What causes unrest, chaos, confusion? A pandemic? You bet. Inexplicable brutality? Likely. Now, imagine both of those atrocities plaguing a country at one time and you get the United States of America in the summer of 2020.
Most of us alive today have never seen a pandemic; hence the confusion of most of us! It's been years since the federal government has been so divided to the point where it has been a toll just to get anything done; thus disseminating a feeling of indecision on us citizens. And the brutal murders that have come to light in the last few weeks have shaken all of us to our moral core; resulting in a state of internal unrest.
On the coronavirus response of the federal government, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said in an interview with The Daily Show's Trevor Noah, "there is no message" from the top.
As most would expect, an unexpected pandemic would throw any society into a state of flux - and it did.
It was Wednesday, March 11, when the National Basketball Association suspended play due to the raging coronavirus that spelled the beginning of the end as life as we knew it.
Little did we know that a country that is supposed to be "united" would watch its government go from making little sense to contradicting its own doctors in a matter of weeks. This has given way to social media attempting to "cure" the virus by saying things like garlic, cocaine, ultraviolet waves, and other methods could protect people from COVID-19.
And the chaos hasn't stopped there.
Grocery stores began to see runs on basic essentials like toilet paper, the stock market plunged to depths not seen since it crashed in 2008, and one-in-four Americans have filed for unemployment benefits.
Pastors have gone rouge in a few instances, protests over stay-at-home orders broke out in Michigan, and people drank Lysol. The "absolute chaotic disaster," that has been the White House's coronavirus response, as stated by former President Barack Obama, has contributed to the current unrest in America by failing to present a united front against an invisible enemy and the citizens of our country have reflected the uncertainty and indecision of the government in everyday society.
But as CNN's Don Lemon concisely put, "two deadly viruses are killing Americans: COVID-19 and racism."
As if a mishandled pandemic were bad enough, violence has erupted throughout America. In the last three weeks, the inexcusable murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd have raked our country to its moral core as we are now faced with the realization that the racism that has plagued the United States since its conception is still very much alive and well.
This past week, in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, and others, protestors took to the streets to voice their displeasure with the way African-Americans are still being treated and the lack of immediate consequences for the perpetrators.
Subsequently, these people have been labeled as "thugs" and anarchists.
However, let's not miss what is really happening: these are not the actions of gangs, arsonists, or insurrectionists, but rather 400 years of anger, frustration, and disappointment in the systematic oppression that our country has fostered for far too long. It is a call to not just act to stop these occurrences but to prioritize stopping these occurrences.
So what does cause unrest, chaos, and confusion?
What is being witnessed is a government that does not have enough solid leaders to provide a stead, united front to calm and reassure people - instead of how the Trump administration has, in the words of Trevor Noah, "been as calming as a pack of fireworks dropped into a bag of cocaine".
On top of that, America's original sin, systemic racism has reared its hideous head once again. An epidemic on top of a pandemic.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is America. This is what unrest looks like!
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