The world is a very different place than it was last February. The coronavirus pandemic has shut down business and sports as we know it, though things are slowly opening back up this summer. But some things have remained remarkably the same, and not for the better. Namely, racial inequality, in particular for African Americans.
That was on Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud’s mind when she published a column on The Player’s Tribune on Saturday. Last Monday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, George Floyd, an African American man died after being in police custody, after a white police officer used his knee to restrain him. The officer’s knee was on Floyd’s neck.
The officers were fired the following day and the officer whose knee was on Floyd was in custody. But that wasn’t enough to prevent protests in cities across the United States, from Minneapolis to Atlanta and even here in Washington. Many have been destructive and violent.
In Cloud’s column, it’s not Floyd’s death itself that compelled her to use her voice on the issue. It’s that the system makes it very difficult to perpetuate change. “[P]eople don’t even have to actively be about white supremacy. ... All they have to do is be silent,” Cloud wrote.
Another thing to keep in mind about racial inequality is the coronavirus right now. A disproportionate number of coronavirus cases and deaths are happening in communities of color, in particular African Americans. There are many reasons why.
Again, Cloud’s column is below.