Karin’s Reflection on Current Events
I hear people wondering and asking when things will get back to normal. I think we are most likely moving in the direction of a new normal. Covid 19 will be with us for some time to come and it has altered our everyday so dramatically that I believe some of the changes will stay. Research is still a long way away from the hoped for treatment or immunization for Covid 19. So whatever normal is will look different in the future. I also think some of those changes will be positive!
Another issue that needs a new normal to happen is systemic racism. I am sincerely hoping that the Black Lives Matter protests going on in our streets will result in important changes. While the violence that has accompanied the peaceful protests feels tragic, I do have a personal understanding of the rage that can build when faced with injustice. I compare it to a pressure cooker–at some point the pressure valve cannot hold and blows off. The result is a messy explosion. Had the heat of injustice been lowered sooner, the valve would not have blown off.
A couple of years ago I had the good pleasure of being in an entrepreneurial program called, The Founders Series–spearheaded by Doyenne. Among the fabulous people I met in the group was Annette Miller, founder of Equity By Design. She posted something on her Facebook page this week that I will share with you.
My beautiful daughter shared this with me. I’m sharing it because this is spot on. For all my white friends and for those who are white who follow me seeking to understand…here it is in black and white.
“The problem is that white people see racism as a conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a whistle person who likes Black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just on manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing we have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.” ~~Scott Woods
I encourage all of us to learn more about the systemic disease of racism in our country and around the world. Fire up your laptops and start reading! If you would like a place to start, here is a link recommended by Sara Alvarado. There will never be an immunization for this disease; but learning, listening to stories and reaching you where we are is part of the cure. At Hope & A Future, we are blessed with diverse staff, housemates and friends. Being a safe place to share diverse perspectives and listening to each other’s stories is an important and intentional part of our culture. I am grateful for the opportunity to share life with a diverse household. As I have said before, I believe sharing life in the day to day with intentional inclusivity is a rich learning experience and a way to begin to identify and remove persistent roadblocks to moving forward in the creation of more equitable and just neighborhoods and communities.
As the covid quarantine continues for Hope & A Future’s Adult Family Home, I want you to know that a lot of joy continues in the house! At the same time, we feel very sad that loved ones have to visit through glass. Some residents do great with window visits and others either cannot comprehend why things are this way or desire physical contact too much to tolerate such a visit. While I hope outdoor visits with a face mask and carefully washed hands can happen soon, the Department of Quality Assurance is being understandably cautious. If this virus were to get in our home, it could be a nightmare. So on we go visiting as if we live in a snow globe and/or with technology.
The pool and blooming flowers and Ruthie’s creative and fun activities and lunches have helped so much. We now have a NUstep in the house! This is an amazing piece of exercise equipment safe for almost everyone! We will also be getting some new outdoor furniture in the near future! Thank you to those of you that have donated to increase our activity budget to help keep folks happy and active during the quarantine period! Your love and support are greatly appreciated! I hope you follow the fun on our Facebook page. If not, find someone who has a Facebook account so you can see the festive lunches and fun activities!
We are all still healthy and checking temps three times a day. Cleaning and hand washing is stepped up and we are finding ways to obtain needed supplies! All Staff are being very careful when we have to be out and about and I could not be more grateful for their kind and conscientious work! Everyone is still healthy.
We have seeds in the vegetable garden and flowers are being planted (some by Joyce) and picked (often by Deborah)! Many thanks to Terri Alexander and Deb Oberlin for their tireless volunteer efforts. Actually, I think they are exhausted, but they keep going! We have had some small groups and families coming out to help from time to time too. That is always a blessing! And thankyou Bruce for mowing–our mower has made two trips to be repaired and is currently 20th in a line of 80 for repair at the shop! Brad has been in the pool and collecting eggs every day. We are grilling often and everyone has enjoyed time on the back porch. We are so happy the weather finally improved!
My best to all of you as we work together on our new normal, from a distance.