The Fire This Time – A Statement from Scholars for Social Justice

By Robyn C. Spencer, Leith Mullings, and Premilla Nadasen


Spencer, Mullings, and Nadasen write in the wake of protests happening across the nation in response to state-sanctioned violence. In a world influenced by COVID-19, these protests and calls to action make a return to “normal” seem even more impossible. They write, “Racism doesn’t look only like a knee on the neck. The fires burning on U.S. streets are symbolic of fires that have smoldered for some time”. Further:

“As the COVID-19 crisis opened a wedge for unprecedented political possibility, the changes it imposed have also pushed longstanding goals of the left into the mainstream. Decarceration has unprecedented traction as jails reduced their detained populations, in humanitarian releases—demonstrating, in effect, that many people in jails did not need to be there in the first place. Domestic violence and homelessness, likewise, gained new visibility as stay-at-home orders highlighted the precarity of those who could not shelter in place safely. Essential workers, the elderly, people without resources, black, indigenous, and other people of color have been COVID-19’s greatest victims, setting in sharp relief the glaring economic disparities in the United States”.

Read the whole piece at the Boston Review.

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