So what...its been like almost a month since NY state has been "placed on pause?" My Pilates studio closed along with many of the other gyms after Governor Cuomo issued an order for all non-essential businesses to close placing New York state "on pause." Words seem to matter to him it seems. Now all of a sudden folks are chanting "we are all in this together." But are we really?
For centuries, Black people have been living in food/medical deserts, experiencing medical racism, working low paying jobs, excluded from obtaining benefits that all humans should be able to receive. Where am I going with this? Welcome to being Black sorta kinda but not really.
Now no one truly understands what it's like to be Black unless you are Black. During this pandemic time, white people have been crying foul to the government because they are not able to obtain the services and benefits as fast as they would like. Well guess what....we just DON'T. I have no sympathy for white people because you have always been afforded what my people are still trying to get even now. According to city/state statistics like Detroit, Michigan, St. Louis, Missouri and even New York, Black people are the most affected by the COVID virus.
Well damn, I wonder why? Lets double back: lack of community resources,less than adequate housing, food, medical care, access to employment and education. Shall I go on?
White people have not lost much to be honest (except maybe their regular Soul Cycle classes, Black/Brown nannies, regular golf games etc). If we think about it, they have always had the best of everything. Community comparisons show a vast difference. How many people do you know can choose to go to their second (or third) home or runaway to some Caribbean island where they own property to be away from this "horrible government?" Much to their chagrin, the reason why we are here is because white people voted this administration into office whether voluntarily or involuntarily. So for any white person to say we are "in this together" is a goddamn lie. If we truly were in this together, my people wouldn't be dying at this enormous rate.
Now I am sure there will be those who will say "but Sonja, why can't Black people just choose to eat healthier and become more educated because now they have access to the same rights we do" and the like. Well Karen and Brad (slurs intended and said with so much damn conviction), my community does not have the resources that yours does unless you decide to gentrify. But even with that, my communities experience only whitewashing for the benefit of white people.
How does it feel not to get what you deserve? It don't feel good does it? Well quadruple that and add being arrested for wearing a mask in the grocery stores, lack of pre/postnatal care to Black women because "you know they are strong" so its all good. These essential workers get on overcrowded buses/trains to go work to make several thousands of dollars less than white men/women. Meanwhile, what happens to the children of those essential workers with no affordable child care or any other family support? What about those parents whose educational level is not even close to their children's or lack access to internet and computers to home school. Don't even get me started on the homeless population which consists mainly of Black and Brown adults/families.
But you feel disadvantaged because you have to stand in line to buy your groceries from Whole Foods? Amazon Prime ain't moving fast enough for you? Welcome to my life sorta kinda but not really.
So if Black Lives Really Matter, then what are you gonna do about it? You always want "statistics" so you can have a reason to act (Maybe...cause you go it like that).
How many more Black deaths do you need to see before you realize that your racism & white privilege is showing during this COVID pandemic? Oh yeah, we are all in this together......sorta kinda but not really.