It is right to call Racism a crisis. It is right to call the COVID-19 pandemic a health and economic crisis. The word originally referred to “a turning point”, the time from which a situation either improves or dissolves catastrophically. We have seen how devastating the effects of racism are. It remains to be seen how devastating COVID-19 will ultimately be. But its effects already bear the shape of a far deeper, more long-standing, more far-reaching crisis that has ravaged our communities for centuries:
Racism and inequity in the United States of America.
The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery mark a turning point for a nation struggling with racial, social, and economic inequity. While we grapple with the legacy and injustice of police brutality against black people, COVID-19 is causing turmoil in communities of color as well… Outcome statistics from the virus make it blatant that resources are distributed along racial lines in our country. National statistics for the last 50 years have shown that opportunity, aid, punishment, and influence are all metered by the fairness of one’s skin.
As the protests and the COVID-19 pandemic lay bare the disparities that exist in our community, the question at our turning point remains. Will we respond to the history of racism in America in a way that fosters equity, or will we perpetuate the harm of that legacy on future generations?
On June 9th, our panel discusses how the effects of COVID-19 are being shaped by our national, racial preferences, how those preferences are woven into our daily lives, and how reforming the systems that exist in our communities might take us closer to being a nation with liberty and justice for all.