I spoke to my brother this morning by phone because he is currently recovering from COVID-19 related pneumonia and I cannot visit him. My nephew is in the last four days of his quarantine in Georgia where he serves as a member of the U.S. Army. My sister works as a cardiac telemetry tech in a Virginia hospital and is fearful of infecting her granddaughter and daughter. I have written before of my neighbor who works in a NICU unit of a local hospital and trudges day after day into potential danger. You have heard a lot about how this virus has launched a wave of death in the black community. My oldest son, fortunately, can work from home but my youngest son, a husband, and father of six, with his oldest preparing to miss her college graduation ceremony, does not have that luxury.
The thing, all the above-named people have in common with me, aside from family and friendship, is that they are all black. The federal government under the leadership of Donald Trump has been derelict in alerting all of us to the danger of the virus, he has been slow to acknowledge and respond and now is picking and choosing who is equipped to combat it with ventilators and protective wear. Had he not called the Democratic Governor of Washington State [Jay Inslee] a “snake” and the Democratic Governor of Michigan [Gretchen Whitmer] who were begging for help, “the woman in Michigan” I might concede that it was the luck of the draw, but we know better. I have to wonder in his heart of heart when he hears the numbers of black deaths, does a man who thinks Africa and the Caribbean are crap-holes, cares anything about me or my family?
Our self-proclaimed wartime president is displaying a vindictive attitude befitting a child not a leader. Daily briefings full of implied, and implicit invectives, sulking at the side of the stage when he is not the center of attention, and inserting himself into questions not directed at him and are far beyond his intellectual reach. These are the types of opaque tactics that cause unwarranted suspicions and lead to wacky conspiracy theories and distrust of government. Before you dismiss the potential dangers, remember a man from North Carolina drove hundreds of miles to free what he believed to be children held against their will in the basement of a pizza parlor in Washington D.C., a family restaurant, that literally has no basement.
Parents of the slaughtered children of Newtown have been forced to sell their homes and in some cases hire protection against crazed theorists who proposed that Obama was behind “fake killings” to take their guns. Of course, that was part and parcel to another conspiracy theory that he was going to invade Texas and jail the resisters at an abandoned Walmart. I know you shake your head and think how anyone can believe these things; It is because we have a sector of America and the world who traffic in self -serving conspiracies for money, fame, infamy or all three.
So during this period of hibernation take a moment to hug your children, kiss your spouses and know there is a world of dedicated people, not just in my family but yours as well, who need you to value their safety with your vote.
Vote in 2020 for Change.