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• Having finished venting, I’d like to focus


on how this unbelievably worst of times might just turn out to be the best of times as it relates to long overdue racial and social justice reforms. Who would have thought that a global pandemic when coupled with the horrific video of a white cop’s knee on George Floyd’s neck would start worldwide grassroots protests and would engender mainstream support (recently surveyed at 60%) of Black Lives Matter – a civil rights movement heretofore thought by many white folks to be radical and even un-American.


• History teaches us that major upsets


to daily living such as wars, droughts and pandemics can actually cause society to change for the better. Consider the societal changes wrought by the Vietnam War and the AIDS epidemic – the former resulting in the rebirth of the progressive movement and the latter resulting in the strengthening of the LGBTQ movement.


• Let’s recount some of the changes we


are already seeing . . . Confederate flags and memorabilia will no longer be sold at Walmart. Statues of Christopher Columbus, Junipero Serra and John Muir have been removed. Mississippi is removing its Confed- erate flag references.


• Police departments are under siege for


racial profiling and unfair treatment of Black and Brown people. Chokeholds are being barred. Chants to ‘’Defund the police” have turned into actions to refer domestic disputes, mental health and substance abuse matters to social workers instead of police.


• Professional sports now pay homage to


Colin Kaepernick allowing the taking of a knee during the national anthem.


• The corporate world is also on the bandwagon, retiring the Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben brand names. Even the Wash- ington Redskins will have a new name. The concept of reparations (for decades limited to academic circles) is now being discussed in earnest in political circles.


• The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of abortion rights, Dreamers, LGBTQ


https://bit.ly/3jF7zu6


employment rights, and even allowing the government to subpoena Trump’s financial records.


• Books suck as “White Fragility” and “How


to Be An Antiracist” are flying off the shelves. Television streaming services are offering free viewing of race related films such as “I am Not Your Negro,” “13th


” and “Selma.” TV news


shows, such as NBC and PBS, now include special daily segments on race. Simon & Schuster, a major publisher, has put a Black woman at its helm.


• The University of California system now has a Black man in charge. Joy Reid took over the MSNBC prime-time spot left by Chris Matthews, who was fired for sexist behavior. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an unfair healthcare system resulting in poor healthcare outcomes for people of color. Greenhouse gas emissions are way down and the air is much cleaner.


• The entertainment industry is expanding


its focus to include stories about race, women and LGBTQ folks, and including these folks in the writing, directing, acting and producing of new works that better reflect our society. White people are beginning to understand that racism is systemic, white privilege is a thing, and changing things requires antira- cism action.


• My opinion is that on balance, the good


resulting from this most challenging time in our lives will ultimately outweigh the bad. It’s time to harken back to Bob Dylan and to take heart that “the times they are a changin’.” Take a listen and see if you agree:


Anne M. Haule is a retired healthcare attorney from Chicago who moved to San Diego 10 years ago. Haule is also a political opinion and feature writer. An ardent feminist, Haule volunteers with NARAL Pro-Choice America, Women’s Museum of California, SDSU Department of Women’s Studies 50 Year Anniver- sary Committee, Run Women Run, and the National Organization for Women.


August 2020 | @theragemonthly 33


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