A ´Me Too´ moment in the struggle for racial justice

Originals 2020/6/3

A ´Me Too´ moment in the struggle for racial justice

COVID-19 came and I was a little amazed at how relatively quickly everyone around the world actually complied and began to shelter in place. Shortly thereafter, I was even more surprised that some African-Americans, some highly intelligent and educated, told me that black people can’t get it.

I don’t know how that myth started. Blacks in North America suffered two and a half centuries of slavery until emancipation, nearly a century of Jim Crow after the end of Reconstruction, 60 years of separate but equal until Brown v. Board of Education and decades of ongoing housing discrimination.

So it’s understandable that they hoped there would be at least one thing in the world, a virus that originated in China, that at least wouldn’t hit them harder than it did everyone else.

Blacks were disabused of that idea pretty quickly. Black people are not immune. In fact, blacks have been disproportionately affected by this virus. They are less likely to be tested and more likely to be infected and more likely to die from it.

Over the past few months, along with the rest of America, we have learned how COVID-19 attacks the lungs and makes breathing difficult. It has been described as feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest as you are gasping for air. The images and the accounts of patients in intensive care for COVID-19 almost all involve severe shortness of breath. The local and federal governments took great measures to ensure that hospitals had ventilators. Doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep patients oxygenated.

Blacks are still trying to process the overwhelming evidence that black people are dying at a faster rate. But the national discussion has moved on to lifting restric

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