During this COVID-19 pandemic, as politicians scramble and scientists shake their heads, the public is waiting, hungry for food and more. In the top photo, Protein food stores are becoming increasingly scarce; the national food supply chain is collapsing; lines are getting longer for food distribution. But they are also hungry for strong leadership and rational guidance. This week, aggressive leadership focused on giving dignity, and some power to the people, emerged. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams convened funeral home directors, faith leaders, morgue operators, cemeteries, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), and other stakeholders for a Bereavement Task Force. Georgia Congresswoman and former police chief Val Demings is Our Time Press’ choice to join Presidential hopeful Biden as his Vice Presidential running mate, and Governor Cuomo, is looking to the city, the nation and the world like he’s the natural successor to Obama. (Credits: Food line: © Julia Mineeva/TheNEWS2 via ZUMA Wire) Cuomo Credit Image: © Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press via ZUMA Wire)
Leadership in Dangerous Times
View From Here
By David Mark Greaves
Inspiration. That is the feeling I was surprised by. Governor Andrew Cuomo was giving his daily briefing about what’s involved with disinfecting the entire NYC transit system every day. And in his laying out the challenge he had given the MTA, and their ability to do it was inspiring. Only in President Barack Obama had I had that feeling before. But for Obama, it was for another reason, he is what we would have been if not hobbled by the imprint of four hundred years of slavery.
Cuomo’s inspiration came from another source. It was a sense of “Thank you!” At last someone who knows how to solve problems with the power to do it! He uses the machinery of government to make things happen in the real world and he tells us how that’s going.
He’s creative, and using how the crisis highlights patterns, seeing states competing against one another, he brought together a medical supply-buying consortium consisting of New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Maryland. So now they’ve got billions of dollars in buying power, (the governor of Maryland, population 6 million, was very happy to be running with this bunch) and they’re ready to buy from manufacturers in China. China? He says that depending on China for equipment to protect Americans is a national security issue. So, they’ll work with the best they have right now, but look to see “Made in USA” going forward.
It started with Bernice and I watching his daily briefings and repeatedly saying he should be president. And then speaking with my son in Arizona, he brought up the Cuomo briefings and began referring to Governor Cuomo as President Cuomo. A cousin and her daughter in Atlanta, entirely unprompted by me, both spoke of the briefings and Governor Cuomo as president. Brother-in-law Bryan in Brooklyn, while heaping praise on Cuomo, said he’d vote for President Cuomo and Vice President Fauci. His girlfriend Dee corrected us on leadership, saying, “He’s running New York and leading the country.”
In the highly unlikely event of Joe Biden faltering in any way, the Democratic Televention could easily draft Governor Cuomo in August, when the latest projections based on prematurely re-opening, even with social distancing being practiced, will result in over 134,000 deaths. And that’s only in mid-summer. (All the deaths by combat in World War 1, 53,402, Vietnam, 58,209, and Korea, 33,686, come to 145,297.) One of the reasons this number does not stop the reopening, may be this from MSN.com:
“Although communities across the US have been devastated, a new study suggests more African Americans are dying from the virus in the US than whites or other ethic groups.
“Black Americans represent 13.4% of the US population, according to the US Census Bureau, but counties with higher Black populations account for more than half of all coronavirus cases and almost 60% of deaths,” the study found.
When Trump acknowledged there will be more deaths, but says of Americans, “they’re warriors,” he’s speaking to his white nationalist base, and the war they’re in is the racial one. That is why they rally at Michigan’s state capital with guns and confederate flags and why Trump shows his support. This is an extraordinarily dangerous time for African Americans and Latinos in America. The virus has exposed the many levels of the systemic hostility to our presence, descendants of those who owned the land and those who built it up. Disengaging from our side of the battle is not an option.
How do we fight back?
Get healthy. At the end of the summer, when we could be at 200,000 deaths with flu season coming, your “future self” will thank you for building your immune system today.
Get Counted. Fill out the Census by mail or online. It will determine how much money our area will get for the next ten years.
Get Organized and Vote. Be your own leader, willing your self to watch for and support leadership wherever it’s found.
Barack Obama was a community organizer with skills. You may recognize that quality in someone on a tenant committee and in organizing groups to successfully achieve a goal. Vote in the elections and vote with your credit card. Give money locally and on the national level, they will take a dollar and up.
People recognize and appreciate leadership in a crisis, not the press release or the photo op. And it’s not just Cuomo showing why, as he said, “We get the big bucks.” Mayor de Blasio, other governors and mayors across the country are displaying the leadership people look to in a crisis. And given the race war we are in, they have drawn the virulent ire of the white supremacists because by putting lives over money, they are playing roles akin to the Abolitionists before the Civil War. Taking actions that will save Black and brown lives.
And finally, take a good, hard look at Florida Congresswoman Val Demings as a vice presidential candidate. She’s a former chief of police and we were first introduced to her at the impeachment hearing and her subsequent presentation on the Senate floor. Like Obama, the woman has skills, and like Obama, she’d inject the possibility of change in America, but now at a time when so many see it’s needed.