Covid-19 has disproportionately killed Black, Latino, and Native Americans.
And that is precisely why Joe Biden’s administration has not taken meaningful action to prevent tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths in these communities.
Oh sure, this administration is the most diverse in history — at least in terms of the ethnic and racial boxes checked.
But if that is to be the key measure of commitment to anti-racism, then the entire movement is doomed.
Unfortunately, this is the normal pattern among white liberals — long on talk, short on meaningful action.
It isn’t as if it hasn’t been obvious to anyone willing to look at a little data that despite plenty of white people living in poverty (and more all the time in this hell-nation), if you’re Black or Latino or Native American you are almost guaranteed to at least fear the possibility of losing everything you have.
That’s just how America is. How it was meant to be, for way too many white Americans. That old Calvinist habit of viewing one’s Earthly status as an outward sign of being one of God’s elect chosen is deeply embedded in this strange society.
It needs poverty, or else the worldview collapses. Because what is the point of being one of the chosen if there aren’t non chosen around to remind you of how fortunate you are?
Joe Biden is not a Calvinist, he’s a Catholic. But in the United States Catholicism has shifted well from its European or South American patterns and adopted many Protestant and even Evangelical habits. And that Calvinist ideology is foundational to the thinking of the Neoliberals who surround Biden now.
Federal, state, and local governments in America made the deliberate choice to mostly abandon Americans to their fates in 2020. And they did this because after the initial panic at the start of the pandemic, when no one was entirely sure what was about to happen, precisely who is most at risk for catching the disease and especially dying from it became clear.
And guess what? Low-income and elderly Black, Latino, and Native Americans have been the worst hit.
Governments across the United States have spent over a year telling people to wash their hands, mandating masks in stores, and keep their distance. Which is all well and good, but note something odd about it?
It is all focused on individual hygiene.
But Covid-19 isn’t like cholera or typhoid or other water/sewage borne diseases. It clings to droplets that we all exhale, hangs about in the air or on your skin for a little while, and hopes to get inhaled into your respiratory tract.
Which means that its spread is governed by two key factors:
- How densely packed groups of people are, and
- How many people move between groups.
These are what produce those now-infamous metrics like the R-0, which tells you whether disease spread is accelerating or slowing down. Covid-19 management is all about statistics — every interaction between people carries some chance of transmitting virus, and people can’t know if they’re infected until it is too late. So the key is reducing the overall number of interactions across society, and geographically segmenting populations to prevent the virus from jumping around.
You can’t accomplish this by simply telling people to be cautious and practice good hygiene. And here’s where things get frankly evil: our elected officials all know it.
And even with total Democratic Party control of the federal government and around half the states, despite it spending 2020 lambasting the previous administration’s gross failures and promising to do better, no meaningful action to prevent spread has been taken.
Because everyone knows who is getting killed. And it generally isn’t the mothers, fathers, sons or daughters of politicians and billionaires.
Nope, it’s pop-pop or grandpa or auntie or your immunocompromised niece who lives next to an oil refinery in California. It’s that unlucky twenty-something who was full of life one week, gone the next.
And Joe Biden is letting it happen.
Because Joe Biden knows who is going to die — Black, brown, and indigenous Americans.
If you aren’t willing, when in a position of incredible power, to take meaningful action — like pressing every state governor willing to listen to adopt a one-month Stay-at-Home order to drive virus levels down as close to zero as possible until everyone is vaccinated — then your words mean nothing.
All Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have are words — and those don’t do a damned thing to keep more people from dying.
And what about Asians?
Joe Biden’s entire administration is now predicating its legitimacy on stoking racism against Asians.
That’s what “standing up to China” is really all about. There are dozens of countries across the world, many of them long-time American allies, that do as bad of stuff as China.
But both Democrats and Republicans in the United States are now united in screaming warnings about the rise of China.
Wonder why there has been such a vicious outbreak of anti-Asian violence in the United States recently?
Do you really think when politicians on both sides are constantly talking about the evils of China that this doesn’t impact how Asian-Americans are treated?
But China will continue to be misrepresented and scapegoated, resulting in more attacks on Asian Americans.
The Biden Administration will cry and decry, then in the next breath talk about a new Cold War with China. The cycle will continue. And there’s a decent chance this Cold War goes even hotter than the last — if you can call the Korean and Vietnam wars “cold” with a straight face.
And why China?
Same reason many Americans, left and right, back in the 1980s were screaming about the rise of Japan as an economic superpower.
When Joe Biden was born, Japanese Americans were interned in camps after having their property seized and given to white people. Anti-Asian racism was virulent throughout the twentieth century and it continues to drive both political parties in the United States to this day.
Joe Biden is a racist — like most of his generation, the Silents. Though culturally a Baby Boomer, Joe Biden is one of those lucky types born at the end of a generational cycle where he can generally pass as a member of either.
And look… the Silent Generation was raised racist. Wasn’t even their fault, really — the 1940s and early 1950s white supremacy was an inherent part of the new suburban lifestyle.
The failure of the Biden Administration to act to beat Covid-19 when it entered office in January has left tens of thousands to die and enabled a fourth wave to emerge with just enough time to kill tens of thousands more Americans before vaccinations finally beat the variants in June.
Joe Biden and all the other politicians who abandoned their responsibility to protect their own people must be held accountable for this criminal negligence.
There must be justice.
And there will be justice.
Six hundred thousand or more Americans will have died by July. 3–6 million more will be stuck suffering with long Covid.
Both parties have failed, federal and state governments have failed, because they are led by racists who can always count on the media and two-party system to help them escape being held accountable.
They are going to try and make Americans forget, just like they did with the War on Terror that Obama was elected to end but turned around and continued, as did his successor and Biden today.
But confidence in government is already at an all-time low. Americans are justifiably enraged — these kinds of pressures will find an outlet, even if the media ignores them.
Justice will be done. And those responsible will pay the price.
Covid Justice Now!