Some say the pandemic has revealed inequality; some say we knew this all along. Evidence across the nation shows us that more Black Americans have gotten COVID-19 and die from it than White Americans. Gig workers struggle to see how they can get any the funds for bare subsistence. Essential workers are risking their safety, sometimes regardless of their own higher risk status.
How do we feel about this? What do our UU souls do with this? How do our UU minds and hearts resolve to act and communicate? Do you feel we are in a crisis? Do you feel an opportunity to look at things differently? Do you feel an opportunity for others to see things differently?
It seems to me that the pandemic has made more people recognize that our country must develop some plan for adequate health care for every citizen. More folks believe it is immoral to exclude anyone from health care, and plumb crazy to invite the spread of diseases due to income of where you live. Now, more see that living without health care can create involuntary Typhoid Marys.
Thomas Piketty, the French economist who wrote the second Wealth of Nations in 2015, tells us that our current economic system is engineered in such a way as to worsen inequality, and that the only thing we can do to fix it is by using our political system.
There are American oligarchs which we call the 1%, most of which are multi-millionaires. However, the 400 (0.0001%) super-rich own almost $3 trillion. That billionaire class added $283 billion to their wealth in just 23 days of the pandemic, and of all that money, $34 billion is now in Jeff Bezos’s pocket. Every time I buy something on Amazon, I cringe. What can I do? What can we do?
Some of us have more spare time now than usual. The UUA is doing its part with UUtheVote, and we have at least 7 UUCE members involved in that initiative. UUtheVote works to register voters, inform them of the issues, try to reduce voter suppression, and help everyone vote, which means joining together to keep the Post Office from going under so that vote-by-mail is possible.
Consider these questions:
Do you want to join the UUtheVote effort? Do you have other ideas for action to elect people who will redirect resources with more equity for everyone? What can we at UUCE do to bring health, safety, and justice to more people in these pandemic days?
Join the conversation on Sunday mornings, or by commenting here or on Facebook. Now is the time to discuss, engage with our Social Justice Team, and get involved. I am here to share my ideas, and to support yours. Let us seize the time provided by this experience, and make UUCE a harbinger of hope and progress.
Rev. Leland Bond-Upson