People protesting against the lockdown: I feel for you and the concern you express about certain liberties being taken away during this pandemic. What is it that makes you so uncomfortable — the possible infringement of our American freedoms or the sacrificing of our daily lives for the well-being of others?
At this very moment, people are detained in jail like criminals in hopes for the right to legally enter this country. Thousands of children were forcibly separated from their families to never be seen again. Black and brown folks are disproportionally impacted by the coronavirus under a judicial and economic system that has prevented them equity and access. Millions of poor people in America are banned from enjoying the fruits of our progress like health care, fair treatment and justice, while health workers lack the necessary protection to serve in our hospitals.
Is this protest really about your rebellion against a tyrannical government or the fact that you are asked for once to care for others? To give up, for a very short time, your individualistic needs and look at our community’s collective needs as a whole?
The reality is that you are not courageous, rebellious or independent. Not at all! You are the product of a consumeristic society that has indirectly imposed poverty, war, hunger and violence onto another demographic of America for more than a century. You are angry because you are forced to taste a very small piece of that deprivation in your own reality, in your own home. I get it, you are afraid. We all are. Your fragility is evident, you stumble on toilet paper, purchase your guns, theorize a possible government takeover when you have elected tyranny in the first place.
Look around you: millions of Americans are caring for each other, showing compassion and concern about their community, especially the most fragile. There is a web of love, solidarity, support and sacrifice like we haven’t seen in a long time. We are not cowards for staying home. We are the America that adjusts, changes and evolves. The America that has fought for our civil and equal rights, many times at the cost of our own lives. The America that does not stop in the face of conspiracy ideas; ideas that only aim to instill fear for each other and everything, to then leave us without solutions and with a sense of apathy and distrust that makes us powerless instead.
We are the America that — with science, medicine, collective efforts and a good sense of justice (but more importantly love) — has fought for the well-being of everyone, yes, yours included.