Earlier this spring I wrote a column about the disparate impact of COVID-19 on African-Americans and low-income families. The racial disparities we have seen as a result of the virus are not startling. They are a result of 365 days a year discrimination against people of color and low-income families. With the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, Ahmaud Armery in Georgia, and too many other examples, we are once again reminded of the structural, systematic racism that permeates our society.
There is no cure for the illness of racism. We can’t develop a vaccine to put an end to it. We can, though, do our part to at least mitigate against this cancer. We can stand with the peaceful protestors. We can educate about the scourge of racism from Pre-K on up in every community. We can elect people to public office who will stand for justice, pass laws that seek to eradicate this structural racism and condemn any and all racist actions. We must lend our support and resources to fight the fight. And if you are in a position of white privilege–and in my case white, male privilege–we must acknowledge that we will never fully understand what it is like to be an African-American or other person of color, fearing for your children’s safety, having opportunities, hopes and dreams shut down because of your race.
This is America, so I fear that in a short time some other issue will dominate the news and we will move on having done nothing to bring about change. We must not let this happen.