Stop the Hurt--Covid-19 and Racial Bias

covid covid19 virus May 03, 2020

It hurts to write this post.

I've been reading Ibram Kendi's articles on how Covid-19 is exacerbating racism and anti-Asian and Anti-Black stereotypes and killing people of color at higher rates. (See links below.)

Here are some of the "low" lights.

  • In Michigan where African Americans are 14% of the population they are 40% of the deaths due to Covid-19.
  • In Milwaukee African Americans are 26% of the county's population but 81% of the deaths.
  • New York City's highest concentrations of Covid infection are in zip codes 70-90% Latino, Asian and Black.
  • Kendi writes: "The number of Asian Americans living in poverty grew 44 percent from 2000 to 2016, according to the Asian American Federation. Perhaps their growing poverty helps explain the high infection rates in zip codes with large Asian populations in NYC."
  • Jonathan Nez President of the Navajo Nation blasted Trump for leaving out and ignoring indigenous people.

But how would we have any access to this information, if Kendi and others did not demand it?

Can you see what "color blind...we're all human" approach covers up?

Moreover Kendi points to the way that we can accept damaging narratives about Black people that the data disproves--even if we are Black.

For example, some Black mayors and elected officials bought into the idea that Black people were not taking Covid-19 seriously and this led to a higher rate of contraction, hospitalization and death.

But the available data shows that Black people were early on more likely than whites to view it as a threat to their health before the virus's impact was felt.

Kendi writes "What if black people have been taking the coronavirus more seriously than white people for weeks, as the survey data suggest? What if despite all that, black people are still being infected and dying at higher rates from COVID-19?"

The answer is racism which has led to more health challenges, less access to quality health care, etc. etc.

Part of the problem is our willingness to believe that something is wrong with Black people rather than something being wrong with the system. And, we take Black individual actions as representing the group as a whole--without proof.

LET'S GET TO WORK--LET'S BRING THE LIGHT!

I'm bringing this up because we all have some work to do when it comes to implicit and hidden racial bias. Just as people with underlying conditions are more susceptible to serious and deadly complications due to Covid-19, people who have been raised on a steady diet of anti-Blackness and yellow peril, are susceptible to blaming those folks for inequality, job loss, and death.

So, what do we do?

It starts with you. Each of us has to individually work to feed our conscious and subconscious content that promotes empathy, connection and positivity towards Black and Asian people, in particular--but not exclusively. We need to share that content with our networks and ask them to learn with us.

This would be a good time to emphasize news sources, experts, and artists that have a racial justice lens and a commitment to promoting compassion.

I also have another suggestion for you.

Join us in the Stop Hidden Racial Bias Workshop.

This 3 part workshop will raise your awareness and offer ways to counter the mass conditioning we are now experiencing.

We will:

  • Uncover the Covid-19 Blame Game: Anti-Asian and Anti-Black stereotypes during the pandemic.
  • Use small group discussions to cultivate hope and compassion.
  • Create strong partnerships for racial justice during Covid-19.
  • Identify and speak up about subtle racism in your faith community, organization, and clients.
  • Discover concrete things you can do daily, weekly, monthly to create healthy racial consciousness and speak up about how fear mongering and financial insecurity fan racism and separation.

Some of this material will focus on long term, subtle ongoing racial bias and some will be based on the emerging Covid-19 reality.

We will send you resources such as this article by Kendi once a week prior to the workshop so you can make the most of your time.

For more information go here.

But as you might imagine, we at Racial Justice from the Heart know that information isn't knowledge; and knowledge isn't wisdom until it is absorbed into our emotional, spiritual and physical bodies.

That's why our training will include grounding, compassion and ancestor awareness techniques.

We want you to walk away knowing in your bones how to stop the hurt.

Working with your heart, your ancestors, and larger forces (mother earth, the divine, the universe, etc.) will help you to re-program yourself towards wholeness and liberation rather than guilt, shame and judgement.

Yep.

To make this experience accessible during Covid-19 financial fear and hardship we have extended the pay what you can option.

UNTIL SUNDAY MAY 3rd AT MIDNIGHT.

Sign up Here.

 

So, here are the nitty gritty details:

When: June 1-3, 2020; 12:30-3pm (eastern) each day

How: via Zoom. You'll get the meeting link after you register.

Who: You and whomever you want to wake up or form partnerships with in your community

What: Mix of presentation, Q&A, and small group discussions

Cost: Early Registration until May 15 is $297.  After that $397. 

Learn More!

Questions?

email amanda@dramandakemp.com, and we'll get back to you ASAP.

More reading on Covid and Race
Kendi--April 6: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/coronavirus-exposing-our-racial-divides/609526/

Kendi--April 14: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/race-and-blame/609946/

Peace and love,

Amanda

P.S.--As of this publication, we only have 25 more spaces on our zoom meeting account. So, if you want to participate, sign up now!

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