If there was ever a year to be dispatched early and forgotten, 2020 may be the one. Almost unimaginable twelve months ago, the novel coronavirus pandemic has transformed our lives. This “Year in Review” that I write to you as Executive Director of the Leonard and Shirley Goldstein Center for Human Rights, is soaked in human tragedy. Almost two million people are confirmed dead across the globe from Covid-19. In the United States we are approaching 350,000 deaths. As Wall Street soars, suffering disproportionally affects the most vulnerable amongst us – the elderly and the poor. Human Rights issues abound. Those out of sight, the incarcerated and detained, are infected en masse. Many suffer without any affordable or safe access to healthcare. Our heroes – doctors, nurses, teachers, and parents – continue to work through exhaustion on the frontlines. All of these labors of love notwithstanding, the wretched response to Covid-19 by the Federal as well as some State and local governments has been exacerbated by unprecedented political turmoil throughout the United States. We have seen our neighbors lose their jobs and join long lines at local food banks. They have lost their grandparents, parents, and in some cases children. We have heard voices in the streets, seeking out justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. At the same time, white nationalists have brought weapons to Statehouses. Going into the New Year 2021, a President of the United States is refusing to acknowledge defeat in the November elections or to cooperate with the incoming President-Elect in an orderly transfer of power. Millions of employed, underemployed, and unemployed Americans citizens will be going into the New Year with ballooning debt, a lack of access to healthcare and sustenance, as well as the threat of evictions hanging over their heads. So much of what has occurred will never be forgotten. Investigation into the causes of the situations that we find ourselves in certainly shouldn't be forestalled and we must plan for future exigencies.
Leonard and Shirley Goldstein Center for Human Rights - University of Nebraska at Omaha, "GCHR 2020 - A Year Not to Be Forgotten" (2020). GCHR Faculty Proceedings & Presentations. 3.