3 big challenges: Covid-19, racism, global warming

Janelle Von PinnonLetter to the Editor, Opinion, Print Editions, Print Sartell - St. StephenLeave a Comment

Jim Graeve, St. Joseph

Dr. Martin Luther King told us “the arc of history bends toward justice.” George Floyd’s murder bent the “arc” in a straight line to our hearts, heads and consciences.

It made my stomach turn and I wept.

There is much in the media about reparations to our Black brothers and sisters for our more than 400 years of racial discrimination in American.

After all, I was never denied a loan because I am “white.”

I never had to teach my children to fear cops!

I was never denied a job because of the color of my skin!

Symbols mean a lot in our society and culture. It is good to see statues of civil war traitors removed. Kudos to the NASCAR racing industry for removing the Confederate flag from all of its promotions.

Labor Day 2020 has come and gone, and we celebrated “organized labor’s” many successes. We have a middle class, 40-hour workweek, minimum wage, health benefits for many, the right to collective bargaining and more.

However, we do not typically think about “free labor” or “slave labor” on Labor Day, at least I have not, until the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

Slaves built the White House!

I would like to suggest we pay tribute to our Black sisters and brothers and to the memory of George Floyd by asking our churches, mosques and synagogues have an eight-minute and 46-seconds bell ringing at 8:48 a.m. or 8:48 p.m., or both so we never forget the murder that took place in our state.

Symbols count. Bells ringing could mean ring out bigotry, racism, injustices and ring in justice, fairness, equality for all.

We are all in it together. We need to collectively meet the three great challenges of our time – Covid-19, racism and global warming. There is no room for division among us. As our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, put it, “A divided house cannot stand.”

Author: Janelle Von Pinnon

Von Pinnon has been publishing the St. Joseph Newsleader since 1989, the Sartell-St. Stephen Newsleader since 1995 and the Sauk Rapids-Rice Newsleader since 2015. She graduated from Minnesota State University-Moorhead with degrees in mass communications (with an emphasis on print journalism) and biology. She lives in southeast St. Cloud with her husband and two children.

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