[CONTENT NOTE: racist police violence, f-bombs.]
I awoke today, as many did, to news of more widespread protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, a black man, by white police, and the murder of Breonna Taylor, a black woman, by white police, and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man, by white racist thugs, and, and, and, and…
I want to say this here as unequivocally as I can (and have said before): I stand in solidarity with communities of color around the country and around the world, in opposition to state violence and murder, militarized policing, unprecedented mass imprisonment and surveillance, social and economic and environmental injustice, and imperial wars.
“Until we are all free, we are none of us free.”
I also want to cosign Jacob Frey, the Democratic mayor of Minneapolis, who said this:
“What we’ve seen over the last two days … is the result of so much built-up anger and sadness. Anger and sadness that has been ingrained in our black community, not just because of five minutes of horror, but 400 years. If you’re feeling that sadness, that anger, it’s not only understandable, it’s right. It’s a reflection of a truth that our black community has lived.”
Also this (via FURIE – Feminist Uprising to Resist Inequality and Exploitation Facebook page):
“You can’t commodify every single aspect of living and then not understand looting as a legitimate form of protest. Looting is the ultimate strike against a system that deems mass-produced objects to be far more precious than life itself. It is humanity demanding to be recognized.”
Coincidentally I just found myself explaining this very concept to a (white dude) friend, who didn’t understaaaaaand the looting. “I think maybe they just really wanted that free TV,” he said.
Grrrr. You know, if it were anybody else I would have hung up the phone and blocked the number. But this was a lifelong friend, who has been actually doing the work to learn – and do – better.
“SO. WHAT.” I said coolly. “It’s just a fucking TV. Many if not most people in these poor neighborhoods could never buy a nice new fucking TV. You and me? Of course WE would never dream of stealing a fucking TV. You know why? Because WE would never fucking have to.”
He got me – or seemed to. At least I thought I heard a(nother) light bulb click on.
But the worst news today seemed aimed directly at me, personally:
The virus appears far deadlier for cancer patients, according to a study by the Lancet. “Researchers found that 13 percent of the current and former cancer patients died within 30 days of testing positive for coronavirus, a far higher mortality rate than has been observed in the general population.”
And then this:
(HealthDay News) — Ten percent of COVID-19 patients with diabetes die within a week of entering the hospital and 20% need a ventilator to breathe by that point, a new French study found.
Well what about diabetic cancer patients – like me?
Now I’m no sciencematist or statustischen, but I kinda doubt assessing the mortality risk for people who have COVID-19 and both of these risk factors is a matter of simple addition, although that would certainly yield a number that is terrifying enough. No, there’s much more likely to be a multiplication factor here, like there is with being diabetic + smoking for instance.
1 + 1 ≠ 2.
1 + 1 = eleventy bazillion.
I CANNOT EVER GET THIS FUCKING VIRUS THE END.
P.S. Next week I have to leave my home for the first time in months for a necessary doctor’s appointment. I’m thinking that in addition to taking the standard precautions of mask and gloves, I am gonna rock this shit like the motherfucking Queen of England.
That’s right, I’ma strap my clear bubble umbrella right to the top of my head. IDGAF if I look like a deranged R2D2.