Questions with No Answers

Three rocks on a beach, photo by erin okuno

Hi All,

I’m going to be honest, I have no idea what to write this week. The week has been a whirlwind of unwinding from summer amid a pandemic and prepping for the unknowns of online schooling starting tomorrow.

For this week’s post here is a series of questions I’ve been pondering. They are random and non-linear, each deserves some deep thought which I know I’m not giving them at this moment. Maybe you’ll have some deep answers to share back with me. Read them with an eye towards race and equity, even though the questions are brief.

  • When will the pandemic end?
  • What gifts has the pandemic brought us? I’m not dismissing the hurt, pain, and loss which we’ve all felt.
  • How has COVID impacted you and your neighbors across racial lines?
  • How have I built trust within POC communities in this moment?
  • Where have I misused trust during COVID?
  • Will my internet access hold up with three video-calls and streaming Netflix in the background?
  • How will families without internet or stable housing navigate this online world?
  • Who is working on net neutrality (remember that from several years ago) and treating the internet like a public good and utility?
  • Should I keep Disney+, which was only supposed to be like a one-month treat, but alas people in my house are now hooked and watching Hamilton on rerun (I still haven’t sat down to watch it all the way through yet).
  • Did I read enough authors of color to fill my summer BINGO card? And does reading about Pokemon count towards animal so I can fill in that square?
  • What books should I read next? Especially thinking about Indigenous and Black experiences.
  • Am I spending my money to support Black and Indigenous owned businesses recover faster from the economic disaster COVID has brought?
  • A few months ago, a group of us sent about $100 to a Black colleague in recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement. She wanted to take her family to dinner at a Black owned restaurant but couldn’t find one in her city. She emailed the mayor to ask how they could work together to get COVID recovery money to boost Black business ownership, I wonder what happened to this? A small donation triggered a larger conversation about economic recovery for the Black community.
  • Will the families at my school, which 50% qualify for free and reduced lunch, be ok this fall?
  • If, and when, the second wave of COVID19 hits will we have better systems in place to support families of color?
  • Should I order another Costco pack of toilet paper now in case we have a second wave? If I do is this hoarding and abusing my economic privileges?
  • When can I fit in a blood or platelet donation appointment?
  • Will the postal service survive COVID and the presidential interference? This was supposed to be their moment to shine.
  • What will the Tuesday, November 3 election look like?
  • How can we work together to ensure POCs are able to vote?
  • Will my friend’s 70+ year old African American aunt have to show up in person risking her health just to vote when she could do it via mail instead (she registered for an absentee ballot but so far the paperwork hasn’t gone through).
  • Should I buy another facemask because it’s cute?
  • Who needs masks, can I get them some?
  • When will I have to use my alarm clock again? I haven’t used it since February when I had to quarantine.
  • Should I KonMari my work clothes? I haven’t worn them since February, probably not since they still spark little sprinkles of joy.
  • What sparks joy now?
  • How are our leaders of color? Are they ok? So many of us are pushing against systemic racism which they inherited in their organizations and need to fix, but at the same time they are POCs who need support too.
  • Who’s emails and calls have I neglected – are they POCs?
  • How do we leverage this rare moment to fix our broken systems?
  • What do I need to pause to reflect on versus just moving forward?
  • Who do I need to thank today for their good work and good relations?

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