Saturday, 26 September 2020

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Auntie Najwa's Unsolicited Advice: COVID-19 Update, the Eternal Optimist

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Hello Dearies …
 
Not being able to socialize with friends has given me way too much time to pay attention to what’s happening in politics and society. But it’s not all bad because I have discovered that I’m not only a gifted talker … but also a gifted thinker.
 
One of the things about coming to America as an immigrant is seeing the way in which life and work are valued in different cultures. Right now, in America, we being told that it is our patriotic duty to “re-open the country” despite warnings of increased death rates from scientists. Television personalities and elected officials are openly discussing how many American deaths are acceptable to avoid economic losses, and people are in the street demonstrating. Not for affordable health care and an end to corruption, but for their constitutional right to expose themselves and others to a deadly virus – and to avoid having their guns taken away. (Not that anyone has taken their guns away or even talked about it…) To make us understand how serious they are, they display their beloved assault rifles. It’s a scary sight, and it’s meant to be. They are the same people for whose gun rights the country accepts dead school children. Now it will be dead seniors, dead doctors, dead nurses … and in some areas mostly our black brothers and sisters, as the virus is particularly deadly to communities suffering from institutional racism.
 
My first reaction was shock … but then I realized what we are witnessing here: Scared people with wrong values realizing that their world is changing; knowing that there are more people who value the needs of the many over the wants of the few. I believe that the time of greed and selfishness is over, and the time of true compassion and equity has begun. What we are going through right now, dearies, are birthing pains. (Don’t worry, there will be even longer columns on each of the births of my seven beautiful children later.) But right now, let’s talk about the birthing of a new time in which we all realize that we are one human family, and that the true enemy is invisible and that you can’t stop it with borders or bullets. Or bombs. Or drones.
 
And that gives me hope. Do you know what else gives me hope? Watching love in action, such as the brothers and sisters of ICNA Relief (Big Shoutout) and ISTABA making sure that their unemployed neighbors and are eating a healthy meal tonight. You guys make sure you eat something, too. You look thin.
 
Until next time,
Auntie Najwa
 
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