by Teresa MI Schaefer, PHD
My birthday is right around the corner.
It is not a milestone birthday, i.e. 1-16, 18, 21.
It is not a monumental birthday – 50, 80, 100.
But, it is not an ordinary birthday.
No, it is a birthday in a year that will be remembered forever. A year in which an unseen enemy compelled people around the world into their homes
the rest of the world.
A year in which the proverbial last straw was broke – a knee on a black man’s neck.
A knee on a black man’s neck by someone who was to protect
the black man,
the white man,
A call was made, “I can’t breathe.” A call that echoed the calls heard
in the hours,
and months preceding.
“I can’t breathe,” called
and children around the world.
Individuals, loved ones, afflicted with an unseen threat that loomed and still looms.
The parallels in the nature of these paradigms of distress, the co-morbidities of physical and social ills are astounding.
A long way from healing, a new drum beats.
The lyrics are familiar, “I can’t breathe.”
Claims of rights violated pitted against pleadings of ‘Mine for you, yours for me’.
Hate is spewed.
We are divided.
My party guest list is shorter this year. I am social distancing.
COVID is unwelcome.
Racism is unwelcome.
Hate is unwelcome.