The U.S. Version of Pandemic Relief Is A Shit Sandwich

I don’t understand how anyone can look at how this government has moved throughout this pandemic and try to make this vaccine shit about Black people not trusting the government.

Anybody with an ounce of observational ability and critical thinking skills who is willing to accept that their nationalism/pride/belief system is actually the result of decades of indoctrination will look at the moves the government has made and see that this pandemic is an opportunity — a convenient genocide being manipulated by those with power and money to further extend and solidify their positions…all for the small cost of our lives.

There were so many choices that could have been made to prevent the mass deaths but why do that when doing very little will thin out those they perceive to be burdens on society — the elderly, with their social security and government-subsidized healthcare; the homeless in their too visible poverty; the impoverished with their pleas for government aid; the immigrants daring to have a voice; the Black people who never seem to learn their place; the disabled with their costly needs and low output; the fat people who take up too much space; the queer people who make social hierarchies too complicated; the list goes on and on and on. Why do any of the work to make a better world when this virus and time can decrease the demands for change?

We watch Congress lie, cheat, steal, create 5000+ page bills loaded with payouts to their friends, families, allies while leaving the masses, who they are supposed to represent, struggling to survive yet expected to be grateful for any meager handout with the billion strings attached. We watch people who lied about the seriousness of the virus, who advocated against lockdowns and masks be first in line to get vaccinated against the disease they said wasn’t a big deal, or worse called a conspiracy.

We watched as politicians argued for mass death. We watched as they claimed death by Covid-19 to be an honorable sacrifice for future generations. We watched large corporations initially provide hazard pay only to take it away a month or two later. We saw the CDC give shit info to the public because of pressure from more powerful members of the government. We saw large companies steal final business loan relief so they could buy stock. We saw the stimulus bill used to bail out large corporations.

This latest stimulus, which “had to pass,” contained language making “illegal” streaming a felony and provided $1.3 billion for the oh so useful “border wall,” all for the price of $600 per citizen. Who cares about food or housing during a pandemic when we could keep building that wall!

The next administration isn’t talking about how to save people…they admitted they were against defunding the police, an issue that overwhelming harms Black people, before the election. They’ve also shut down talks about Medicaid for All because of the cost. Talks about canceling student loan debt have shifted to canceling $50,000 of dept to a mere $10,000 of debt and other repayment and possible forgiveness options. They aren’t talking about paying people to stay home; they’re talking masks and vaccines and getting kids back in school and reopening businesses. These are not plans that make change; they are plans that delay uprisings during our convenient genocide.

I don’t know how much more obvious it can be for you to see that there are no heroes here. We are struggling to survive multiple stab wounds while fighting about which knife is shiniest. This life is a gauntlet of violence, culling us at will while we fight one another for the scraps from their table. This vaccine is just another tool to keep us infighting while they give themselves, the most protected, more protection, more access, more power over our lives and deaths. So this thing where we attack each other over masks and telecommuting and gatherings are the result of a government that repeatedly chooses to act in their individual best interests rather than the common good. We are the victims of an egregious crime against humanity, so stop lying to yourself about your place in it. We are struggling to survive in a poisoned environment that continually tells us how expendable we are. So, fuck this “trust the systems, institutions, and government” shit. We can’t trust anything that whiteness built because whiteness by its very nature is cannibalistic self-destruction packaged as consumerist aspiration and it is as empty as it is destructive.

They don’t give a fuck about you. They never have and they never will until you somehow become useful for their agenda.

Don’t waste your breath trying to convince me that I should trust anything this country has created. A country that wrote documents and composed melodies declaring all men are created equal and this as the land of the free when those same statements encoded their social hierarchy into their lies. We’ve been sold layers of falsehoods all our lives and many choose to continue believing them because the truth is a tsunami of opportunistic violence that drowns everything we’ve ever believed in a sea of blood and corpses. We live a life of choosing between predator and prey and rather than admit to being a tool of the killing machine, we tell ourselves that we’re building something great, something beautiful; something that you don’t have the capacity to understand but somehow know is for the best. We feed ourselves lies and destroy anyone who threatens our illusions because it’s easier than admitting to our inner rot and excising it. Our lies, while seemingly easier to carry, won’t save us from what we’ve become. The question will be whether we’ll have the fortitude to ever truly see the monsters we are or if we’ll cling to that lie with our dying breath.

The truth is hard. Cowards avoid it, narcissists exploit it, and the monsters revel in it. Heroes face it and try to undo the harm being done. A lot of you think you are heroes when you’re not. But when lies are the only thing you feed on you redefine reality to mask the horror that is you. Monsters never die when you refuse to admit they exist. They continue to ravage and feast on the corpses of one another. This is a nation of cannibalizing zombies that too many people won’t admit that they enjoy consuming themselves.

Don’t play my face with this “trust the system” narrative. Don’t come for Black people like some kind of Covid savior because the time for that has passed. We see the callousness of this genocide being played out in real-time; everything else is bullshit manipulation. Do we need to do our part to try to protect one another? Definitely. But so much of this story isn’t about us caring for one another when we have multiple systems working to undermine all our efforts.

This is some blame the victim rhetoric being pushed and it is manipulative and awful. Stop normalizing this shit. Stop providing us with a list of terrible choices and a mountain of guilt to force us into picking one, knowing that they are all bad. This is a shit sandwich, and we need to call it what it is.

That anyone can make any of this fuckery about Black people not trusting the government only shows they aren’t thinking big picture enough; that they are stuck in the manufactured hierarchies and dichotomies that keep us spinning in circles about what the problem could be rather than attacking the problem that is. Voting doesn’t fix this. The reality is that this violence will not end because we are too afraid of the rebellion that needs to happen. Instead, we tell ourselves it’ll be okay as they openly use our deaths as opportunities to get more control, more money, more power, and more autonomy. We are an expendable resource slowly being crushed to death by their actions. The work of saving lives is only happening on a local level, through activists providing resources directly to people in need. If you want to help, give money, skills, resources to people doing the work with those most affected by this pandemic. Fuck these institutions whiteness has deemed “legitimate” because, like everything whiteness touches, they are corrupt and funnel funds away from those in need.

We’re all we got in this. Stop pretending otherwise.

Voix Noir: https://voixnoire.com/

The Black Feminist Project: https://theblackfeministproject.networkforgood.com

The Black Fairy Godmother Foundation: https://www.facebook.com/theblackfairygodmotherofficial/

The Snack Sack: https://www.thesnacksack.org/

Website: https://voixnoire.com/

Amy Jones lives and breathes activism in all its forms. Serving as Community Organizer she coordinates advocacy efforts around state legislation through a social justice lens. Amy heads multiple committee efforts: Women of Color, criminal justice reform, and reentry to action. Amy led the organizing efforts for Albany’s first-ever BlackOut Festival, commemorating the significance of Black August.

She coordinates direct-giving for black and brown women in need, was instrumental in organizing the Albany Women of Color March in January 2019 and has moderated and sat on multiple equity and justice-focused panels locally and beyond.

Website: https://calliewatkinsliuphd.wordpress.com/

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Dr. Callie Watkins Liu is a Boston-based, scholar-activist, working at the intersections of social movements, race, organizational dynamics and social justice. Dr. Callie infuses an anti-racist and social movement perspective into areas of — research, organizational dynamics, evaluations, pedagogy and community engagement. Consulting services have ranged from conducting a workshop, to assessing work processes, to providing guidance on projects, and facilitating conversations about social justice, race and anti-oppression

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Charlotte Banks is an Oakland-reared wellness justice advocate now residing in Sacramento. She has served as the Wellness Director for BWU; created a pop-up community spa centering low-income, Black femmes, AFAB folx and marginalized genders; specializes in culturally competent social work; crafts ancestor-honoring skincare products in her spare time.

Website: https://voixnoire.com/

Creighton Leigh is a New York-based writer, speaker and organizer working and advocating at the intersections of Blackness, femmehood, queerness and fatness.

Creighton Leigh is Philly born and raised, but she is currently a New York-based writer, speaker and organizer working and advocating at the intersections of Blackness, femmehood, queerness and fatness. Creighton’s mission is to continue meeting the needs of those most marginalized within the Black community by doing the work. And that work is rallying white people to recognize their unearned privilege and use their money to support Voix Noire’s mission to become the most successful, unapologetic reparations-based platform.

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Desiree is a consultant, trainer, coach and speaker building resilient, equitable, and inclusive organizations. She holds a vision for people’s lives, workplaces and communities until they can hold it for themselves.

Desiree has over 25 years of experience creating, leading and managing international, multicultural teams through major organizational changes in over 40 countries. She has crafted and administered partnerships that have secured over $10.5 million in funding from a variety of private and corporate resources.

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DiDi Delgado is an award-winning poet, educator, author, activist, and journalist. DiDi is currently Head of Operations for The Society Of Urban Poetry (S.O.U.P.) as well as the recently launched speaker’s bureau, wealth redistribution and workshop development program, “The DiDi Delgado Experience, LLC.”

Using art and advocacy, both initiatives aim at bridging the gaps between the intersections of race, class, gender, sexual identity, and orientation — all while practicing radical philanthropy through direct giving models.

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Email: Ms.erikahardison@gmail.com

Erika Hardison is New Jersey-based writer, publisher and Black maternal health and positive parenting advocate. Her work includes advocating for diversity in pop culture and literary works while publishing an independent media platform for Black and other marginalized groups of color.

Erika’s focus is anti-racism and diversity as it relates to pop culture and she curates literature for parents and their children.

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Every Level Leadership promotes diversity and inclusion as a core value in our work and with our clients. We recognize all types of diversity including ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion and abilities.

As a company, we believe that working with those differences is what enhances our work and we want our clients to share that belief. We honor the strength, creativity and power that comes from experiencing different viewpoints, backgrounds and cultures.

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Leslie Mac is a Brooklyn born & raised activist. This first-generation American of Jamaican ancestry founded the Ferguson Response Network in 2014, launched Safety Pin Box 2016 & Lead Organizer with Black Lives of UU. Leslie offers a wide range of presentations and workshops aimed at real-world application of social justice strategy & change.

Website: https://whenequitymatters.com/

Michelle Marks-Osborne is a philosophical consultant dedicated to advancing Inclusion, Equity & Belonging with services for individuals, groups, organizations, and corporations. She is a coach, trainer, and public speaker specializing in anti-racism, sexism, and social justice. She is an expert at moving beyond diversity and invites you to move with her.

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Queen is a Bronx native with a Harlem heart, did college in Queens, currently resides in Brooklyn and like most New Yorkers forgets Staten Island exists. Creating safe, nourishing spaces for Black femmes and folks impacted by misogynoir through digital media and live events is her style of activism. She is one half of The Tea with Queen and J. podcast and centers dismantling white supremacist patriarchal capitalism, because why the fuck not!

Website: https://www.ronideanburren.com

Email: drroni@ronideanburren.com

A career educator with a passion for equity in education, Dr. Roni specializes in facilitating authentic conversations about race. With extensive knowledge about literacy, the system of schools and the school to prison pipeline Dr. Roni is a thought leader who is ready to collaborate with organizations both in person and virtually.

Website: https://shewritestolive.com/

Tamela J. Gordon is a New York bred, Miami revitalized Black writer, book critic, performer, and advocate for Black people living with HIV/AIDS. All of her platforms are dedicated to providing content and resources that provide safe space for womxn and non-men. Online, she’s the founder of SWA’s Book Club, a virtual book café that centers and amplifies newly-released Black literature. Offline, Tamela hosts various events and projects that provide radical self-care for Black women and non-men.

Website: http://www.teawithqueenandj.com/

Email: Teawithqueenandj@gmail.com

Two womanist race nerds talking liberation, politics, and pop culture over tea, dismantling white supremacist patriarchal capitalism one episode at a time. Queen is a Bronx native with a Harlem heart, did college in Queens, currently resides in Brooklyn and like most New Yorkers forgets Staten Island exists. J. is a cultural critic, professional Black girl, and a womanist race nerd from the Bronx focused on dismantling white supremacist patriarchal capitalism while laughing, drinking tea and indulging in various forms of Black joy.

Website: https://www.theblackful.com/

The Blackful is anti-racism training in action, providing educational services and supplies to Black children and their families with the non-profit organization C.A.L.I. and by lifting up and giving to Black women/femmes and children through my nonprofit organization, Black Women Lead: The Black Femme Fund.

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Verta Maloney has over 20 years of experience as an educator, school leader and leadership coach. She has extensive experience facilitating groups and supporting individuals with bold conversations about many things, including race.

Originally published at https://talynnkel.com on December 22, 2020.

Fat, Black, Femme Geek. I’m a writer & cosplayer. My blog is www.talynnkel.com. My books: Breaking Normal& Still Breaking Normal http://amzn.to/2FW5kl3

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