We are collectively experiencing a historic period of loss and learning that has changed all our lives through intersecting crises rooted in white supremacy and racial capitalism, from the public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, to continued state and organized violence in the face of movement’s uprisings in defense of Black lives, to prominent threats on democratic practices including disinformation campaigns, voter suppression, and the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, DC.
We are also viscerally experiencing the false divides of manmade borders, how our lives and futures are linked globally, and how US imperialism and capitalism maintain and deepen inequities across the world – 85 percent of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in countries with high- and upper-middle-incomes, while less than 1 percent of doses have been administered in countries with low incomes.
Crises provide opportunities for change: As Septima Clark said, “I have great belief in the fact that whenever there is chaos, it creates wonderful thinking. I consider chaos a gift.” At the same time, white supremacy and capitalism push us to move forward with a false sense of urgency to quickly get back to “business as usual.” From the pandemic, its ongoing impact on our lives and communities, and all that is happening concurrently, we are experiencing the chaos of grief, uncertainty, and massive change.
We can and should take the opportunity to honor these experiences and move forward with intention, to think together about what these changes mean, and to process where we’ve been and where we’re going.