On the Reopening of America: Somethings can stay closed.

By Jeffrey DeShawn Richardson, CBE Executive Director

As states and federal government negotiate “Reopening of America”, I cannot help but think after witnessing this pandemic experience that some things, systems and thinking should forever be changed or remain closed.

There is undeniable data that regardless of how you feel about healthcare reform, The Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare”, our healthcare service delivery system and infrastructure has not kept up with population and is unable to adequately meet societal needs.

Acknowledging that our healthcare infrastructure and system is failing us, by not serving all of us, is just the beginning.

How about we go ahead and close the chapter on racism in America while we are at it. Why not permanently close discrimination and bigotry; homophobia and transphobia?

If we are going to use the “Reopening of America” message, why not go all the way.

After all, it is the American way to assess, learn, rebrand and reorganize after crisis and a catastrophic close. This is what we can and must do now.

What exactly is this that we can do? Reopen America with honor and respect for the dead by closing the door on the America that got us here. By closing the door on the policies and practices that lead to so many Black and brown people’s underlying health conditions, that lead to us becoming more susceptible to contracting and dying from the virus. By closing the door on unlimited greed and tendency to horde. By closing the door on quality of life and opportunities being determined by your perceived or real economic worth. By closing the door on a history and cultural narrative that says anything other than the lack of equity and opportunity experienced by Black people in America is a direct outcome of slavery.

With our coming opportunity to “Reopen”, I hope, and the world needs us to also permanently close some doors.

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