View From Here
By David Mark Greaves
An unintended consequence of the Trump presidency is bringing into focus how important presidential leadership and appointments are. In fulfilling his promise to have an administration reflective of the diversity of the nation, President-elect Joe Biden is surrounding himself with the proverbial “Best and the Brightest” from across the mosaic that is America.
They are inheriting agencies and departments that have been misled, deliberately weakened and hollowed out of positive leadership. They will be confronted with the worse health and economic conditions we have faced in generations and will be facing an opposing party that presents a profile in cowardice, as they remain in constant fear of the man in Mar-a-Lago. That person will still hold sway over his mob of supporters, known as the Republican “base,” and who will not stop his rageful whining as the poorest of losers and striking out at any who dare to support the new administration. They have their work cut out for them and that is why they have been chosen for this team.
Councilmembers Not Paying Attention
The fire sprinkler fiasco that was introduced in the city council pointed to a culture of backscratching ‘You support my bill, I’ll support yours,’ rather than leadership. It is obvious that the cosponsors of the legislation had not read it and had no idea of the implications of what would be required to carry it out. Placing sprinkler systems in brownstones and buildings over 40 feet would result in buildings being torn apart at an astronomical cost to owners and destruction of housing stock throughout the city. That it flamed out so quickly pointed to the lack of understanding of what the legislation would entail. The whole episode was an embarrassment for the council and the cosponsors.
We hope all have been chastened and will read and analyze proposed legislation before signing on.
Take the Shot
The vaccines for Covid are coming, and reports are that roughly 40% of African Americans are willing to get inoculated. This is not good. We understand the hesitancy, particularly as the vaccines come to fruition under the Trump regime. There is the history of the 40-year-long Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (1932-1972) where African Americans were treated as guinea pigs and deliberately and unknowingly infected with syphilis to watch the course of the disease. That can certainly give reason to pause. But this is a different time and situation. We know that Covid is killing Black and Brown people at a high rate because of the legacy of racism in the disparities in health care, toxic environments, and cause of poverty.
However, now is not the time to forgo the science in favor of how we feel about past and current sins of the republic. Now is the time to save as many lives as possible.