A time of equity and care?

On Friday Maha Bali included me in this tweet for an upcoming keynote she is giving. She asked “what is care without equity? what is equity without care?”

As ever Maha’s open practice drew out some very thoughtful responses, some of which she has selected added to her slidedeck .

During the covid pandemic, I have been heartened to see that issues and discussion around care and equity have increased, particularly in my professional network, but also in wider society too. After what seemed like a slow motion couple of days from Tuesday’s US election, the networks “called it” yesterday for the Biden/Harris Democratic ticket. For millions of people in the US and world wide there seems to be a palpable sense of hope, of care and equity.

I feel I have to write something today, but not being a US citizen I can’t comment with any authority on the political situation there. However, as a citizen of the world, and being firmly entrenched in the global north, what happens in the USA does have an impact. And so much of what has happened during the past week highlights many of the issues and tensions around care and equity.

I feel that at his victory speech , President Elect Biden gave threw out a blanket of care:

It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric. To lower the temperature. To see each other again. To listen to each other again, . . . this is the time to heal in America“.

However reassuring millions of Americans (and others) found this, there is (as I write) still a deafening silence from President Trump. His rhetoric of distrust around voting procedures and observers are all lacking any evidence, but are a huge signal of a type of care – self care. Denial is how he protects his ego and his actions when they don’t go as he had hoped.

There are many who have benefited from Trump’s version of care during his Presidency. He “cared” for the conservative right, and skewed the balance of the US Supreme Court. How equitable that will be remains to be seen, but will have consequences for decades to come.

I have no words to describe some the interviews I have watched where Trump supporters have parroted unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. These people care deeply about the election result, unfortunately President Trump doesn’t seem to care about them. His actions aren’t equitable, they are, and always have been focused on self care, and self preservation. He has got away with so much for so long, is this finally the time that his actions catch up with him?

Who knows, but I do hope that the narrative of his Presidency doesn’t follow this tradition and that his defeat is the start of a return or resurgence of more equitable approaches to government across many countries (the UK included), and and the beginning of the end of easy 3 word slogan, right wing rhetoric and a resurgence of debate, discussion, recognition of the need for comprise, of knowledge sharing, of care and equity.

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