Building in the time of COVID-19: Why walls and not community?

June 25, 2020 | by Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño,Lupe Rentaria Salome

Building in the time of COVID-19: Why walls and not community?

Editor's Note:  Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño and Lupe Rentaria Salome partnered on a recent op-ed on the most urgent social needs of this time. The article was published by CalMatters, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom committed to explaining California policy and politics.

Both Bishop Minerva and Lupe work with The California Endowment which is a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental affordable improvements in the health status of all Californians. Bishop Minerva serves as the board vice chair for the Endowment and Lupe is a member of the President’s Youth Council at The California Endowment and currently serves as a fellow to that committee.

 

We are in a time of global pandemic and the U.S. Southern border wall is progressing.  More than 180 miles of new wall has been constructed, without recent push-back from those of us who have long protested the building of a wall.  But we are not silent nor unconcerned.

These are times to stop and consider the intersections of systemic oppression.  COVID-19 has made these intersections more visible, unveiling the layers and connectedness of human suffering and the domino effect that each hit causes for those living on the margins.  

Consider the father, an undocumented immigrant worker, who lost his job because of the pandemic.  His daughter describes it as the hit that threw them 100 steps backwards.  He was an essential worker who for years received only a minimum wage with no benefits.  When he became seriously ill, he still worked without the ability to address his multiple illnesses. Ultimately the pandemic took his job sending his family deeper into fear, doubt and invisibility.  


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Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño is Resident Bishop of the California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Lupe Rentaria Salome is a member of the President’s Youth Council at The California Endowment and currently serves as a fellow to that committee.
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