The coronavirus has caused pain and suffering beyond belief.
But recent events have brought to light another sickness that has impacted far more people in America than the coronavirus.
It has lasted centuries, killed millions and continues to affect people today — most recently through the senseless murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, Dreasjon Reed, Botham Jean, Ezell Ford, Michelle Shirley, Stephon Clark, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, and far too many others.
These aren’t just names, these are lives — Black lives, and they matter.
And even when deaths aren’t involved, this sickness causes pain and suffering in the lives of millions every single day.
The metaphorical sickness we are referring to, of course, is racism.
Unlike most afflictions, the ones who are infected are not the ones who are most affected.
The symptoms — income inequality, mass incarceration, police brutality, residential racial steering and displacement, exclusion from opportunities, voter suppression, segregation in education, unequal access to healthcare, the list continues... — disproportionately impact Black communities in America.
Similar to the effects of racism, the coronavirus has caused suffering around the world.
But unlike racism, the coronavirus is not limited by your race. It can infect anyone, including those with privilege and power.
Maybe that’s why action was immediately taken to combat the coronavirus, with nationwide quarantines, trillion-dollar economic stimulus packages, radical changes to the way we work and how our schools run, major shifts in how we interact with each other, and personal behavior changes. In a matter of months, the virus set in motion a rapid shift in how the world works. This shift wasn’t easy, but it was necessary to ensure that fewer people would suffer from the coronavirus’ effects.
If we are serious about addressing racism in America, we need to address it like the pandemic that it is.
The path to peace, justice, and progress comes through the difficult but important work of digging up the roots of racism within this country, and within each of us. Only by understanding the pain this pandemic causes can we start making the radical changes needed for us to heal and grow together.
Not sure where to begin? We found this curated Anti-racism Resource Guide helpful in our own journeys to learn more and take action.
To doing the work,
Mike and Dave Radparvar
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