Do Racism and Bigotry Persist Through the Pandemic?
Culminating in a calamitous experience for the individuals themselves, along with their family members and loved ones, have been numerous events throughout the course of history that depict the intensity and overwhelming presence of racism in our society. An actuality that has continued to persist as we all attempt to cope with the realities of the novel coronavirus.
With the nation in tatters as Covid-19 ripples through the fabric of our communities, taking lives, destroying businesses, and shutting down schools, there has been an unfortunate realization that has struck us. In any and every situation, whether it be good, bad, or indifferent, black and brown men and women are not treated equally.
Yes, I am speaking on the issue of race because regardless of the fact that there is a Global pandemic shifting how we conduct everyday life, one thing remains the same…
A disproportionate number of black and brown people are continuing to be openly discriminated against throughout cities, towns, and communities across the globe. And this is atop of the immensely disproportionate death toll that ravages through the African American communities worldwide.
Men Lie, Women Lie… Numbers DON’T
Yep, I said it. I said it because it’s true. According to the research conducted by National Geographic, the coronavirus is disproportionately impacting African Americans at an alarming rate.
Many people can speculate as to why this is the case, but there are many factors that landed us in this predicament, beginning with our overall lack of adequate healthcare. Some of this can be attributed to our own daily behaviors, but the main reason as to why we face health challenges that others don’t is because our healthcare providers have a history of treating us as lesser than.
Additionally, the economic inequality that pulsates through the communities of black and brown people, place some of us in a box where we are unable to afford proper healthcare, or maybe don’t even have the finances to afford monthly insurance premiums. A reality that we wouldn’t be dealing with if we were to all relocate to Canada and make good use of their Healthcare system. One that outranks that of the United States by far.
Nonetheless, throughout this time of confusion, loss, sickness, and financial worry, many of our communities have been coming together to assist one another. Giving everyone a chance to overcome some of the situations that we have been forced into by the elusive and mysteriously lethal Coronavirus.
Unfortunately, those ideals of togetherness have passed over some individuals as they continue to focus on the unimportant differences that we have, one of which happens to be RACE.
Rather than coming together to assist, pray for, help, and advise one another, there have been continued instances of racial injustice that baffle, not only myself but those of us who hold compassion for our fellow men and women.
Differences Between the African American and Asian Plight
I hope this isn’t taken in the wrong way, but frankly, I find it interesting that they have opened hotlines for Asian Discrimination during this time when African Americans and other minorities went generations without any respite from continual and quietly accepted racial discrimination and disparities.
This isn’t to say that the Asian community doesn’t deserve to have a hotline (that would be hypocritical of me), however, considering their own racism towards African Americans, I simply find it to be another slap in the face to our communities.
I distinctly remember the March 16ht, 1991 case of Latasha Harlins.
She was a beautiful 15-year old African American young lady that was murdered by Korean grocery clerk Soon Ja Du. If you have never heard of the story, please read it, here.
Latasha had been in the store in order to buy a bottle of orange juice, one that the murderer, Soon Ja Du, believed she was attempting to steal. Instead of calling for the cops, or simply threatening the poor young woman, she took it upon herself to end her life. In Soon Ja Du’s mind, the black girls’ life was less important than the few cents she would have paid for that bottle of OJ.
But, that wasn’t the first, and certainly wasn’t the last case of discrimination coming from the Asian community. T
he cases are countless and throughout the pandemic, Asians have been openly discriminating against black and brown people around the globe, including the well-known case of the Guangzhou McDonald’s that put an outright ban on African Americans. With a sign and all. Don’t believe me? Read about it, here.
I say none of this to say that they are not deserving of equality, kindness, and understanding, I am simply saying that we do as well. Could it ever be too much to ask? To simply be, free. Free of judgment. Free of fear. Free of inequalities? Something that each and every one of us deserves as we navigate this world and those within it the best way that we can.
It is unfortunate that it took a global pandemic to bring us out of our busy schedules and begin to learn how to come together once again.
But, at least the majority of us have begun to embrace the special moments, rather than running towards the next fleeting pleasure. We still, however, have a long way to go in order to bridge the gap completely and get rid of the deplorable levels of racism that pervade the streets of society today.