The continued 5 session event, Tigers Protect The Den: A Series of Campus Forums to Support COVID-19 Safety and Precautions, Dr. Macy Young continued to bring students and faculty together under the Gazebo, to continue to the discussion of Covid-19 and how students and faculty can fight against it. The topic for the day was: Disproportionate Impact: How is the pandemic an indicator of racial injustice and what role can HBCU’s have in protecting our community? The event took place on Thursday, September 16, at 1:00pm EST.
While we are facing the same challenge of this pandemic, racism is still an issue being faced. During the discussion, George Floyd was used as an example. His untimely death spurred worldwide demonstrations against racism and police brutality.
The demonstrations have prompted U.S. politicians to introduce legislation to prohibit police officers from using excessive force. Statues of racist imperial figures were desecrated in the United Kingdom and Belgium. In addition, films and television shows that propagate racism have been canceled.
The police execution of George Floyd in front of witnesses demonstrated how the United States deals with racism. However, structural racism is not limited to the United States. Racism, like the COVID-19 pandemic we're presently dealing with, is found in every corner of the earth. People are questioning whether the COVID-19 epidemic, which has killed over 660,000 people, was man made, or if it was brought about by the unintentional and unanticipated consequences of industrial and capitalist modernity.
There is no doubt that racism is a sentient epidemic. While COVID-19 is propagated by the Flu virus, racism is caused by a group of people who believe they are better than others who appear different. Due to these facts, HBCUs have become an important factor, especially to the black community.
HBCUs were founded in response to racism. The idea that black Americans needed to go to a different college than white Americans gave birth to the HBCUs we see today. It has also been said that when HBCUs were first established, the only way they would see advances to their institutions was when whites would benefit as well.
Although HBCUs were designed to divide the races, they are today seen as a more desirable alternative in the black community than attending a primarily white university. HBCUs are expected to protect the black community when it comes to these topics, by coming together with strategic ways to make sure racism is kept down. When this is done, black and white students can be equally protected when it comes to the battle of COVID-19, that has impacted us all.