As I try to make sense of the growing wave of protests and sporadic violence, it’s hard to escape thinking about the vast disparities of wealth and power that we have allowed to permeate our nation. The pandemic has brought these disparities into sharp focus.
In Moab, it is obvious that the impacts of the pandemic have fallen hardest on those who have the least. Nationwide, our minority communities have suffered the brunt of economic hardship, illness and death from the pandemic.
The Navajo Nation, black, Hispanic, and poor people have been visited by enormously disproportionate impacts from COVID-19. Inequality, poverty, crowded housing, lack of access to medical care, and public policies that penalize people for being poor have all contributed to this emerging tragedy.
We are too smart, moral, caring, and rich to allow this inequality to continue to poison our state and country. We must do everything in our power to ensure public policy addresses the causes of both inequality and the resulting tragic disproportional impact of the pandemic.
We must reject calls for punitive responses. The current spread of protest and rioting cannot be addressed by only employing police and military power.
We can use this difficult moment to make our state and nation a better place for all. We can only be as strong as the weakest among us.
— Robert (Bob) Greenberg