It’s impossible to know how future generations will look back on 2020 and remember it. If I had to single out one issue that has consumed the most of my thoughts, it would be the murder of George Floyd, the subsequent calls for police reform and the strengthening of the Black Lives Matter movement.
As Alex Jackson writes in this issue, on May 25, when officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, everything changed. As difficult as it had been to adjust to the stay-in-place protocols of COVID-19 and the new post-virus world, responding to and dealing with the coronavirus was simple by comparison. Wash your hands, wear a mask, avoid large groups. In essence, be smart. Not fun, far from ideal, but clear.
When it comes to reforming the police and addressing the deeply-rooted systems that perpetuate inequality in America, Floyd’s death and the ensuing events have reinforced that the need for radical change is equally clear. What isn’t as clear, and what keeps me awake at night thinking, is how we bring about that change.
I wish we could end systemic racism with something as simple as wearing a mask, but if these last three months have shown us anything, it’s that A) nothing is as simple as it seems, and B) the divides in our nation will not be easily healed.
So, when it comes to bringing about that change, what is the role of NEW MOBILITY? What can NEW MOBILITY do to be part of the solution?
These aren’t new questions, but in light of current events and ongoing conversations around racism, disability and intersectionality, we want you to know they are guiding our editorial process and future planning.
There is no getting around the fact that our editorial staff consists of four white people. Maybe we pass the bar when it comes to diversity of disability, but in terms of diversity of cultural experience, we are lacking. We know this, and we are working on it.
We have made strides in terms of including people of color in our content in the last two years, but we haven’t been as successful in terms of recruiting and employing writers of color. This issue shows we can do better, and it highlights the value of including authentic voices from across the spectrum of diversity.
NEW MOBILITY isn’t going to end racism, or ableism for that matter, but we have a part to play, and we are committed. It’s not going to be easy, and we’re going to need all of your help to guide us, critique us and enlighten us, but it is critical that we make our voices heard in this fight so that when people do read about 2020 in the future, they can say that George Floyd’s death and the movement that it galvanized led to something that made the world a better place.
** This post was originally published on https://www.newmobility.com/2020/08/bully-pulpit-black-lives-matter/