Written by Nicole.
Unfortunately I think my time writing about the harder-hitting topics like what I’m going to discuss today, is coming to an end. I have grown tired of large swaths of the audience I address, because of the disingenuity that paints every interaction. My burnout started at the end of last year, and has continued to grow, evidenced by my decrease in writing by nearly 75%. But you know what really took the cake for me in terms of burnout? Black folks’ response to the coronavirus.
By now everyone is tired of Miss Rona. Her ass needs to go. She has wrecked the economy, killed hundreds of thousands, and endangered billions. The financial losses felt by everyone will take years to recover from. But black folks really took the cake for me. Watching the many reactions to COVID-19 from black people online really showed me that something in the milk is definitely not clean. What do I mean?
When this first came to light, the thing was that black people couldn’t/didn’t get coronavirus. The reasoning behind this was because cases on the African continent and in majority black Caribbean nations stayed at very low numbers for a while. I saw black folks rejoicing that COVID was retribution for the many sins of white and nonblack people. However, these celebrations came to a screeching halt when Black people started getting Coronavirus too…and then became the face of its devastation in places like New Orleans and Chicago. So, in a matter of weeks, it went from a joyous celebration that our melanin or something protected us from the grips of this modern day plague, to a massive conspiracy aiming to wipe us out.
But thinking about things – when has an infectious disease ever been kind to black folks? Even non-infectious things like childbirth can take us out. So why were black people so quick to believe that we would be spared from COVID’s wrath? Ebola took out entire bloodlines, and a concerning number of black people are infected with HIV. Black women are also getting infected with other STDs at high rates (20 year old article). Even old timey diseases like syphilis is making a comeback – and though I couldn’t find any statistics on how that is affecting black America quite yet, I can imagine, using the data using HIV and other STD rates as a guide.
So, as coronavirus ramped up and started claiming black fatalities, the narrative quickly shifted from our innate, melanin-given immunity, to all manner of conspiracy theories. This was the White Man’s Plan all along, you see, to take us out, you see, along with 5G and UFOs and whatever else, sista! It is actually quite impressive how quickly tables turned from “we Gucci” to “it’s a conspiracy!”. As black deaths rose, so too did articles sharing the medical racism that affects the community. But since we know that coronavirus is a thing, and black folks are treated ineffectively as a result of said medical racism, one would think that we would employ any means necessary and available to us to prevent contracting it. But you know what we did do? One black male hosted a coronavirus party 200-people deep in his mother’s townhome while she worked a 24-hour shift as a first responder. A crowd of sneaker-hungry Georgians gathered at a mall to purchase some ugly shoes that had sold out online.
In other news: Today's BS! Ignorant! Ignorant! Ignorant! MF at Greenbrier Mall waiting to get in for some Jordans…WTF! This is so said😓 This pic says a lot.
Amidst all the economic uncertainty, it’s good to know that some people have their priorities in order, right? A stimulus check well spent!
Oh, and here is a separate video, showing eager Jordans shoppers, this time in Memphis:
THE LINE IN MEMPHIS FOR THE NEW JORDANS 🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️ MEMPHIS JUST DONT GIVE A FUCK 😂😭😭😭😭
Posted by Tim Bynum on Friday, May 8, 2020
I am not demonizing black people, mind you. White and nonblack folks have broken social distancing to the point of carrying guns in the street and screaming at healthcare workers to protest their right to stupidly go out and get sick. But in the current paradigm of white supremacy, they can do all that, face no repercussions, contract COVID, kick a puppy, and STILL survive. We don’t have that luxury so in the interest of our immediate wellbeing, we should move accordingly. Not because white people broke the rules too means that we should aspire to their idiocy.
The US Surgeon General Jerome Adams caught heat last month for telling people to stay home and wash hands for “Big Mama”, during a press conference that highlighted the increased risk factors and subsequent deaths that black and other non-white Americans face, such as asthma, hypertension and diabetes.
It is really beyond my realm of understanding as to why Big Mama is so egregious when the core message of what he said was the more important issue at hand. There is a trilogy of movies named after Big Momma, and the term itself is not uncommonly used, either. The default position of black people to go after HOW something was said rather that WHAT was said, frustrates me every time.
I have taken social distancing online as well, unfollowing and unsubscribing from many online platforms – everybody is talking but not saying much. But the response that I saw from black people, was concerning. I wrote about black women’s anxiety about how they would get their hair done during lockdown – a post for which I was dragged- and then two follow up pieces discussing childcare considerations and additional supplies to stock up on. Neither of those posts garnered NEARLY as much attention as the former, so I do wonder why hair is seemingly more important than adequate preparation. A news story of a black woman dying on the job for a $20 final paycheck has made the rounds. This virus has revealed, boldly, and in real time, how precarious a situation many black women are in. A large number of black women work in professions that cannot be done remotely, and are facing unprecedented levels of financial instability from being out of work. With schools shut, black women, many of whom are single mothers, are struggling with how to house, feed, and entertain their children amid schools being closed. But rather than rally behind black women in dire straits, the so-called leaders of the community have ramped up their attacks on single mothers, reveling in their instability, and rejoicing that they might get a bargain when they try to take advantage of a local single mother.
Photo credit: Divested Zealot on Facebook.
Followed up with:
Posted by a black male on Twitter.
And this one:
Gleefully posted by a black male on Facebook.
Some churches have kept their doors open in direct opposition of social distancing recommendations. And lo and behold, the congregation came down with the virus. Why don’t people listen?
Coronavirus, scourge though it is, has revealed some painful truths about black women’s position in the world. I think such a dramatic situation may have been needed to wake people up to some harsh realities not typically thought of. Way too many of us are in survival mode, and that stress and uncertainty does not make for time to effectively strategize. It’s not that black women don’t want to plan for a year, 5 years, a decade from now, it’s that the choices she did and did not make prevent her from doing so effectively. If anything positive comes out of all this, I hope it is a renewed vim and vigor in black women, to aggressively pursue their best lives so they don’t get caught out again.
However, no matter what your station in life, I know this much is true. As long as you are still drawing breath, it is NOT too late to change your path. Just like everything else, this too shall pass. Observe what is happening, learn from it, and take even the smallest of steps to improve yourself. Even if that is as small as doing a face mask to feel a little pampered at home, or applying for that job you don’t think you’re qualified for, or staying single for a few years to fully work on yourself, any positive step taken in the name of self improvement, is a positive one.
Have you learned anything about yourself, or others, as it pertains to coronavirus? With many people left alone with their thoughts, I’m sure many of us have (hopefully) done some introspection.
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.