Chicago Is Reopening In The Midst Of COVID-19 And The Death Of George Floyd
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Chicago Is Reopening In The Midst Of COVID-19 And The Death Of George Floyd

Communities can rebuild, but "All Lives" will not matter until Black Lives Matter.

Chicago Is Reopening In The Midst Of COVID-19 And The Death Of George Floyd
Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash

2020 is officially becoming a year that people will be learning about for generations to come. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the growing Black Lives Matter Movement in the wake of the death of George Floyd, our world is changing ever so rapidly. As our communities come together to fight for justice and equality, we are learning about a variety of black owned businesses that we can support locally. Yet, as our city is set to reopen today, we are seeing the impacts that damage from looting has done to some of these businesses, as well as to businesses all throughout our area. There is simply so much that we need to talk about.

I understand Mayor Lightfoot's response to questions of this nature saying that it is time to move forward into phase three. Our economy has suffered greatly within the past few months due to the temporary closures of most businesses, and if we ever want to get back on track, it seems as though we have no other option than to jump in to our new normal. On that note, I am truly beginning to wonder how many members of the Chicago community will be actively participating in going to restaurants and stores. It has become very clear that we have greater priorities to focus on at this time, such as peaceful protesting and donating to relief funds for black communities. As the Black Lives Matter Movement rightfully has our full attention at this time, I believe that our new normal will not take effect as soon as we once thought. This morning, CornerStone Café in Lincoln Park was one of many local businesses to open its doors and provide outdoor seating for customers. When the restaurant was featured on the news, there was not a customer in sight. After months of eagerness and preparation for restaurants and businesses to reopen, it was definitely an eye-opening experience to see that our community was not ready to engage.

With COVID-19 still running rampant throughout our country, it makes sense to assume that people are afraid to start dining outside at local restaurants. With protests over George Floyd's unjust death and the hundreds of black lives lost sweeping the nation, it is clear that demanding justice is our current priority – as it should be. It is apparent that there is a plethora of challenges our communities need to tackle at this time. The way I see it? I believe there is time to be designated for all matters. Continue to support local businesses by ordering takeout. If you are able, peacefully protest in your city. Wear a mask, bring water and snacks, cash and hand sanitizer. Make donations to relief funds and join the community in educating ourselves on white privilege. Continue to listen and work toward being an ally for the black community, as they need our help the most right now. As devastating as some of the effects of groups hijacking protests may be, it is important to remember that storefronts can be replaced. Glass windows can be repaired. Businesses can rebuild with the help of donations from the community – but lives lost can never be replaced. If each of us makes a conscious effort to work together by contributing to all of these matters, our nation has the potential to slowly but surely rebuild itself on the grounds of equality, support and respect. We cannot undo generations of systemic racism and the impacts that COVID-19 has had on our economy overnight. What we can do is take this time as an opportunity to value life more than ever, and to remind ourselves that "All Lives" will not matter until Black Lives Matter.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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