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WNIJ Perspectives
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: Don't Just Reset. Do Something!

Jose Antonio Gallego Vazquez

As 2020 closed, millions of Americans rejoiced in the conclusion of what could arguably be one of the worst years in recent history. The nation navigated its way through controversies, challenges, and corruptions -- real and perceived.


Depending on who you are, we either dealt with a pandemic of historic proportions that caused over 300,000 deaths and total disruption to our norms. Or we dealt with the biggest, most complex hoax ever perpetrated on the public.

We either witnessed a repudiation of the most polarizing president in recent history or we are in the midst of historic election fraud and a rigged election. And, either some are attempting a coup to keep that president in office or they are patriots for their efforts.

We either witnessed the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement -- most notably through the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor -- and the groundswell of new allies and accomplices against systemic racism and White supremacy, or the rejection of Black Lives Matter and the argued reality of systemic racism, some more virulently than others.

The story of 2020 was not a pandemic, nor poisoned politics, nor entrenched racial misunderstanding. Simply, it was the deepening division of the American community. So many of us celebrate the new year as a symbolic reset, as though that is really a thing.

Extolling the move from one year to the next doesn’t solve a thing. It’s a way we escape our collective discord, our vexations about that discord, and our responsibility to unify. After all, even if it is a symbolic reset, there is still a lot of work to do to heal our rifts. So, don’t forget last year; learn from it.

I’m Joe Flynn and that is my perspective.

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