The first authors of this publish are white. We all know that we will’t absolutely perceive the Black expertise — and that we might get some issues fallacious. If we mess up, we wish to hear that suggestions.
This week, as protests towards racism and police brutality fill our newsfeeds alongside persevering with protection of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re taking time to replicate on the interconnectedness of those public well being crises.
Many main well being organizations — just like the American Medical Affiliation and American Public Well being Affiliation — have launched statements in latest days affirming that racism and police brutality are public well being crises at the very least as pressing and life-threatening as coronavirus. And because the drastic racial disparities in COVID-19 dying charges present, when a Black individual dies of COVID-19, they’ve additionally and equally been killed by systemic racism as a determinant of well being — a explanation for dying that speaks to structural issues far past violence.
In order well being communicators, we acknowledge that prioritizing the specter of the pandemic over systemic threats to Black lives is a false alternative. And we’ve a accountability to keep away from selling this false alternative in our messages. For instance, after we speak concerning the potential of protests to unfold coronavirus, we have to keep away from blaming protesters for this potential hurt — or implying that the chance of spreading coronavirus outweighs the disproportionate threat of illness, violence, and dying Black individuals face each day on this nation.
We additionally want to obviously condemn police violence and escalation at protests. And after we speak concerning the threat of coronavirus spreading, we should always begin by calling out militarized police techniques that improve that threat, like forcing protesters into crowded areas or utilizing tear fuel.
Right here at We ❤ Well being Literacy Headquarters, we’ll hold doing our personal analysis, educating ourselves, and listening to you, our readers. We’re right here for feedback and questions on how well being communicators can higher deal with police brutality, racism, and white supremacy within the time of COVID-19. And whereas we don’t anticipate our Black readers to tackle the labor of training us, we wish to use our platform to share sources created by Black individuals and to amplify Black voices.
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