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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Makes you wonder

When you consider:

1: Covid cases have been shown to disproportionately affect minority communities ( From the Washington Post: "A handful of states report coronavirus cases and death by race and ethnicity. In Illinois, black people are 14 percent of the population but account for 30 percent of the confirmed cases and 41 percent of the deaths. In North Carolina, where African Americans represent 22 percent of the population, they make up 37 percent of cases and 22 percent of deaths. Data from Louisiana, where black people make up 33 percent of the population, shows they represent more than 70 percent of covid-19 deaths.")

2: A lot of the states looking to reopen without widespread testing and without any demonstration of curve flattening are in the South.

3: Minorities in these states are concentrated in urban areas where infection rates are higher than in rural areas.

4: The businesses opening first in Georgia are nail salons and hair salons, nonessential businesses that are very popular with minority culture. Why not start with Starbucks?

......doesn't this at least have the appearance of traditionally racist states figuring that they may once again have a legal way to kill minorities on a pretty impressive scale all while being able to innocently claim "it's about the economy, dummy"?

Could Covid-19 accomplish the same goal on a much larger scale, more efficiently, and without getting one's hands dirty?

It's a terrible question to ask, and I certainly hope it's all just a series of terrible coincidences, but if one looks very coldly at the facts and the relative impact of bolstering a flagging economy while also eliminating a good portion of people that have historically been undesired at best, is it not frighteningly possible that it's intentional? And while I accept coincidence as part of the mathematical flukes in random chance, a lot of believers feel there are no coincidences. So........who knows? 

I have had similar thoughts about Trump and his coronavirus approach with New York and California. I have a hard time not thinking he'd like to reduce the overall urban numbers in these states, black and white, and maybe try for a popular vote win in November.

14 comments:

  1. I think the 4th point is probably a stretch. From what I've read, the opening in Georgia includes not only nail salons and hair salons (which obviously serve all races, and certainly many of my white female friends go to both) but also venues like theaters, restaurants and social clubs. So, the way I read it, the lift presumably *does* include Starbucks.

    To the larger point, I think there is a difference between intent and indifference. It probably does go too far to attribute a genuine desire or intent to governors or lawmakers in conservative and Southern states to kill blacks. But, does that doesn't exclude being indifferent to it. At a minimum, the statistics seem to show there is still a very big gap between black and white America in areas that contribute to the lethality of this virus, such as: (1) insurance coverage; (2) access to high quality health care; (3) working labor-intensive and hands-on "essential" jobs that can't be done from home like many white collar roles and that result in higher exposure to the virus, etc.

    While these factors that contribute to higher rate of lethality probably are more attributable to long-term economic inequality and indifference, rather than intent, that is not the case with some of the conduct we've seen during this pandemic. The most prominent is probably voter suppression. The situation in Wisconsin shined a light on how low the current Republican party is willing to go to suppress urban votes, by drastically reducing the number of polling places in urban areas and refusing to cooperate in extending the deadlines for mail-in balloting. They literally forced people to choose between risking their health and exposing others to the virus, on the one hand, and exercising their right to vote. Those efforts by the GOP to leverage the pandemic to disenfranchise the urban vote in Milwaukee was truly shameful and, while maybe it doesn't rise to the level of intent your post suggests, it sure as hell comes close to a cavalier lack of concern regarding whether certain people die. Though, hopefully, the result of that vote is a harbinger of things to come this November -- the GOP got slaughtered.

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    1. Perhaps #4 is a stretch, but precisely because of things like the Wisconsin issue, the overall question is not. Racial and ethnic genocide is not an alien concept to this country. I wonder if there is a middle ground distinction to be made? Perhaps genocide is too strong, and indifference too weak. Maybe "laissez-faire genocide"?

      Now admittedly to say it's definitely true would need proof, but to think this is beyond the capacity of an American political leader? What would we need? Covid-infected masks being given out like Smallpox blankets?

      I hope you are right on your last point, but a person can't vote someone out if they're dead. And that could be what they'e thinking......even as a unforced upside to an early, reckless reopening of the economy.

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    2. Dan & Alan: Actually, I regret having used 'genocide' in my reply. I didn't use it in the post and upon reflection, I don't think anything I'm wondering about implies the actual definition of genocide in the same way we may have intended it with Native Americans. It's more of a conscious culling of what the Republicans see as a growing threat to their electability. More like 'keeping the numbers down' with a god-given solution than 'let's finally wipe 'em out'.

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  2. Hi KD,
    I abhor Trump perhaps as much as you -and share your concern about efforts to marginalize the black population ( among others). But I can raise to the level of cynicism to believe this is a deliberate conscious policy of genocide. Instead it reflects the continuing, popover, economic inequality and discrimination that many blacks suffers as well as black tendency to live in dense urban areas often inherently unhealthy or dangerous while lacking access to health services. It is despicable what is happening but bad as Trump is, it is not purposeful genocide
    Alan

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    1. I hope you are right. And it speaks well of you to think this unthinkable. But a brief perusal of American history will show that similar things have been done before.

      And I have to ask, if a governor thought reopening too soon would kill a large percentage of his own constituents, do you think they would still be this eager to do it?

      Still, like I admitted up front, with the governors I have no proof it's true and hope it's not, but for Trump and New York? I have no proof but if you put a gun to my head and said a wrong answer would result in my death, I'd say his actions against New York and California were and are indeed deliberate.

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  3. I live in California. I hate Trump with every fiber of my being. And I wouldn't put anything past him. I used to think there had to be a low he wouldn't sink to. But now I know his personal cesspool is bottomless.

    I don't know what the deal is with the southern states reopening. I think it's despicable. Hair and nail salons?? Why, so the dead bodies that pile up will have nice hair and manicures? Trouble is, the protesters aren't just in the racist states. Here in CA, we had one in Huntington Beach last week, which made me sick.

    Stupid is everywhere.

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    1. Deleted the previous one for typos. Will repost more later.

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    2. Yes when it comes to Trump, there is no bottom. And yes we also had a proposed protest here in NJ but it didn't get much traction. There are all sorts of people everywhere, just in different concentrations. Murphy will not open before seeing evidence it's safe to do so. Testing would help.

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    3. We had a protest in our city, but it proved perspective is everything. The news coverage on the ground made it look fairly impressive with a mob in front of the state capitol. But, the overhead shot from a helicopter showed about 30 people milling around. I do have sympathy for *some* protesters. There really are people--mainly those at the bottom who don't have blue collar jobs and can't work from home--who are losing everything they have. And, the purpose of these lockdowns was never to prevent all spread of the disease but, rather, to keep the truly critical cases requiring hospitalization at a level that did not overwhelm the health care system. So, there *is* in fact a balance required in terms of measures protecting public health and not throttling all economic activity including in areas where the exposure risks are manageable. The plain fact is we to accept 50,000+ deaths from the flu each year, so there is a baseline trade-off we are willing to live with between saving lives and having an economy.

      BUT, while I do have a lot of sympathy for those protesters who have lost jobs and/or are really scared about losing everything they have, many of the protesters in the videos seem to be just the usual far-right professional protesters. A tip-off is probably douchebags walking around with AR-15s to address shutdowns that have zero, zip, nada to do with gun control issues.

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  4. From my Facebook timeline:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3265808086765051&set=pb.100000076740388.-2207520000..&type=3&theater

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    1. If real, that was funny. Actually even if fake, it's funny.

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  5. I seem to recall that the president recently made a comment to the effect that voter repression was a good thing because so many Democrats would vote the Republicans would be swept out of office. Anyone know what I am referring to? Anyway, it does draw a straight line to the concept of somehow culling the voter pool.

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    1. You mean this? “The things they had in there were crazy,” Trump said. “They had things — levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

      And yes, his inability to self-censor renders his motives transparent.

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  6. no, what the data says is first 43% of all fatalities per the CDC are in nursing homes,All of Florida has less deaths than just the nursing homes in NY and the states that have opened are now having lower case infection and death rates than those who have not. Just because we hate Trump we can't make things up

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