Black Life Only Matters…
COVID-19 has been a lot of things. Scary, brutal, isolating. But it has also been clarifying. In this moment, we have been able to see, in real time, the building of yet another disparity as Black people experience disproportionate mortality rates; a symptom of a number of systemic and historical factors that ensure that we have less access to quality healthcare, food, and housing, and are legitimately distrustful of the healthcare and medical arenas. In the midst of this, Black people have been shouldering much of the burden of keeping the nation running and leading the nation back to health.
While we make up about 12% of the workforce, we comprise over a quarter of all food and courier delivery, postal, and public transport workers. There are also about 3.2 million Black healthcare workers; and in this particular arena, we are twice as likely to have occupations that are considered among the riskiest, such as respiratory therapists.
It will be said of essential workers, many of whom are paid below living wages, that they are “heroic”. But they are not trying to be heroes. They’re trying to house their families and feed their dreams. They work for themselves, but because they do, we all benefit.
But even as one of the main forces keeping the machinery of this nation clicking along, all of us blessed with this skin live in full acknowledgment that a terrible sickness, that is written into the very DNA of this country, can manifest in our grievous if not fatal injury.
The list of names grows. So, too, does the list of excuses given as to why Black people across the globe are dying at the hands of cops and armed vigilantes at rates reminiscent of a pandemic.
Infinity One is a company founded by and employing a great deal of Black people. We live with the knowledge of these realities, as even penning this is anxiety inducing. To one another, we most certainly matter.
We fully and firmly stand behind the assertion that Black Lives Matter. However, we don’t do so as an appeal to have our personhood and right to live recognized. This is not a question, as there is no one who is in the position to permit or deny this statement’s veracity. It is factual and inherent to all Black people in existence.
We support the movements that have been enacted under the banner of #BLM, and we understand the severity of the change that needs to happen to bring about the mattering of Black life and living.
Black life only matters when there is no longer a need for that phrase.
…when there is no longer a need for that phrase.