How am I supposed to wear a mask, when I can’t even wear a hoodie?

Here we are day God who knows how long into quarantine, and from the looks of things, we’re not even halfway through this shit. To be honest, I’m not sure what’s worse. The pandemic or the mass hysteria it has created.

Everybody is out of fucking toilet paper (I even had a homie tell me one of his friends was trapping toilet paper out of his house 🤦🏾‍♂️). All the anti-bacteria cleaning solutions are selling like hotcakes. I mean, you can’t even buy shit online because everything is currently placed on backorder. All of this is due to the rampant spread of COVID-19 here in America and the media’s willingness to feed into the hysteria.

Let me be clear about something…

I’m beginning to see more and more folks buy into the idea that this is all some hoax. I’ve even seen creditable Black history accounts that I follow tie COVID-19 to other conspiracy theories such as the 5G conspiracy and so forth. I’m not saying the mass hysteria the media has created in response to COVID-19 is unwarranted. Nor am I saying the US government isn’t capable of spreading illnesses in the Black community for their benefit of medical research. I’m far too familiar with that dark side of America’s history to put such a devilish act past them. However, when it comes to COVID-19, I’m not on that level yet.

I personally believe America is ill-prepared when it comes to curbing all of the effects of COVID-19, and because of this very real reality, I don’t blame a lot of folks for panicking. I also believe that we (as a society) need to act a lot more rational and begin exercising a more empathetic approach when dealing with COVID-19 on a personal level. Maybe instead of stockpiling $150 worth of toilet paper, you buy enough to last a month and save the rest for other people in need. Just a thought…

Anyway, the latest goods to hit the scarcity list due to the hysteria surrounding COVID-19 are standard health masks. Because of this, the CDC has officially released a statement and published an article sharing their best practices one can follow to create their own mask.

When I first heard this I had the same reaction most Black people did…

The Double-Edge Sword

COVID-19 is showing us all that Black people in America are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t…

On One Edge of the Sword… 

I’ve been pretty detached from the news lately, and this week is no different. Since then, I’ve replaced the time I’d usually dedicate to politics to mindless social media scrolling. As I was scrolling through FB the other day I couldn’t help but notice a lot of my friends sharing news articles that began to expose the staggering racial disparities in reported COVID-19 deaths here in the States.

A few of those articles:

As I scrolled through these articles I couldn’t help be think to myself that even though COVID-19 is new, the racial disparities in our healthcare system aren’t. It only takes about an hour’s worth of research to find out that even if you’re accounting for one’s economic status, Black people simply do not receive the same quality of healthcare that their White counterparts receive.

Even arguable the greatest athlete of all time, Serena Williams, can’t escape this reality.

Just Facts: What Serena Williams’s scary childbirth story says about medical treatment of black women

Not only are we the most at-risk racial group when it comes to dying from COVID-19, due to implicit racial bias in our healthcare system, we’re also the most at-risk racial group when it comes to being exposed to COVID-19. I haven’t seen the numbers to back this yet, but I’m willing to bet my left nut that the workers considered to be “essential” to the US economy is largely made up of Black and Brown folks.

The Other Edge of the Sword…

When the CDC dropped their latest announcement urging citizens to wear “homemade cloth face coverings” in pubic I imminently knew they weren’t talking to my Black ass.

At a time were racial profiling Black bodies is almost seen as a hobby, you gotta be a damn fool to think COVID-19 would put an end to all of that. America was racist prior to COVID-19, and she’ll damn sure be racist after COVID-19.

I was here for the entire trail of our beloved brother Trayvon Martin… I remember how fast the media pushed the narrative of the “scary Black man in a hoodie,” and how easy it was for White people to buy into it.

I remember how fast cops pulled-up and shot our beloved brother Tamir Rice all based on the perceived “threat” of a Black boy potentially playing with a gun…

I’ve seen the studies that support the reality that White people perceive Black men to be more dangerous because of their own implicit biases.

This is the reality for Black people living in America…

COVID-19 isn’t going to put an end to this reality for my Black brothers and sisters, and it’ll be dangerously naive to think otherwise.

Our “health” and physical safety in America has always depended on our ability to convince White people we aren’t what they think we are. That we aren’t thugs… That we aren’t gangbangers… That we aren’t a threat to their lives… All of that goes out the window once I put on a mask. Even though a mask would technically protect my health by shielding me from COVID-19, it doesn’t protect me from the violence of American racism.

How the fuck am I supposed to wear a mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 when I can’t even wear a hoodie in my own neighborhood?

Shit, just this morning I ran across a Now This video of a cop kicking two brothers out of Walmart for wearing a medical mask… During the spread of COVID-19… After the CDC already made their announcement urging folks to wear, “homemade cloth face covering.”

For those wondering how White Privilege operates in today’s society, let our country’s response to COVID-19 serve as yet another example.

The Cost

As a Black man living in America, I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. On one hand, I can try my best to follow the CDC’s guidelines to protect myself from COVID-19, but at what cost? On the other hand, I can say fuck the mask but again, at what cost?

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One Comment Add yours

  1. The moment I saw the recommendations start popping up on the news, a cloud of dread came over me. Soon after, I saw that same video. I fear it’s just a matter of time before someone gets shot for delivering a package while wearing a mask or startling someone while cutting between cars in the parking lot of the grocery store something.

    Please stay safe!

    Also, don’t forget to order up your May toilet paper soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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