In a new op-ed published by Colorlines, PFAW Senior Director of Outreach and Public Engagement Diallo Brooks emphasizes that the “normal” life that Donald Trump is pushing states to get back to during the COVID-19 pandemic is not a normal that protects the public’s lives and well-being, but a normal that prioritizes corporations and profit above all else.
Brooks asks readers to question whether we as a country should want to return to the type of normal that puts the economy over the American people and systemic inequality over racial, social, and economic justice. He goes on to state that our actions throughout the pandemic show that we are ready to create a new normal: the people are coming together to donate money to help friends, neighbors, and strangers pay for hospital bills, groceries, and rent. While the government only acted to provide aid to individuals and families when its hand was forced, we, the people, were already on the ground doing the work.
Going back to the old normal would be a disservice to us all. Going forward, let’s strive to create a country that values all human life equally and provides safeguards and solutions to mitigate the suffering and injustice of “business as usual.” Because our country isn’t a business, and we find ourselves at this crossroads largely because of the business-driven models that prioritize corporate wellbeing over safety, equity and the welfare of all people.