Section 5

Part 5: Combatting Dual Pandemics:
Structural Racism and COVID-19

In Necropolitics (2019), the Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe observed that “the ultimate expression of sovereignty resides . . . in the power and capacity to dictate who may live and who must die.” The devastating consequences of this truth have been on prominent display as the world rebels against violent and discriminatory policing while the president of Brazil and the United States—the racist trolls Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro—have allowed their peoples to suffer and many die in the midst of Covid-19 which has cost 140,537 deaths in Brazil and 203,750 in the U.S. by October 2020. Defying common sense and science, they have ignored and dithered in the face of these deadly dual pandemics: racism and Covid-19. Our peoples will only survive if we protest “powers’ lies” powerfully while  knowing “where power lies:” in both the streets and at the ballot box.

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Photo: Katiana Tortorelli 

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