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COVID in a Neighborhood Near You

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Published in the Cap City Hues April 6, 2020

COVID-19 case is not coming to a neighborhood near—it’s already in your neighborhood. This is what a pandemic looks like. The U.S. is months into the virus yet there is still no national comprehensive, coordinated plan to stop the deadly virus. The number of U.S. COVID-19 cases now exceeds those in China and there’s no end in sight.

The lack of leadership is also being seen on our state and local levels, but most notably from Republican governors and mayors. The drip-drip of vital information over the last several weeks and the inability to take decisive actions is causing confusion, panic and worse, the loss of human lives.

I think Governor Tony Evers was slow in making his stay-home decision. His announcement came on March 25. The last hold-out Republican governors are listening to trump’s unscientific nonsense. But I don’t why any intelligent elected official listening to medical and health experts would balk at being decisive in the face of this killer virus. We now know that a national stay-home order called in February would have save thousands of lives all over the world. Read more

Coronavirus in Black and Green

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Published in the St. Louis American March 11, 2020

The situation with COVID-19 is worth watching for several reasons. The coronavirus has infected nearly 110,000 people and killed 3,800 people in 100 countries. Just recently, a case popped up in St. Louis County, so now our region is part of the growing global statistics.

It appears that the outbreak finally got the attention it deserved once the U.S. stock market plunged. When rich folks cough, poor folks have convulsions. When white folks catch a cold, black folks get pneumonia. It is always about race and class. Read more

Free to Kill

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Published in The Capital City Hues on February 24, 2020

“If you don’t like it—move!”

That’s the historic response that those of African descent have heard whenever we confront issues of injustice or inequity by racist systems of oppressions. Surprisingly, it is the most common response hurled at small family farmers and residents who oppose CAFOs.

I learned that as part of a recent post-screening discussion on the documentary “Free to Harm.” The documentary exposes the community and environmental impacts of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). An award-winning documentary husband and wife team, Matt Wechsler and Annie Spiecher, focused on the decades of agricultural deregulation and devastating laws favoring massive livestock production.

By the time the film ended, I chucked my prepared remarks. What I just experienced called for a different kind of response. Even though I’m familiar with CAFOs, I was less familiar with the seemingly futile efforts of communities against these Goliath, bloodsuckers.

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