Image by Javier Robles from Pixabay 

By Bashir Ali

As I look on any channel on television featuring protests that promote opening up the country, I see that many Americans have fallen in lockstep with the directives of the nation’s “idiot-in-chief.”

In the state of Michigan for example, someone was shown waving a Confederate flag whose underside was a Trump/Pence 2020 proclamation. The same flag flown by Trump/Pence supporters appear at every rally and the featured citizens appear to be of a homogenized group, all looking the same.

I will not go much into the behavior of the clown-like responses or the cajoling in support of irresponsible behavior. My point is that the protestors we see are 99.9 percent white Americans. But could it be that while we appear to be the predominant faces of COVID-19, that are suffering has little effect on the white community? Does it matter to them that Blacks are losing their lives at far greater frequency than whites?

While talking to a colleague earlier today, I remember saying, “Black lives really don’t matter.” I’ve come to this conclusion because of what I’ve experienced week after week since the coronavirus pandemic began to sweep across America and the world. Since the shutdown, I cannot remember how many times I mourned, offered condolences or stoically shared the Islamic response to the dead.

My emotional trauma remains at an all-time high. I check on my adult children incessantly and they in turn check on me frequently due to my health preconditions. I have had to say farewell to several of my parents’ peers – fixtures during my childhood. The years of adulation for those men and women are gone, the memories are fading quickly because no sooner do I successfully compartmentalize one loss, another person dies. Left with the overwhelming sense of loss, former and latter, I fight against becoming totally numb and hardened – my heart separated from my mind. 

I find the racism in these protests as preeminent and the foundation of Donald Trump’s relentless message which advocates for white revolt. The flag waving has very little to do with strict quarantine measures. It is clearly an attempt to deflect blame from America’s president. If he could, for just a moment, consider the number of live lost, their ages and their ethnicity, maybe he’d find the courage to criticize the protests and the protestors and urge greater caution.

Of course, I am not saying that every white person who is protesting is a racist. However, every racist protestor waving a flag to open up the country does seem to be white. Not every Trump supporter is a white racist but I would wager that every racist white is.

To even consider the possibility that COVID-19, given the disproportionate number of black and brown lives that are being lost each day, might be a “gift from a white-faced god” only further promotes the notion that Black lives don’t matter.

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