America in 2020 is an America unmasked. The coronavirus disease epidemic that upended every aspect of American life has exposed the naked face of institutional and interpersonal racism. While there are endless lessons to be learned from this era of COVID-19, here are 19:
1—Racism is the pandemic within the pandemic.
The massive demonstrations against police racism and brutality that erupted after George Floyd’s death did not lead to spikes in coronavirus infection as many had feared. But those who went to protest were willing to accept the risk. “Am I going to let a disease kill me or am I going to let the system— the police?” one protester told the New York Times. “Folks who don’t have much else to lose— they understand that this system isn’t built for Black people. And that’s why people are in the streets.”
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