Monday, November 30, 2020

Window Dressing


Food for thought:

This tweet brought into sharp focus for me the motivation of our local Re Open Howard folks: comfort breeds a lack of empathy. 

As most of us planned very different, and smaller, Thanksgiving celebrations this year, the folks over at ReOpen Howard saw fit to post one of those tawdry photoshop jobs* for which our local Republican Party has become infamous. There, standing on the the outside looking in a dining room window, table set in holiday finery, lurks the County Executive. 

The photo is captioned: The typical Thanksgiving scene across Howard County today. (Look closely)

There you have it. There’s a world-wide pandemic and the amount of human suffering is continuing to balloon beyond what most of us can comprehend but, that’s not the problem for ReOpen Howard. No, they want to make sure that you know the real problem: there’s a Black man outside your window who doesn’t belong there and he wants your stuff.

Really, if the Republican Party does not want to be known as the party of racism it would help if they did not get down in the mud and wallow with the pigs.

If you care about overcoming the challenges of the coronavirus in our community then that’s where you will put your efforts. And that’s where I see County Government, Howard County Hospital, the Health Department, local non-profits providing food and rental assistance, the Howard County Library serving as a conduit for important public information, the School system providing distance learning to keep our students, families, and teachers safe.

If you care about maintaining your comfort then that’s where you will focus your efforts. And that’s where I see all of the anti-masking, COVID-denying, “open the schools” ReOpeners. They are not engaged in fighting the virus. They don’t even want the focus to be on the virus. They want it to be on themselves.

Its very simple for them: I want my stuff. No one can take my stuff. Give me back my stuff.

And how deliciously funny that they can drag up a racist trope of the County Executive eyeing up the white folks’ Thanksgiving feast in the process. How dare a Black man have the authority to set public health guidelines if it means we are going to be less comfortable? Let’s not forget that these are probably the same sort of folks who’d encourage you to call the police if you saw anyone “who didn’t belong” hanging around your neighborhood. This is not purely some sophomoric effort.

It’s deeply racist, and potentially violent.

That’s how far some people are willing to go to protect their own comfort. 

*Yes, I have a screenshot. No, it’s not fit to share here. - - jam

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