Good people, We are at a tipping point. On the positive side, our amazing community has stepped up in extraordinary ways, and we are close to reaching our goal of $10,000 to support our marginalized, yet utterly essential clientele. We have been able to assist both COVID-infected and COVID-affected individuals and families to obtain medical and medical services, as well as direct social and legal support. Our cherished home, Bellevue Hospital has already successfully treated and discharged close to 500 patients who had been sick with COVID-19. The census of COVID (+) patients at Bellevue is beginning to tick down, ever so slowly, day-by-day. These blessings and accomplishments cannot, and should not, be ignored. The uphill fight continues, however. It is too early to declare victory and try to move on to how things once were. We have borne witness to the ravages of this pandemic. We have lost members of our community. We know that the disease waits for us to let down our guard. It has unfinished business – not just for those who fall ill, but those who are further marginalized, victimized, and forced into the shadows. More PSOT clients have become food insecure. Many are menaced by creditors and landlords preying on frightened people with limited English skills, who may not be aware of their rights. We speak with parents struggling to engage their children in virtual learning without sufficient access to computers or other educational tools. We commiserate with other parents who spend sleepless nights as they worry about their children from whom they are separated; unable to protect them or even share space with them as they hunker down. All this is occurring within a backdrop where immigrants are targeted and demonized. Within the last 24 hours, we have heard that the nation's leadership would "temporarily" shut the door on all immigrants – absolutely contradicting the very nature of this great nation, and calling into question what it means to be American. This policy comes in the guise of combating a disease that is already rampant in our communities – like locking the doors after the bandit is loose in the house. We also note that physical assaults and racist attacks against Asians have skyrocketed locally. Such xenophobic messages of exclusion are terrifying for our foreign-born community members, who are often on the front lines defending us from the current scourge, doing everything in their power to contribute and survive during this tragic time. This is not the time to back off, back down or back away. This is the moment to stand up. The power to define who we are as a community still rests in our hands. We are all weary, but this moment is too pivotal to let pass. We must strive while we have the chance. As President Obama used to say, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Will we show up? Everything inside of me says, “Yes!” What do you say? One love, Hawk
Women, children, and men already traumatized by torture desperately need to continue their work with PSOT to overcome the horrors of the past so they can navigate an uncertain future.
Your generous support will help us say yes to the thousands of torture survivors who need our healing care.