Which infection is worse — systemic racism or COVID?
We are facing two infections. COVID and SYSTEMIC RACISM. Both require a deconstruction of every aspect of our lives to properly combat. Let’s look at how our government responded to COVID at a city level. Here in Phoenix our city split up into teams, all tackling different issues.
Some teams worked on supporting small biz, some on education, some on social services, discussions on how police need to enforce safety measures, close convos with health department etc. Together a plan was hatched to quickly address the many challenges that come with a massive epidemic. The result was rapid response, support and even reform. Grants were launched at a local level, regulations were loosened to allow faster production of a vaccine. People were sent money. We reshaped an entire federal loan program and reclassified applicants so more could apply. Conversely, SYSTEMIC RACISM VIRUS has led to thousands of deaths annually and a consistent backwards mobility of an entire population. The government has had one strategy: suppression. Led by our tyrant president, our government activated military, curfews and attempt to control the story.
One virus attacks fast with a 2% fatality rate and can be clearly seen. The other is silent, slower and has rooted itself in every single human on our planet. The latter also results in black people being 2.5x likely to be shot and one in three going to prison. If we aren’t addressing the systemic racism virus that has infected us all like the public health issue it is, then we aren’t treating it at all. We have seen how quickly government can shift and apply support under a pandemic, the same approach should be taken.
The latter also results in black people being 2.5x likely to be shot and one in three going to prison.
This racism pandemic has affected every sector of our society, from education to economics, from police enforcement to public policy. From our innovation ecosystem to our internet infrastructure. It all slants to support the division and marginalization of black communities. While it may seem impossible to tackle racism in America, I’m confident if we took the same approach we took with COVID we’d move the needle. Divide up into teams, collaborate, identify one small change you can make every day and collectively we will push the boulder up the hill.
Every government/industry/biz/individual should assess what role it has played in creating the inequities that exist and begin devising plans to attack this virus so it doesn’t mutate to a new strain. First step, is realizing it is a man-made virus and we are all infected.