaulden
Jason Gaulden
Jason Gaulden is CEO of Untapped Potential Project—a national network of career and technical high schools being developed in communities of color. He is also the founder of Gaulden Group LLC, a consultancy specializing in strategy, communications, and fundraising. He previously served as Vice President of Partnerships for America Succeeds, a national coalition of business leaders focused on improving the nation’s education system. He is also co-author of The Age of Agility: Education Pathways for the Future of Work.

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