BLACK LIVES | The Pit Post by John Pitonzo



While the COVID pandemic alarmed most and frightened many and sent us scurrying for cover into our houses and behind masks, I know we have all learned, if not much, something about viruses, about social distancing, and about what it means to be cooped up longer than we like in our homes.  Now, with the numbers down, well into Phase 2 and the easing up of restrictions, the alarm and fear dissipating, we are venturing forth courageously in larger numbers to hang out with our friends, visit a café, shop for a nonessential item.  While many of us still salute each other with the forearm bump, some of us sneak in that embrace.  None of us, outside of the nuclear family, has seemingly dared to extend a kiss.

While we mourn any family member or friend who falls victim to a disease or accident, three or four months of drastic change, something we will remember, doesn’t, however, register as even a blip on our lifetime cardiograms. 

Racial injustice, discrimination against people of color and minorities, and the continued inequality, hatred and violence against our black brothers and sisters, against our fellow man, doesn’t register as a blip either.

It registers as a tragic stain on humanity. 

And the stain expands.

Across countries.

Across continents.

Across centuries.

The stain, in America alone, has been expanding for 400 years.

From generation to generation of black Americans.

Our humanity is stained, but, apparently, we don’t see that stain.  Because we don’t suffer.  We aren’t born with a skin color that says you will suffer. Your parents have suffered. Your grandparents have suffered. Your great-grandparents have suffered.  And on and on. It bleeds out and it touches all of us. We learned that COVID has no boundaries, though it preys on our poor communities much more aggressively.  And who are the poor?  What color are the poor? Why so many poor?

And who are we? 

Must we feel the lash of the whip, the rope around our necks, the bullet penetrating our flesh?  Must we hear our neckbones crack? Gasp for a last breath?

If you could ask Breonna Taylor or Ahmaud Arbery or George Floyd, they would tell you.

Yes. This is who we are.


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