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Black Americans Struggle With COVID-19. Why?

In America, Black people appear to be more negatively affected by the virus known as COVID-19 than other groups. African Americans lead in the number of total cases of the virus, but also in deaths. On a per-capita basis, of course. White Americans still lead in the sheer number of cases and deaths. Which makes sense because they are the larger population.

US Attorney General Jerome Adams spoke about racial differences found in data relating to COVID. His conclusion was clear. Black Americans have pre-existing conditions that make them more susceptible to being harmed by the virus. Diabetes, heart disease, obesity, drug use, and more. Adams also spoke about the need for all Americans, especially black Americans, to take better care of themselves. Drugs and alcohol must be avoided during this time.

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CNN contributor Van Jones got into some hot water for echoing Jerome Adam’s points about black Americans needing to take care of themselves. Several media outlets accused Jones of “blaming the victim.” Labeling Van Jones as a rabble-rouser or a “racist” simply does not make sense. He was simply advising black people to protect themselves from the virus. There is nothing malicious to be found in his statements.

Beyond pre-existing health conditions and consumption of dangerous substances… there are also lifestyle choices. Social media is littered with videos of African Americans totally violating social distancing. No masks, no gloves, in a party of hundreds of people in a closed environment, like an apartment. Conditions like that make it easy for any virus to spread, especially this novel coronavirus.

Several big-name figures – including Kamala Harris – have tried to apply racism to Governors of high-black population states that want to re-open. Jamal Bryant labeled Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s desire to re-open as “assault” on minorities. Maybe Mr. Bryant does not understand that members of his own congregation (formerly pastored by Eddie Long) are struggling due to not having an income that Kemp wants to restore through work.

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Much of the pearl clutching regarding states’ desire to re-open and the effects of the virus in general on blacks is no more than attention seeking. Everyone wants their slice of the proverbial pie. While the virus is bad, it’s not bad enough to take people out of the job market. Especially not African Americans who are near-bottom when it comes to economics in the US. Second only to Native Americans, of which there are only a handful left.

Racism is not the proper word to use when speaking of black people in America and the virus. After all, COVID started in China where 99% Han Chinese were affected. Many thousands (if not, millions) died before it crossed the water and washed up on our shores. If certain groups of people are not protecting themselves, then so be it. Free will. However, it is quite frankly… unfair … to label people as racist for sounding the alarm to specific groups in the country who need to hear it.

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