A Life Once Lost Cannot be Given Back…

01 Jun 20

My last column ended on the sentiment that a life once lost, cannot be given back.  In that column I was referring to the devastating impacts of COVID-19.  This month my heart is still deeply saddened by this sentiment but not because of a pandemic that we cannot treat but rather because of a sentiment that can be controlled if we forgot hatred and practiced empathy and acceptance.   
    My heart is filled with anger and sadness at the deaths of men like George Floyd and AmaudArbery who unnecessarily lost a life due to hatred and our inability to accept what makes us different.  Unfortunately, while these incidents may be fresh they are not new to the communities that are constantly targeted with hate crimes and looked at with extra suspicion by those that are supposed to be protecting them because of the color of their skin.  These incidents happen daily – some widely publicized and others not so much.  Yet, when members seeking influential positions in our government are questioned on whether they think racism exists in America, they skirt the question with answers that say that it might but they’ve never seen it or felt it firsthand.  
When people of color protest policy brutality and the unnecessary loss of life, they are thugs and the States where protests are happening require military support.  When people not of color go out armed to protest their right to go out and get a haircut or get their nails done, they are good people that just want their lives back.  When men go out to protest “their body, their choice” in response to whether they can put their body at risk with COVID (which indirectly may put those around them at risk as well), they are fighting for their rights and freedom.  When women protest “their body, their choice” in wanting to own the decision to bring a child into this world, they are murderers that are not pro-life even if that choice puts their own life at risk.  The double standards in this country fill me with disgust.  Yet, we want to present ourselves as the greatest nation in the world.   To me, a great nation is one that is capable of treating all people equally and a nation where everyone can live without fearing for their safety because of the color of their skin and we have a long way to go before we achieve that.
While we cannot change what is happening all over the world, we can control our own actions and we can treat all around us with the love and respect they deserve regardless of their personal beliefs.  Another thing we can do is put people that believe in equality into positions of power to ensure our country makes progress towards becoming the great nation it is capable of becoming.  If 2020 has shown us nothing else, it has shown us that we have a long way to go when it comes to protecting people’s civil rights and having access to adequate healthcare when faced with a crisis such as COVID-19.  Not too far from now, we have an election coming up – an election that will determine whether we are happy with the current state of things and that is where we can influence the future of this country.  Please look past the petty things such as which party will reduce my taxes or be financially beneficial for me and start looking at the things that matter more. 
Hope everyone is safe during these difficult times and my heart goes out to the families and communities that are impacted because of this tragic and unnecessary loss of life.  I hope and pray that 2021 will bring about a positive change that will allow us to leave a better world for our children and our loved ones.  
    - Deepa Kaur Walia
Editor, Asia Today, editor@asiatodayaz.com