by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
Assistant Editor San Francisco Bay View-National Black Newspaper
A friend from Sacramento, California recently asked me about my thoughts on whether schools should re-open.
In the midst of the Corona Virus Pandemic, I firmly believe that we must lean toward science and empirical data when making the decision to re-open schools.
There should be a different decision depending on the geographical area you live in. The concrete conditions on the ground should dictate our response.
Betsy DeVos who is the current Secretary of Education in Washington D.C. is in ‘Lock-Step’ with the U.S. President Donald J. Trump on the school issue. The economy and this entire ‘Get Back to Work Now’ strategy has been put before the health, safety, and welfare of our children, our teachers, and our most vulnerable family members.
In regard to re-opening schools in the United States, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. We will have to remain flexible and create innovative ways to teach our children.
Personally, I like the model which sets forth a combination of virtual learning coupled with in school learning. Covid-19 testing must be a part of our re-opening strategy.
However, I have a friend in the Sacramento area who works in the field of education. They raised a good point:
Communities of color are being disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, so how do we adjust our response so all children benefit and are reintergrated into the re-opening process?
Making Wi-Fi available to communities of color and ensuring that all children have Tablets and Lap Tops is a step in the right direction.
However, I have another issue that I’d like all of you to consider. Sisters and brothers today is July 27th, 2020. Many people do not know if the U.S. Senate or the White House is going to extend the extra $600 that has been included in U.S. citizens’ Un-employment checks.
Without this added $600 hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of Americans will be evicted from their homes and apartments. Mass evictions are a reality.
The number one demographic group that will be vulnerable from being effected by these mass evictions are lower black single moms. Yes, black single moms, are one of the most vulnerable groups in the United States.
Who in the Trump Administration has a vested interest in ensuring that single black mothers survive this Pandemic?
I want to know if Val Demings, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Kamala Harris, Stacy Abrams or Elizabeth Warren can hear my voice?
Before we tackle the issue of re-opening schools we have to make absolutely sure our children and our moms have a roof over their heads. This issue of re-opening schools is much more complex than it appears.
Before I end this piece, I want to remind all of you that in order to make it through this pandemic successfully we must have principled leadership in Washington D.C., leaders who have a heart and mind for the people. We don’t have that right now.
Some of my friends, allies, and supporters may say: “Malik we do not need more leaders or Masters in Washington D.C.
My response is this: I agree that the current system has failed us. Nevertheless, in order to address these failures I have a very serious question that I’d like all of you to reflect upon: “Will you open your home or your apartment to a single mom with children?”
There is going to have to be a paradigm shift in how we visualize our new society. This question that I have posed is going to have to be on many peoples’ hearts and minds. Soon there will be an explosion of homeless people on the streets of America. If this G.O.P. led U.S. Senate doesn’ act intelligently there could be dire consequences. Austerity is not the answer compassion and empathy is.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER AND THINK CRITICALLY ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN AMERICA.
Dare to struggle, Dare to win, All Power to the People.