It is the end of 2020 and to most this final week could not have arrived a moment sooner.
In what many folk recognize as one of the longest and hardest years in memory, we head to 2021 with renewed optimism, clarity, remembrance, and hope.
To survive 2020 means so much more than what we imagined it would mean when the year started.
With the new year comes new resolutions, plans and goals. Whether we share them publicly or just in our journals, what we have planned for 2021 will span the range of relationships, jobs, finances, children, education, and artistic endeavors, all the way to self-help and self-care, breaking free, moving on, and taking flight.
With only a few days remaining in the year, now is also a good time to reflect on what we learned and what we can leave behind.
We learned some hard lessons. Lessons like ignoring science has deadly consequences.
We learned that essential workers include those who we expect to provide service to us when/where/and how often we want them, regardless of how little they are paid.
We learned that the constitution is a mere suggestion to the GOP.
We learned that a significant portion of the electorate is the marketing target of Russia.
We learned that systemic racism is so universal and pervasive that it still remains invisible to most white people.
We learned, again, that social media counts on Black users even as it targets Black users with disinformation, harassment, threats, and violence.
We learned that protest is sanctioned for some, excused for others, and seen as a threat to Democracy when Black folk do it.
We learned that cages don’t have an expiration date.
We learned that chronically underfunded public schools and underpaid teachers are still expected to produce educated kids, fed kids, high testing kids, and kids who get good grades, who are ready for higher education, and who are socially adept even though they are in isolation.
We learned that far too many white people want to call the police on Black people.
We learned nothing is worse to people than calling out their white privilege, toxic masculinity, and misogynoir.
We learned that conspiracy is equal to facts with far too many people.
We learned that the white-male dominated mainstream media is incapable of covering the first Black /South Asian Female Vice President.
We learned that as long as any public health crisis kills Black and brown folk the most, the country will not only accept the deaths, it will lash out at scientific suggested public restrictions, and it will use its power to keep businesses open so the workers, often Black and brown, are forced to serve them.
We learned “No one is above the law” is a lie.
We learned that the constant deaths of Black people at the hands of police is acceptable to most Americans.
We learned that we missed each other.
We learned that hugs, touching, and connection, are vital to healthy families and friendships.
We learned that the banality of normalcy is something to long for and hold onto.
We learned that no matter what is happening, the wealthy will profit and go about their lives.
We leaned that kids and children adjusted to their new normal relatively quickly.
We learned that pets adjusted to their new normal relatively quickly.
We learned that four-hundred thousand people could die and an entire political party “Of, By, and For the people” did not give a damn.
We learned that there are thousands of at-home businesses that we can do.
We learned that gig workers provide a value above their compensation.
We learned that, as Stevie Wonder sang, “Love is in need of Love today.”
We learned that when we try, some of us can cook and bake way better than we thought.
We learned that voting matters – especially in South Carolina.
We learned that drug dealers still made money during covid.
We learned that a word like “Zoom” quickly became a curse word.
We learned that celebrities crave so much of our attention.
We learned that loneliness should be considered a chronic illness.
We learned that America is exceptional in all the wrong categories.
And we learned that community is small, needed, and too often disregarded.
© 2020 by Myron J. Clifton. All Rights Reserved.
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