American Plague »

Jamil Smith, writing at Rolling Stone:

Right now, the coronavirus and the police are posing lethal threats to protesters. COVID-19 is still killing black people disproportionately, at about three times the rate of white people nationwide. The rates vary for police violence; black people in Minnesota are 20 percent of those killed by law enforcement, despite being only five percent of the population. Both the virus and the violence have also been weaponized against black folks in very public ways of late. How many people took risks with the virus on Memorial Day weekend, carelessly disregarding the provably inordinate risk to black communities? How many then joined the protests this past week and actually claimed that they’re fighting for black survival? How many cops keep shooting tear gas at people during a pandemic that strikes at the lungs, giving a newly tragic resonance to “I can’t breathe”?