Notes from Jan

America Unmasked

June 8, 2020


Yesterday I took a Sunday afternoon drive to see some family faces. I arrived just in time to  join them in a car parade  to support Black Lives Matter.  We crawled through town,  lines of  plain and decorated cars with hazard lights flashing like tiny beacons of hope.  Ipswich is a small, very white town. So one wonders, “What’s afoot?”

As we wound around the town and along the river,  old and young folks seemed to be doing what they could.  Some waved. Others clapped, displayed signs from sidewalks,  porch steps and roadsides.  The drizzling rain didn’t dampen all spirits.  As I drove,  my eyes misted over at scenes reminiscent of  a Norman Rockwell illustration.  It felt like a grassroots cry, “Enough is enough!”

While we’ve wasted time and lives debating to mask or not to mask,  we’ve unmasked systemic racism in this country.  Many  are praying and protesting that this works for good. While we’ve lived in fear of catching Covid-19 and dying,  George Floyd’s plea of, “I can’t breathe” has amplified the cry of millions.  And it’s launched a global movement in support of Black Lives Matter and the elimination of unjust practices wherever they exist to devalue human life.

The world’s cameras and eyes are on America.  I don’t think the world’s holding its breath to see our test results for Covid-19.  They’re standing on tip-toe, taking knees, marching to see if we will pass this national test of what democracy really means? Does our constitution guarantee peaceful protests?   Are basic human rights , the “unalienable rights” of all in this country?

As a nation and a people, whether we live or die is less of a medical issue than a moral and spiritual one.

Can we pass it?

To quote a President worth repeating, “Yes, we can!”


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  • Reply Sarah Latimer June 8, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    Thank you, Jan. You give me hope.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg June 9, 2020 at 11:29 am

      It is my hope and prayer, Sarah, that we will “pass the test” and BE better to DO better. Thank you for reading and responding. You gave me hope.

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