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America is the self-proclaimed greatest and richest empire in the history of the world, and prior to COVID-19 virus, it was experiencing some of the greatest economic growth in history. 

Since everything in America revolves around race and race is a man-made construct that cannot be identified genetically, the virus is the perfect tool to evaluate and measure the inequality in America. 

In an equal and fair society the virus would essentially spread and affect the population in a proportional manner. America currently has over 12.8 million infections and over 262,000 deaths as of Nov. 27, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and studies have found that America’s minority populations were the hardest hit. 

This fact should not surprise anyone. America’s history of genocide, slavery, racism, sexism, classism and capitalism made certain that the disproportionate effects suffered by the minority populations were inevitable. The way America is currently downplaying the pandemic for the sake of the economy will lead to many more infections and deaths. The virus has revealed some tragic realities about this country. 

The Doctrine of Greed 

COVID-19 has shown that as much as America might present itself as a democracy, in actuality it is a country essentially owned and controlled by ultra-wealthy corporations and individuals. They have fought for corporations to have the same rights as human beings even though they do not live, breathe, or die. They have lobbied for a favorable tax code, so their money makes more money through all kinds of tax cuts and breaks. They use this money to pay for lobbyists to design and write the bills, policies, and laws that politicians of both parties pass. These bills, policies, and laws give even more power to the wealthy elite, who use this power to turn everything on this planet into a commodity. The lobbyists cozy up to the politicians through campaign donations, gifts, and the promise of lucrative jobs after they leave office. 

These practices have made the government a cesspool. Meanwhile, media companies and social network platforms exploit the fears, biases, wants, and emotions of people. Once the people are herded into groups, they are manipulated into isolated bubbles where they often receive their information from the same source creating a feedback loop that is designed to replace unequivocal facts and evidence with emotions. 

This campaign has been so successful that it has created a society where there is no longer such a thing as unequivocal facts and evidence. Everything is up for debate. COVID-19 is a perfect example of how this strategy can destabilize an entire population. A large segment of the American population believes the virus is a hoax, or nothing more than the common flu, and that the mandate to wear a mask is a scam or a conspiracy. The rest of the population believes that the pandemic is real. 

This kind of fracturing of society allows the government to pass bills and laws without scrutiny. The virus has also shown how many Americans are poor or just a few missed checks from becoming poor. 

But what has been the most shocking is the revelation that the richest country in the world is incapable of manufacturing products as simple as a Q-tip or medical grade masks. American corporations have outsourced manufacturing to the point where it had trouble making tests, masks and medicine. Even with all of its government sponsored scientific agencies, the country as late in developing a reliable test to identify the virus. 

The Doctrine of Racism 

It is impossible to discuss race in America without knowing how the genocide of Native Americans and the subsequent chattel slavery of Africans constituted the foundational principles of this nation. 

When a country is responsible for the two of the greatest crimes ever committed against humanity, it is impossible to come to terms with the true identity of that country until you evaluate that history. 

Racism has always been America’s tool of choice since its inception. It has been used to indoctrinate early societies into accepting genocide and slavery, which in turn has led to a society today that ignores, denies and dismisses that history. The American culture has embraced a white-washed version of history that not only glorifies its past but also memorializes it through holidays, movies and monuments. 

SInce the beginning, racism has been ingrained in the DNA of the country’s institutional structures and systems and has evolved with time. Slavery, sharecropping, convict-leasing, Jim Crow and redlining are just a few examples of this evolution. 

In fact, racism is as American as pie. COVID-19 has only reaffirmed and bolstered this unequivocal fact. The disproportionate effects of the virus on America’s minority populations is simply an example of the effectiveness of this doctrine. 

The Perfect Storm 

When it is said and done, COVID-19 will leave death and destruction in its wake, but there is a possibility that it will be seen as a mythical death angel that ultimately saved America and the world. 

While most of America sheltered in place this past spring, a shocking video surfaced of Ahmaud Aubrey being hunted like a wild animal for taking a jog in a White neighborhood. This was followed by a video of a White woman in Central Park, who was caught on tape manufacturing hysteria for the sole purpose of mobilizing the police against a Black man. This was followed by a video so horrific that it can only be described as an example of a modern-day lynching. The world witnessed George Floyd being executed by an officer who held his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while he pleaded for his life. The video showed the world how little a Black life is valued in America, shocking even the hardest of hearts. 

My hope is that these events in conjunction with the COVID-19 lockdown will be a spark that saves humanity. 

The protests and uprisings that followed were nothing new. But what is new is the diversity seen within the current protests, and the way they were held in all 50 states despite the pandemic. I am a news junkie, but I have never witnessed until now the likes of the conversations currently taking place in mainstream media about the true history of this country and its influence on current times. 

I’m hopeful that this time is truly different because the only way this country is going to genuinely change is if it atones and provides the reparations that are due. I am truly optimistic because we’re at the point of no return. 

I believe that if America does not experience a revolutionary change, it is on its way to becoming a dying empire. For the sake of those of us who believe that there is still hope for humanity, we must change how we view and treat each other and Mother Earth in a monumental way. We have a mortal duty to realize that the wealthy-elite, who control this country, only see profits. The beauty of life holds no value to them, which means we must join together and force the change we know is mandatory to survive as a species. 

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

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Shonari Warren

Shonari Warren is a writer incarcerated in Pennsylvania.