Searching the Shadows/Looking For Rainbows . . .

Published on PTLN 5-18-20

Searching the Shadows/Looking For Rainbows . . .

By Maureen Taylor

These are dark days for sure, as we each try to navigate our way through events of the day filled with terror, fear, sadness and anger.  Years ago, 9/11 became the single flash point that changed the world overnight when 21 men boarded planes intent on disaster.  The 1% took hold of the aftermath and immediately instituted new rules and regulations that ended up securing tremendous profits realized by major aircraft industries and others. Safety was the “call” but prosperity was the goal.  Today, a germ too small to see with the naked eye, has again changed the world.  New conditions are being revealed followed by new rules that are sureto come as that same 1% is looking for ways to secure their financial control.  We have all been thrown into the midst of confusion, lost in the shadows as we search for common sense and the way forward.  

What Is To Be Done?  There are NO areas of living that are untouched by this horrific pandemic.  Schools, jobs, meals, bank accounts, todays, tomorrows, everything is different so we are shocked at finding out that we are members of the American working class with ONLY our capacity to work to bargain with.

We were separated from work and what a surprise that has turned out to be!  Most didn’t have two, three, four weeks of savings to weather the virus storm.  Kids were locked out of school with no contingency plans. Farmers bulldozed their crops and poured milk into the ground because they couldn’t get to market. Hundreds of thousands line up in cars and in person to accept food baskets because the computerized unemployment systems collapsed nation-wide leaving them penniless.

The Federal government proved to be both incompetent and impotent in coordinating support for regular people, but demonstrated flashes of brilliance when securing tax-payer millions/trillions for the wealthy. People responded by making a run on toilet paper and now Wendy’s restaurants have no beef?  Meat packing and processing plants can’t observe the social distancing rules cause they demand 18 inches between employees — employees who are threatened with termination if they are too afraid to come to work because of virus fears.  

The list of infractions continue, yet in the face of irrefutable evidence, regular people can’t see the handwriting on the wall. Working people — can’t we imagine a world where universal healthcare is a right and cannot be tied to a job that may disappear? Working people —  can’t we imagine a world where preparation for pandemics are already in place because the next one is anticipated?  Working people — can’t we imagine a world where no one goes without food or affordable housing under any circumstances?   Can we…

Well folks, get with the “FREAKING” program!!  The ability to solve much of what is wrong is at hand at least if we look for the rainbows buried inside these dark days.  Do we need universal health care and can we organize to get it?  Yes. We Can!  Can we change the mindset that suggests random white men have the right to gun down a  person of color for reasons they feel empowered and authorized to do? Yes. We Can!!  Can we envision a world where the goal is to discover then create avenues of peace and tranquility?  Can we see the differences in each of us, then work to value those differences as we treat each other like the special gifts we are to the world?  Can we see violence in all forms and work together to address it BEFORE it surfaces?  Can we…

Technology has made the world exciting because we now have what the “Six Million Dollar Man” had in that now action series…  we can now be better, faster, stronger, and clearer about the way forward.  Ain’t we tired of what we have now, knowing we can be better stewards of the world’s gifts like water, soil, air, the clouds and what lies beyond?

We are approaching a fork in the road that will demand our individual and collective attention.  Do we go back or do we go forward?  The 9/11 incident changed the world. This pandemic has changed the world.  The “rainbows of collective living” are at hand.  What we need to do is to FREE those colors of the future that are hiding in dark shadows… the oranges, the blacks, the blues, the whites, the yellows, the browns, the color purple… find them and let them out.  Good things are possible if we only decide among us that we will not live like this ’cause we don’t have to.  

Let’s go RAINBOW searching …  

Maureen Taylor, a long-time leader in the fight to end poverty, is chairperson of the Michigan Welfare Rights Union.

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