Racial and class division has long been one of the tactics used by the rich and powerful to keep working people from organizing. Today it’s so blatant; as we move tragically through the devastating impacts of COVID-19 there’s not even an attempt to hide or disguise the behavior. I’m frustrated, angry and ready to figure out how to move forward, stand together and speak with one voice. We need to demand immediately that the federal government takes the following first three steps.
- Immediately reduce air pollution by 50% until the pandemic is over.
EPA announced in March that they will no longer monitor air or enforce environmental regulations. Families who live around polluting facility are forced to shelter in place — with their “place” so polluted that they cannot go outdoors and cannot open windows. The chemicals are respiratory irritants.
- First test people in the vulnerable areas which are low income, black and brown communities and senior centers.
Black and brown people make up the majority of “essential front-line workers.” These essential workers drive trucks, process food, run public transportation, clean hospitals and so much more. Today if you have money not you are an essential worker you can get tested.
- Expand health care access through mobile clinic or other means to vulnerable communities (usually health care deserts).
You just need to listen to the news to see that athletes, famous TV people, rich families have no problems getting a test if they want one. Patrick Ewing tested positive, went to the hospital and is now healing at home. Patrick’s a great basketball coach/player we wish him well. But Mr. Hernandez and Thomas were unable to receive a test. After driving a long distances to seek help, there is no medical facilities in their communities, they were turned away (even with COVID symptoms) told to go home and quarantine themselves. This is just not right.