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A Tale of Two Pandemics: Coronavirus and Racism, Both Affect Black People

We are not okay

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“To be Black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage.”- James Baldwin

The last few months have been tough for everyone. For many of us, working through a pandemic has been traumatic and stressful. If you’re considered an essential worker and have to work each day, I can only imagine how you are functioning. Being subjected to people every day who may or may not have the virus is frightening. Coupled with the fear that you may bring home a virus that can potentially kill your loved ones is crippling. You may be one of the forty million unemployed people wondering how you’re going to continue to pay your bills after the unemployment runs out. Or maybe you lived to paycheck to paycheck before the pandemic and have fallen on even harder times, having to rely on food banks and government assistance to get by. Perhaps you fall into the class of people that have been fortunate to continue to work safely from home conducting non-stop virtual meetings. You’re learning how remote work requires productivity even as you homeschool your children. There are no personal or professional lives because they run together. You’re burnt out and exhausted. You’ve watched enough television and social media. You’ve played enough games with the kids, and you’ve started drinking in the afternoon. All of this has caused anxiety and depression because we don’t know when it will end.

“We revolt because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe.”-Franz Fanon

Others, collectively fight against a system that oppresses us by taking to the streets in protest. We rebel against the status quo that says that we are still 3/5ths of a human being. Stung with rubber bullets and tear gas, we are rounded up like criminals, because we dare to riot against the injustices of a society that does not value our lives. We can’t even protest peacefully without worrying about being infiltrated by the far right, burning down buildings, in our names while trying to incite a race war.

“A riot is the language of the unheard”-Martin Luther King Jr.

We are not okay.

“We wear the mask that grins and lies.”- Paul Laurence Dunbar

This past weekend, a well- known influencer, Marie Forleo deleted the posts and comments of Black women in her B-School Facebook group, who dared to bring up how they felt about the racism and injustices in the world, citing that “B-school was not the place for her comments.” She’s since backtracked on her stance and committed to getting Diversity and Inclusion training for her staff to understand better and create a safe space for Black and other people of color. But the damage is done. It doesn’t matter if the woman who made the comments initially was right or wrong. I learned long ago not to seek validation from people who don’t understand the pain of 400 years of slavery that continues to inflict daily trauma.

Written by

Organizational development & relationship coach. I write about love, relationships and how love is the cornerstone of everything we do.

Organizational development & relationship coach. I write about love, relationships and how love is the cornerstone of everything we do.

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