COVID-19 Safety Not Stigma: Damithia

Eventually, the country will force all of us to ‘reopen’ and, as it does, police will be more empowered than ever to stop and brutalize black and brown people…On the one side, Covid-19 will be waiting to kill us in even greater disproportion to white folks than it is now. On the other? Our alpha predator, the American police officer.

ELIE MYSTAL for the Nation

Outcries have erupted across the nation after a video emerged last week of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder by a former white police officer and his adult son while Arbery was jogging in February. On Tuesday, a new study was released showing African Americans may be dying from COVID-19 at a higher rate than any other group in the US. Meanwhile, police officers in New York were spotted kindly handing out masks in the West Village (a predominantly white neighborhood) while a Black man was brutally beaten in East Village for allegedly not social distancing. This pandemic is amplifying and exacerbating the racism that was already so rampant here. Re-opening will not make inequity magically disappear. You can help. Please share. Thank you.

I am the light
I am the darkness
I may sparkle you
And enlighten you in a fraction of a second

from “I am the light” by Robin Pandey

Pictured: Damithia is a mother, daydreamer, thought-thinker educator, yoga teacher, plant lover, cloud watcher, sun lover, liberators path seeker. She is the founder of Thrive Yoga which provides movement mindfulness and healing centered restorative practices to youth in schools and community. She works with Yoga Behind Bars as a trauma informed yoga training facilitator and is co-chair of the board of trustees for Space Between.

COVID-19 Safety Not Stigma is a portrait campaign to help combat increased racism against people of color during COVID-19, raise awareness about the disproportionate impacts of coronavirus on communities of color, and prioritize safety instead of stigma by the public.

Safety notes: These photos were taken at safe distance outside using a 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens. I wore a mask and sanitized my equipment immediately following. Please remember the CDC recommends at least 6-ft or more of distance from those outside your family cluster.

This project is supported by 4Culture and the COVID-19 CRA Anti-Hate Committee

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