COVID-19, Racist Policing and Being a Black Woman in 2020 - Public Goods Blog COVID-19, Racist Policing and Being a Black Woman in 2020 - Public Goods Blog

COVID-19, Racist Policing and Being a Black Woman in 2020

Who’d of thought 2020 would hit like this?

cardboard protest sign that reads 2020 is cancelled

I mean blow after blow, consecutively hearing bad news with no way to brace yourself for the impact? Is it not crazy to say aloud that the world shut down and was under quarantine? That COVID-19 killed all plans for the year, including thousands of people?

On top of that, racism and police brutality are still at an all-time high? We all sat and witnessed an unarmed, compliant black man get murdered by a cop on our phones in broad daylight in 2020. I’m disgusted and extremely flabbergasted!

I am on edge daily. First, because I’m a black woman in America, and second because I have a mental illness (bipolar disorder). With all of the devastation going on, I am paranoid and unsure about our country’s future.

Deaths by COVID-19 aren’t diminishing nearly enough, and neither are deaths at the hands of police who are supposed to protect and serve us. Black women aren’t exempt from killings from police, as Breonna Taylor is the latest victim.

Who’s to say my medication stops working one day and I have a manic episode? Will they kill me, too? More than likely they will, because they aren’t properly trained to handle people with mental illnesses, which should be mandatory. It’s bizarre to me that it isn’t.

What has come of the world if a young black man can’t go for a jog, or go to the corner store for snacks without being preyed upon and hunted like a deer in the forest? My heart breaks every time I watch the news, as it is apparent that our mere existence is a threat to the racists of the world.

We are meant to change the way we move about the world. Meanwhile, they plot to kill us off and receive probation or a high-five for it.

My ultimate mission is to spread the word about mental health because it affects us all. Depression, thoughts of suicide, and mania are dangerous mental burdens. Stress, domestic violence, verbal abuse, and toxic situations only amplify these conditions.

As someone with a mental illness, every day is a struggle, and everything I do requires an extra push. I am no charity case, but people simply don’t get it. Living with a mental illness for me means daily medication (morning and night), constant awareness of how my body feels so as to not transition into danger zones (mania or depression), which also means staying out of the behavioral hospital (which I’ve successfully done since 2014), and understanding that people are ignorant to mental health diagnosis. Most could care less.

One lesson 2020 has taught me is that you can plan, but you can’t prepare. I’m sure we all had ideas of what 2020 would look like, yet to our surprise, the current events that have transpired so far are unbelievable.

Nonetheless, there were triumphs that shone through the darkness. Launching my memoir about mental illness was the greatest accomplishment of the year for me. My cousin and I even designed cute shirts that read “20/20 vision all 2020.”

2020 vision all 2020
Image Credit: Candis McDow

The biggest token of it all is, despite such negativity, there is beauty in the struggle. People are coming together, marching, protesting, and communities are speaking out. If we can continue to come together like this, real change is possible. And if change is possible, the world is headed in the right direction.

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