Is  The Coronavirus Racist?

Is The Coronavirus Racist?

Some say covid-19 
Some say Rona 
Some Say Ms Rona

What do you say ?

Depending on who you are and how you identify with these 3 names it will also measure the protection you get during this pandemic.  Is Rona racist or is it being used systematically by racist to target marginalized communities of color resulting in a high percentage of deaths and people affected by the virus. 

As this virus continues to affect millions of people around the world we can only imagine the impact on under invested communities with the economical shift most black and brown neighborhoods like Bushwick, Bedstuy and Brownsville were already facing due to new development, rezoning, gentrification, and displacement, not to mention the policing of those communities prior to transplants moving in and how that policing changed for white influx and people from a different class and privilege in general.

It shouldn’t come with surprise that the ones least supported in times like this are underinvested communities of color. This isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s a proven fact. But yet our government still hasn’t found the resolution to keep our communities ours , healthy and safe from police brutality.  At a time when we are supposed to be staying inside I still see and hear the construction of condos being built. While others worry about the stability of their homes and mental. Their has been a very visible and violent target on people of color for not allegedly social distancing opposed to less harm and threat to other demographics. Why are they so violent with us?

We are grateful for the people below who decided to give us a statement for this piece. Their voices should be heard.

Joshua Rolon

It doesn’t matter the situation, crisis, or pandemic that happens in America, it will be used systematically to target marginalized communities of color. The Rona just happens to be the biggest way they can carry out  racism right now. I think those responsible of upholding the system are probably enjoying the pandemic to be honest. I say that because for the most part they’re not as affected by the things that are going on in the real world as a whole and they get to use the mass confusion as a cover up to work their agendas.

One example of this is the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. He was killed a whole 2 months before the killers were arrested. The case won’t even go to court until June 13th because the courts in Georgia are closed due to the quarantine. This worries me for a lot of reasons. It makes me wonder how many other racially charged murders are going under the radar and not being dealt with because of the pandemic. Also, It’s a little confusing to me that courts and the judges in them are not considered “essential” in certain places while police are and continue to go around arresting people. That means there are people of color all over America that are sitting in jail possibly being exposed to the virus but have to wait until they get sick and hospitalized or until the quarantine is over to be seen. 

Another way systematic racism is being used is through the hospitals. It’s no secret to people of color that our lives are not top priority in hospitals, virus or no virus. Now that there’s a large number of patients with a life threatening illness it’s easy to use the excuse “you can’t save them all ” to neglect our lives. This is not to discredit any of the really dedicated and caring doctors who put their lives on the line to provide medical care to people. When something like the Rona hits our communities it then becomes easier for people in power to continue to neglect and under serve. But all in all the fear is amplified during this time and a lot of us are confused about the future of this pandemic.  Hell I’ve been very on edge lately, just like a lot of my peers that grew up marginalized. 

They don’t want us here.

Genevieve Jackson


It’s very clear, and has been for the entirety of our relationship, in different communities across the globe. 

To them we are a disposable means to an end…

We know this…the weight and depth of this truth constantly threatens to brutalize and overwhelm our minds and much so, that many of us choose to go numb…

fall asleep…let go..check the fuck out…desperate for a little breathing room, and some sense of control, we may find false sanctuary in the traps that have been set..temporary pleasures of the mind and body..many with hidden costs we can’t afford…

The unspeakable abuse and traumas we suffer often leave us starved, poisoning our birthright to all that gives our lives beauty and purpose… threatening to bleed us out, leaving husks of who we were born to be…vulnerable for the feed..

And they do feed on us….designing and hoping we will choose to stay sleeping prey to Spiritual Cannibalism…

But we have other choices…

We can choose to keep our eyes and hearts open to our pain. We can choose to move towards healing all that we’ve been through. We can choose quiet moments of gentleness with ourselves long enough to breathe with intent. To connect with the gift that is our breath in this body…to embody the sanctity of this life we have been given, and to honor it with all we have. To protect ourselves and each other with fierce dedication and love, in body mind and spirit..To understand that our own self-care is tailored by our vision alone, and it is up to us individually to uplift ourselves and the ones we care for… To give ourselves permission to be well…to acknowledge where we are not, so that we may gently open to healing… We can look and ask for support.

In the words of Audre Lorde:

“Caring for [ourselves] is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare,”  

We are here. We have a right to be here. Let’s take excellent care of ourselves and each other.

View Portfolio


“Honestly, seeing folks in Bedstuy running, cycling, and or just walking around with no mask covering their face only brings me to one conclusion: that non- black and brown folks do not care about the historical black and brown neighborhoods they occupy.

I see so many affluent white gentrifiers running with no masks on. And it angers me to just watch them do it. There is just a visible mistreatment of who NYPD enforces these mask policies.

Within the time of COVID19, the folks with the highest death rate are black and brown people. Healthcare has always dismissed Black women’s pain/ health issues. They just throw racist rhetoric as to why they might not be feeling well and do not provide quality treatment. So even though the likelihood of all of us getting it at some point is high: who they will prioritize care to are white people over black and brown.

White people have always been prioritized over BIPOC.

The least all gentrifiers can do is wear their god damn masks and diminish the spread of COVID19. Your claps are cool: but maybe it might be more useful to own your privilege and demand that police be held accountable for their violent acts of racism on the daily.


Kimberly Antoine

At the beginning of the pandemic my immediate worry was the cops and the opportunities they would take advantage of to harass us. It makes me emotional, afraid, and hopeless at times. It’s not because of how the cops have treated me personally but the treatment towards those of color. I have brothers and students who still live within these communities and every time I hear about a case of police brutality I hold my breath, scared thinking it can be one of them.

I also get angry with myself because Covid-19 exposed my own lack of. It’s not about the pandemic but about how I’ve neglected the warrior, fighter and activism from my spirit. It’s about how I’ve allowed the privilege I’ve seen to make me hopeless. Covid-19 breathes racism in our faces & exposes the ugly head of our system. It shows the true reality of our storm and what we face as a community. Covid has been a wake up call for how far racism goes. 


The question in the back of my head is this: How long will everyone turn a blind eye? I am mad at my own people for not sticking together. The frequency we speak into our own community doesn’t allow us to prosper. I believe it will take everyone who is struggling to put their “grains” together to feed the entire village. It’s not about your personal household because it’s a worldwide hurt at this point.

We’re scorned souls tasting the bitterness of privilege. How long must we eat the scraps? How long before your rage turns into an investment for OUR FUTURE.

“I live in a place”

Carlos Mercado


I Live in a place where racism is a lot deeper than some of us might want to believe.

 I live in a police infested neighborhood, where fear is projected by undercover detectives with tinted windows and inflated egos. 

I live in a place where you avoid contact with law enforcement because most times it feels like your walking directly into a trap. 

I live in a place where the new stop and frisk is called CoronaVirus (Social Distancing).

I live in a place where gentrification is storming while a worldwide pandemic has us all locked in. 

I live in a place where they chain up parks, put up gates and chains to block off the sprinklers that stand in front of Housing Developments. 

As a child coming outside seeing those gates and chains everywhere, makes that child susceptible to normalizing this visual.


 I live in a place where police sirens are used so frequently that if you listen really closely you can hear the next up and coming hip hop beat, because just like our ancestors we had to learn to speak through our art.

 Why you ask?

Because our words, our pain, our tears, our veins never mattered.