Racism: The Deadliest Pandemic
Updated: Aug 21
I am a non-Black woman of color, I am Latina. I am married to a Black man. I know racism. I have had my fair share of racist interactions. I have never, until now, experienced holding up a Black man that I love dearly during an impossibly terrifying time. There's all this talk about being an ally. For me, being an ally has meant standing up for my husband when he can't. Watching him feel depressed, withdrawn, and detached to survive this mounting terror gripping our nation. Watching George Floyd die was upsetting for so many. However, for the Black community, his murder was watching their brother be brutally executed. Black people everywhere are wondering am I next? The fear and the waiting. Is my son next? Is my father next? Is my husband next?
I can identify with those questions. My husband tells me every time he gets pulled over there is a thought in the back of his mind of whether he will be safe during this routine traffic stop. I am a woman of color, but the truth is I will never know what it's like being a Black man in America. I can only empathize and listen. He works in a predominately White city and holds a position in a predominately White career field. That scares me. He tells me about the aggressive looks and stares he gets from the police where he works. I hate it. In the twelve years we have been together there have been continuous work stories shrouded in racism. I am angry because if only they knew that he is kind and gentle. That he helps everyone. He's that guy that will help people on the side of the road with a flat tire. Isn't this the story of every Black person that has been murdered? They all had stories. They were all people with families and careers. George Floyd cried out for his mama and left a hole in the souls of all of us. Why wasn't that enough? Why isn't Black life deserving? Why isn't Black life valuable?
Racism is embedded in all our systems, and fully supported by White supremacy. Black people are born fighting. Black people are born into a racist society that has not yet acknowledged the atrocity that was slavery and how that has set the tone for the Black experience for generation after generation. America needs a moment of introspection. America needs to stand in admittance that this racist system was created by White people who believe that POC are inferior. We are seeing the deep-rooted effects of that narrative play out in front of our eyes at this very moment.
Covid-19 is the medical pandemic we are all up against, but racism is the incessant social pandemic that freedom fighters steadily seek to abolish.