America Is Eating Itself ,And They’re Fine With Black People & POC As The First Course.

COVID-19 is the latest, and most grim example of the fractures of this nation coming to light.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

It’s time to come to grips with something. We are in the midst of seeing this country eating itself away. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed just how much certain segments of this American society is not only cannibalistic but how unabashed they’re now becoming about it. Especially when it involves the lives of those who are Black, Brown, First Nation and Asian and those who are LGBTQ. For people in those communities, this is just further confirmation of thoughts and feelings that they’ve had for most of their lives. Now, this is the point where someone might read this and essentially get in a huff accusing me of “divisiveness”. That this isn’t something to say in a time where so many people are dying of this insidious virus. Well, my only response to them is to simply illustrate the cold and hard truth that they or their loved ones might fall prey to this like so many others have so far. These people are more than okay with going back to their regular lives despite a pandemic raging across the nation, so long as it only takes out Black, Latino and Native people.

As of today, the United States has seen almost 90,000 of its citizens pass away as a result of contracting COVID-19. The virus brings with it so many medical mysteries in how it is transmitted, and how it affects those who become infected with it and even how those who survive can recover and be infected again according to some reports. The entire globe has put itself on pause, providing haunting images of cities like my own New York City, Rome, Paris and others devoid of the bustling human traffic that exemplifies them. There are up to 4.1 million people who have tested positive for COVID-19 worldwide. Some countries have seen dramatic declines in those testing positive, New Zealand being highly notable. South Korea’s first positive case of the coronavirus was detected on the same day as our first positive case. Other nations have dealt with resurgence and testing in more responsible means, notably nations in Africa who have had their fair share of pandemics such as Ebola. Yet, we are on track to have 100,000 dead by the end of this month. And Donald J. Trump & his kleptocratic cronies are already in the early throes of putting out a “Mission Accomplished” spin on this. Think about that number. We have had OVER 70K die as a result of this pandemic. Nearly 30,000 died in New York alone. Yet you have a White House who has willfully tried to put fingers in their ears and say they’re not listening like any kindergarten child. And when it comes to Trump that is a daily if not hourly situation. Why? Because its about money and power. Just look at all of the meatpacking companies who are trying to compel their workforce, mostly immigrants to get back on the job. Hell, Jeff Bezos is about to be the world’s
first trillionaire.

There is a significant section of white people in this country who are now willing to unmask themselves as to not give a damn about Black communities and other communities of color. (Now’s the part where I head off the “not all white people” brigade that tends to wade in defensively all in their feelings on topics like these — if it doesn’t apply, let it fly.) This has been seen from Georgia to Michigan to Wisconsin and even out in Long Island. It can’t be dismissed as “just illiterate rednecks” or solely at the feet of those who consume Fox News and other right-wing propaganda. This applies to some of those who claim leftist or independent ties too, the group that have no qualms letting their racism & misogyny and even daily doubles like misogynoir leap out when pressed on something or just unannounced. It is a patent and willful component of why things in this nation resemble a failed state more and more these days. This mass of people need to be consistently named and shamed, even though shame doesn’t figure into correcting their behavior anymore — how can it when the most brazen and shameful figure roams the halls of the White House? Yes, that possibly means your co-worker. Your parent. Your spouse. Your gym buddy. Your fellow stoner. Their silence is complicity in this more than ever, covered up in weak “both sides” debating skills that they’ve gleaned from Facebook groups.

I’m not writing this with a flippant air. I am writing this channeling some of the anger that I realize still has residency in my system since everything began with COVID-19. This anger has been fueled by the mood of having a slight flinch every time that I hear the wails of ambulances where I live. A Queens neighborhood that has seen its fair shared of people infected with the coronavirus and dying. Elders. Young people. Those “essential workers” you hear so much about. Fueled by hearing so many, TOO MANY stories of those dying from the coronavirus in varied and painful ways. Fueled by the fact that I’ve heard so much sadness and helplessness in the voices and the social media updates of friends and acquaintances who have lost friends and family members, sometimes multiple people due to this virus, like we lost an elder aunt. Fueled by the news from those working on the front lines in healthcare like nurses and doctors who risk being afflicted by caring for others, like my older sister. These people out there, roaming around in other states and my state screaming at the top of their lungs with signs like “social distancing is Communism” and toting guns in public places don’t care about all that. They care more about being able to shop and be waited on in chain restaurants, that they’ll go nuts claiming their rights are infringed upon as they ARE OUTSIDE TOTING GUNS AND YELLING IN THE FACE OF POLICE without any repercussions. All because they don’t want to be accountable and responsible for others they don’t know, because that’s the American way to them. Some of those who are affluent behave the same way but in different forms — exemplified by stories from their domestic help who are Black and Latina and their evacuations from New York City. No matter where in this country, be it New Orleans, Chicago, New Mexico…Black people and other POC are bearing the heavy brunt of the coronavirus to date. We’re not even canaries in the coal mine if things continue unabated. These deaths, all of them, are more than enough for this country’s government in full to get their acts together for a national response that can prevent more lives being lost now and when the second wave hits as stated by numerous experts.

There will be a time after the coronavirus. There are those even now who talk about it in grandiose terms, looking for a “return to normal”. What they mean is, a return to a place where this country doesn’t have to fully reckon with the ugliness of systemic racism that they’ve tried to ignore for so long. A place where the nation can satiate itself on Black lives and the lives of other people of color without too much scrutiny or uproar. I sincerely hope that any attempts to get back into that comfort zone makes those who benefit from it choke. Hard.

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