April and May were horrific months for America as the COVID death total climbed over 100,000, unemployment soared to unprecedented levels, and the devastating impact on marginalized communities and populations became even greater. But at the beginning of that final week of May there seemed to be some glimmers of hope that we just might be on the other side of the curve. Was recovery on its way?
Then the horrific video from Minneapolis went viral and brought us back down to earth — reminding us that the disease that has infected America is not just of a biological sort. The sickness of deep, systemic racism that has been afflicting neighborhoods and communities around the country for many, many years was once again on full ugly display for all to see.
The twin traumas of quarantine and curfew that we are experiencing are like a call to action against the kind of isolation that can tear our society further apart. Education has a big role to play in this — not only by addressing its own persistent savage inequalities but also in providing some semblance of stability to young people who need it most during times of crisis. Never has the need for a strong and fully supported public education system been greater or more urgent.