This post is a departure from the norm. I encourage you to read the article at the link below. While I don’t ascribe to every claim in it, I do believe the author draws some very credible parallels and inferences.
He unpacks the troubling, even criminal possibility that has been on my mind for the last two months: As it becomes clear that minority people (and poor people) are bearing a very disproportionate share of risk, illness and death in this pandemic, while white people (and wealthy people) are relatively secure, there is a growing indifference about the death toll. The focus shifts to “opening the economy,” since those most likely to suffer the costs of that are expendable.
I would not want to ascribe that motive to any rational human being. Yet I do believe this motivation is funded by the unconscious bias of many, and the sick, conscious preferences of some.
This article is fairly lengthy. In this time when direct actions are mostly off-limits for those of us who are “non-essentials,” I can assure you this is a worthwhile investment of time!
The Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying: The pandemic has exposed the bitter terms of our racial contract, which deems certain lives of greater value than others. Adam Serwer, The Atlantic 5/8/20
Many articles in the prior post: Black Exposure and Black Resilience. Hundreds more since then, as the world begins to face the disproportionate impact of this pandemic.
I’ll repeat the questions from a prior blog post. In this pandemic:
- How can I avoid taking advantage of my race and wealth privileges in an unfair way?
- How can I spot and call out the subtle, insidious privileges that benefit me and my family?
- How can I be a part of easing the extraordinary burden this pandemic is placing on my Black brothers and sister?
- How can I share what I’ve acquired or hoarded to ride out this virus?
- What Black-led organizations are responding to this crisis, and in what ways can I support those efforts – in person, financially.
Contribute to the Community Crisis Fund, a combined effort of United Way of Greater Rochester and The Community Foundation, specifically focused on responses to the pandemic as it impacts the most vulnerable community members.
Connect with St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center – dozens of opportunities for volunteering – or donating.
Contribute to Central Church of Christ, assisting people in need. Minister Clifford Florence (585) 202-9651.
Contribute toFr. Lawrence Tracy Advocacy Center, 821 N. Clinton Ave. Rochester 14605. The website says they are closed, but they are definitely working behind the scenes!.
Follow on Facebook: United Christian Leadership Ministries for important activities and issues.
Sundays Webinar series by Nanette Massey: “Venturing Beyond the Race Echo Chamber” Topic discussion and conversation.
Get a subscription to Minority Reporter – to help support it, and to be informed on possibilities for action. Excellent source of local news as it impacts minority communities.
Follow on Facebook: Take It Down Planning Committee for important activities and issues.
Contact Action for a Better Community (ABC) for information on local volunteer opportunities and important local news.
6 thoughts on “Underlying Dynamic: Indifference About Who is Dying”
Another powerful, straightforward, no holds barred commentary on the “racial contract” that continues to exist. Since 2016, the opposition to changing this insidious ethos in our once-great America has been empowered by an obviously racist president. They also fear for their political lives as they know that the demographics are against them and thus they are prepared to do anything possible to hold onto their power as long as possible. This article helps us see it like it is and hopefully empowers us to be just as strategic and unrelenting as the opposition.
Welcome as a subscriber, Alan, and thank you for weighing in.
I read this article a few days ago and it has stayed with me. It is very troubling because it is accurate. Black people were brought to this country to make white people comfortable. Have Black people made strides? Without a doubt. I am the product of those strides. But, deep down, nothing’s changed. When you boil it down, this country is structured so whites get theirs first, and to prevent people of color from getting too far ahead. Period. If you’re Black and can’t figure out how to get yours, well, you’re out of luck. And in this case, you’re dead.
Clear, direct and coming from experience. Thank you Esther.
Now that hospitals and nursing homes have shut out visitors for patients, the sick and elderly are left with no oversight of their care. They don’t have advocates. This is happening in Rochester. There were problems before but now who will speak up for the patients? There needs to be a balance between protecting staff/patients and patient advocacy. Every patient deserves an advocate.
Thank you Dr. Cuyler, for the comments and the article!