On October 8, 1967 in Detroit, Michigan, I came into this world Black in America. I did not come into the world as a Black American. I was born Black in America. I was not born in the midst of a pandemic. Instead, I was born into an America built on the foundation of the Racism 1619 virus. This virus is similar to Aids and CoVid19 because there is no vaccine or cure, but it is much more deadly than both. Racism 1619 shows no symptoms or consistent patterns of onset. In fact, some think it is hereditary and every white American is born with it. The diagnosis is that the virus is embedded in the DNA of America and cannot be treated. Research and the infectious pattern of Racism 1619 shows that the most effective treatment for the virus is that the patient must die before Racism 1619 can be eliminated. America as we know it must die before it can save itself from Racism 1619. I am not a Black American. I am Black in America and America is not dead yet so Racism 1619 lives.
Growing up in America as a Black Man, I have seen America die a slow death due to the effects of Racism 1619. The virus has festered through the years and has had a devastating impact on all communities of color. The virus however has more intensively impacted the Black Community. It has infected the education, economic, health, employment and social justice arteries of the Black Community. The virus has shut off the circulation of hope, positive outcomes and success for these vital functions. Racism 1619 is a public health pandemic for Black people in America.
The virus has a tremendous negative impact on vision. Racism 1619 causes you to see things that don’t exist and ignore images that are clear and distinct for everyone else. For example, the virus can have you look at an image of a white officer of the law putting a knee into the neck of a restrained and pinned down Black Man for several minutes and believe that the image you are seeing is not murder. The virus also blurs the vision and does not allow you to see images of other officers that may be present during the time of this event. The virus affects the vision and also causes temporary delusions that has you ask questions like, “Was he resisting,” “Why didn’t he just get in the car,” and “Why did he attempt to commit forgery.” These delusional questions continue to blur your vision while also affecting your mind.
The Racism 1619 virus also causes severe memory loss. It most significantly eliminates the memory of deaths of Black men and women at the hands of police. It completely eliminates from memory the names of Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Philando Castille and Breona Taylor. The virus prevents you from recalling the names or circumstances of these individual situations and makes you completely forget that most times officers were not charged nor convicted of any crimes despite these deaths and their unnecessarily short lifetimes. The memory loss also causes a complete and utter shock to the viewing of protest marches that turn violent or disruptive. This shock causes Racism 1619 virus carriers to blame protestors for their behavior as opposed to looking at the root cause of police violence and the death and destruction of Black bodies.
Racism 1619 also causes unattended side effects. These effects/statements include, but are not limited to:
Trust the System
Violence is not how you protest Injustice
I understand your pain as a Black Man
How should I help as a White Person
I’m shocked Racism still exists
These side effects/statements reveal themselves as excited utterances and sometimes are used to try and deflect the impact of the virus. They show up as distractions, misguided and ill informed conclusions, media misrepresentations and ignorance. The side effects/statements are sometimes used to disprove the existence of the virus and get others comfortable with the lack of understanding or believe in Racism 1619.
George Floyd did not cause Racism 1619, but he died because of it. He died because it is in the DNA of America. His murder by the Minneapolis Police Department is simply a reminder that he was born Black in America. Racism 1619 is America. Racism 1619 built America. Racism 1619 drives America. Racism 1619 causes lack of criminal charges against officers who murder Black people and those who watch while others murder Black people. Racism 1619 causes lack of criminal convictions of officers that have killed innocent people. Racism 1619 does not promote policy change or authentic community and police reform. Racism 1619 dies only as America dies. I was born Black in America, maybe one day I will be American when America dies.