Posts

Woman Wearing Face Mask

CDC Director Offers Covid-19 Update, Urges Citizens To Wear Their Masks

Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in America has recently delivered a Covid-19 update in which he claimed that the outbreak could be controlled across the nation within 4-6 weeks if people were more strict about wearing their masks. According to Redfield over half of the states in America are currently spiking at a faster rate than they had been in the spring. 

Johns Hopkins University has been collecting national data on Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. As of this week, they reported that the US has surpassed 3.4 million positive cases of the coronavirus with over 136,000 deaths. Globally there have been about 13.3 million cases and almost 580,000 deaths; meaning the US accounts for around 24% of all covid-related deaths. 

Embed from Getty Images

Redfield consistently was emphasizing that disciplined use of facial coverings, social distancing, and hand washing can dramatically decrease the rate in which this virus spreads, however, this isn’t new information. The biggest issue now is enforcing these policies that so many Americans are actively ignoring because their state governments are telling them it’s okay to be out in public again through the reopenings. 

“If all of us would put on a face covering now for the next four weeks to six weeks, we could drive this epidemic to the ground in this country.”

Redfield went on to discuss other aspects of the pandemic as well, specifically how the Trump administration is now implementing a new directive that requires all hospitals to bypass the CDC when it comes to sending Covid-19 related data to the government. Instead, the data is to be sent directly to the Department of Health and Human Services. 

For reference, the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network has been the number one source of information in terms of all things coronavirus related. This includes data on things like hospital bed numbers, ventilator use/availability, and personal protective equipment (PPEs). Now, the administration claims the new system will streamline the collection of these important stats and the CDC will still be able to have access to the information, they just won’t get it first. 

Embed from Getty Images

Finally, the CDC announced that pharmaceutical company Moderna Inc. is currently in the early stages of a trial for a Covid-19 vaccine that’s showing successful results. The vaccine has proven to trigger an immune response within the body, however, it’s still too early to tell if that immune response is strong enough to actually protect someone from contracting the Covid-19 virus. 

Moderna’s chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks recently spoke with the media about the vaccine that’s technical name is mRNA-1273. Zaks claims that while we don’t have all the data yet, so far all indications prove the vaccine to be safe and effective. 

“The levels of protective antibodies produced by the trial participants were similar to those found in patients who had recovered from COVID-19, suggesting that the candidate vaccine provides the same protection as an infection.”

In the meantime, it’s recommended that we all continue to listen to the CDC and all of our country’s healthcare providers when they tell us the most effective ways to curve the spread of this virus. If we want a chance at returning to a life of normalcy, it’s imperative that we wear our masks in public, continue to social distance, and wash our hands as often as possible.

TikTok App on Phone

US Looking Into Banning Tik Tok And Other Social Media Apps From China

The United States is looking to potentially ban certain social media apps that come from China in an attempt to increase security access between the two countries. The main app that’s in question is Tik Tok, and according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the administration is taking this matter “very seriously.” 

Tik Tok alone has become one of the most popular social media apps on the internet currently. The free platform allows users to make videos that are up to a minute long and edit them with intricate filters, sound effects, music, graphics, and more. The feed algorithm on the app allows users timelines to be filled with content Tik Tok thinks you’ll like based on other posts you’ve liked and who you follow. 

Embed from Getty Images

This specific algorithm is one of the reasons that Tik Tok has grown so much in popularity within the past year, as users can have any sort of interest and likely find a hashtag/page geared towards it. However, Pompeo made it clear in an interview with Fox News that Tik Tok was the administration’s number one priority in terms of platforms to potentially ban. 

Pompeo also went onto state that smartphone users should only download the app if “you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party,” however, a spokesperson working for Tik Tok in America was quick to refute these claims that the app gives personal information to the Chinese government. 

“TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the US. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”‘

Embed from Getty Images

The United States and China have been experiencing major tensions within the past few years in general. These recent remarks from Pompeo are likely a direct result of that as well. National security, trade, and technology was at the center of all tensions between the two nation’s governments, and once Covid-19 became an issue that stemmed from a market in China, the pressure began to boil over. 

Tik Tok is in fact owned by a Beijing-based startup company known as ByteDance, and has been often criticized by the US government for being a potential threat to national security due to its ties to China. Once again, the administration has been quoted multiple times alleging that the company “could be compelled to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party,” despite there being no evidence to prove that. 

Tik Tok has made statements in the past regarding security and claims that the company operates through data centers located outside of China, so none of the data is subject to Chinese law. Data for US users specifically is stored in the US with backups in Singapore, according to the company. This past May an executive spokesperson claimed that “the national security concerns are unfounded.”

India’s government has also claimed they would ban Tik Tok and other Chinese apps due to a posed “threat to sovereignty and integrity,” which also likely fueled the US to follow suit. With over 40 million American users, however, it’s likely the app won’t be going anywhere without a good fight from social media users across the country.

Florida COVID-19

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Discusses Record Breaking Covid-19 Numbers In Florida

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez claims the city is breaking record after record of Covid-19 reports as Florida passes 200,000 cases.

FBI Seal

FBI To Potentially Open Civil Rights Investigation Over Elijah McClain’s Death

Nearly one year later, Elijah McClain’s story has not only begun circulating social media, but gathered enough attention to get the investigation formerly reopened and reviewed. In fact, the FBI and US Justice Department recently made a statement in which they claimed that they’ve been reviewing the circumstances surrounding McClain’s death since 2019. 

The review so far has mainly focused on determining whether or not a federal civil rights investigation is warranted based on the initial evidence. The statement claimed that the matter was “ongoing” as they’re in the process of gathering additional pieces of information such as testimonials and other evidence that could be useful. According to the FBI, the Aurora Police Department and other parties working within the city have been cooperating through it all. 

Embed from Getty Images

McClain’s family reacted to the news recently with their own statement in which they expressed their shock, but relief, that the investigation will continue to be reviewed. 

“I am both surprised and pleased to hear that a civil rights investigation is being considered. The Aurora Police Department has a long and sordid history of both brutality and racism, and a comprehensive civil rights investigation is long overdue.”

Mari Newman went on to invite the federal agencies to reach out to the family whenever needed, as they will “happily provide information to assist in this critically important investigation.” 

McClain’s death is a story that’s become all too familiar in America, and is the reason we’re currently seeing a nationwide demand for social justice and racial equality for black individuals. McClain was 23-years-old when he was walking home from the store late at night. McClain had anemia, which caused his body to become cold very easily, so he walked home in full sweats and a ski mask to remain warm. Someone noticed McClain and reported a “suspicious looking man” to the police. 

Embed from Getty Images

McClain was then stopped by three white police officers and when he resisted initial contact with one officer, an aggressive struggle was brought on by the police and they put him in a carotid hold; more commonly referred to as a choke-hold. They held him in the choke-hold for 15 minutes while he pleaded that he “couldn’t breathe,” vomited, and briefly lost consciousness. When paramedics arrived at the scene they injected him with a dose of ketamine to sedate him. McClain then suffered a heart attack on the way to the hospital, and was declared brain dead three years later. 

As of right now all three officers involved still have their jobs but have been reassigned to “non-enforcement duties.” The main reasoning for this reassignment was to keep the “officers safety as priority,” sparking massive new waves of anger and protests. More than 2 million people have now signed a petition demanding that justice be served for these men who murdered 23-year-old McClain. 

As the investigation got brought into the mainstream, multiple Aurora officers have been placed on administrative leave after new images surfaced of them near the scene where McClain was murdered. The investigation into all parties involved is still pending according to the Aurora police chief. 

“This investigation will be publicly released in its entirety promptly upon its conclusion. This will include reports, photographic evidence obtained, officer’s names, and my final determination which can rise to the level of termination.”

The FBI and Justice Department said that they’re aware of all media reports surrounding the case and photographs that have already been made public before the investigation could conclude, however, they claim to not have any further comments until that conclusion is actually met.

Fireworks

Major US Cities Making Adjustments To Their Fourth Of July Firework Displays

The Fourth of July is often celebrated with backyard barbecues, American flags, and of course, fireworks. However, this year the coronavirus pandemic has created a major obstacle for many fourth of July celebrations. Many major American cities that are known for their massive annual displays have already made announcements for what they plan to do this year to ensure spectators remain healthy and safe while still enjoying sparks light up the night sky.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall cancelled the city’s firework shows that typically take place in Jordan and Liberty Park and instead is asking residents to decorate their homes in red, white, and blue. Residents will be able to light their own fireworks from July 2nd to July 5th between the hours of 11 a.m. and 11 p.m., according to the Salt Lake City fire department.

Chicago cancelled its annual fireworks show at the Navy Pier but the city is still planning on maintaining some level of safe celebration. The city itself is hosting an at-home salsa dance class, a virtual house music festival, and a virtual Independence Day Salute concert accompanied by a professional orchestra for multiple ways of celebrating.

Embed from Getty Images

“While we all reflect on America’s promise of freedom and justice and its painful legacy of racial injustice, I invite Chicagoans to commemorate this year’s holiday with family and close friends, connected with our city and people across our country through the healing power of music,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

In Washington D.C., the nation’s capital is still planning to have some celebrations this year, although the National Independence Day Parade has been cancelled. “A Capitol Fourth” will be hosting a pre-recorded 90 minute program on PBS at 8 p.m. on the fourth as opposed to their normal annual live show in the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn.

The White House also released a statement in which they said their national “Salute to America” will take place on the South Lawn and feature music, military demonstrations, and flyovers to honor the nation’s service members and first responders who have been battling this pandemic on the front lines.

Embed from Getty Images

Las Vegas is continuing on with plans of multiple firework displays, including one at the famous Red Rock Resort. The event will also be live streamed on the resorts website and social media pages so that anyone can enjoy the show from the comfort of quarantine. The Red Rock Resort parking lot will also be open for spectators who want to see the display in person with social distancing measures enforced.

Los Angeles in general has been setting off fireworks mysteriously every night amid the massive protests for social justice; the same occurrences have been happening in New York City and other major metropolitans as well. The city itself, however, is still planning to continue on with their annual Independence Day shows, but will likely be reduced to only last for 15 minutes maximum.

Finally, New York City recently got word from Macy’s that the retail giant would be setting off 5-minute firework displays in all five boroughs of the city over multiple nights, starting on June 29th.

“Each display will launch from one or two unannounced land or water-based locations across New York City. The final display sites were chosen because they could safely accommodate the launch and firing of large-scale pyrotechnics,” according to city officials.

Regardless of how you plan to celebrate this year, it’s of the utmost importance that we all collectively continue to listen to the world’s healthcare workers and abide by social distancing measures. If you’re planning on attending a firework show in person that is projected to attract a large crowd, wear a face covering, stand at least six feet apart from everyone, and make sure to sanitize/clean yourself properly after you return home.

Signing Petition

2 Million People Sign Petition Demanding ‘Justice For Elijah McClain’ A Year After His Death

Nearly 2 million people have now signed a petition demanding that the investigation of the death of 23-year-old Elijah McClain be reopened. McClain suffered a heart attack after Aurora police officers forcefully held him on the ground for 15 minutes and paramedics gave him a dosage of ketamine as sedative. 

The petition itself calls on the city of Aurora, Colorado – specifically Adams County- and law enforcement agencies to not only fire the officers who held McClain in a choke-hold, but conduct a much more in-depth investigation that would lead to proper charges being met for the individuals responsible in McClain’s murder. 

Embed from Getty Images

Sheneen McClain, Elijah McClain’s mother, provides photos of Elijah while testifying before a House Finance committee in support of SB-217 regarding police reform at the State Capitol June 10, 2020

On August 24th, 2019, McClain was walking home at night and wearing a ski mask due to his anemia; the ski mask would help him remain warm since anemia can slow down blood flow, especially in cooler night temperatures.  Someone called the police and reported seeing a “suspicious looking man” walking around. Police arrived, told McClain to stop and after he refused the officers resorted to physical means of stopping him; which resulted in a 15 minute choke-hold and the ignoring of McClain’s pleas that he was in pain and couldn’t breathe properly. 

Aurora paramedics arrived at the scene and injected McClain with ketamine, he then went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital where he fell into a coma and later died. According to Mari Newman, McClain’s family’s lawyer, the 23-year-old was vomiting while being restrained by the police and clearly saying that he “couldn’t breathe.” Newman also claims that an officer threatened to call in “a dog to bite” McClain if he continued to struggle; despite his pleas. 

The Aurora Police Department announced that they would be banning cartid pressure holds, and creating a duty for officers to intervene if they believe colleagues are violating department policy. The department has also changed their stance on reports of “suspicious individuals” claiming that officers will not be required to make contact with anyone reported as suspicious, but rather observe them from a distance. 

Embed from Getty Images

Demonstrators gathered to honor the life of Elijah McClain in Aurora, Colorado on June 6, 2020

“The department recognizes that Black people are reported as suspicious at higher rates than other races. No one should ever be considered suspicious based on the color of their skin,” said Aurora Police Department Interim Chief Vanessa Wilson.

Protesters are more than unsatisfied with the Aurora police department’s response to McClain’s murder, claiming that policy changes within the system often don’t do anything to create real systemic change in the way that white police officers treat black individuals. McClain’s autopsy also revealed inconclusive results in regard to his cause of death, leading to all officers present at the scene remaining uncharged. 

McClain’s family launched a fundraiser to help pay for his memorial and legal fees, as they believe that if McClain’s autopsy results were “inconclusive” then that should be even more motivation to investigate the death further. Loved ones have also flooded social media with positive memories and images of McClain, remembering him as a beautiful and quirky young man who used to play violin for stray cats at animal shelters in his spare time. He also worked as a massage therapist in Aurora, where all of his clients regarded him as a positive individual who always made people smile. 

If you want to help contribute to Elijah McClain’s family, legal fund, or petition to reopen his investigation, click here.

Statue of Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt Statue To Be Removed From The Museum Of Natural History Steps In NYC

The statue of President Theodore Roosevelt that’s currently erected in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City will be removed, according to a statement from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.

The request to remove the statue actually came from the Museum of Natural History themselves, as the statue features America’s 26th president on a horse while a Native American and Black man stand on each side of the horse itself. The removal is also a general response to the multitude of confederate statues that are either being removed by protesters or requested to be removed by local officials in light of the current social justice issues America is enduring.

Embed from Getty Images

“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior. The city supports the museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue,” de Blasio’s office said.

Executives working for the Museum of Natural History also released a statement on their website, claiming that while the statue was originally placed in front of the museum as a means of celebrating Roosevelt as “devoted naturalist” and American historian, the message behind the statue also “communicates a racial hierarchy that the museum and members of the public have long found disturbing.”

No specific date of removal has been set yet, but the museum is currently working with NYC officials on the proper protocol for removing and storing a historical statue that’s been a part of the museum’s property for so many years. The statue itself is titled the “Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt” and was initially commissioned to be made for the museum in 1925. It made its debut in 1940 as a part of New York’s larger memorial to Roosevelt, according to the museum.

Embed from Getty Images

“To understand the statue, we must recognize our country’s enduring legacy of racial discrimination — as well as Roosevelt’s troubling views on race. We must also acknowledge the museum’s own imperfect history. Such an effort does not excuse the past but it can create a foundation for honest, respectful, open dialogue,” the museum continued in their statement.

As previously stated the museum’s decision was also inspired by the many historically confederate and racist statues currently being removed from parks and other state establishments in America. Just last week New Jersey’s Monmouth University voted to remove President Woodrow Wilson’s name from the campus’s Great Hall.

The University’s decision, like the museums, is a result of Wilson’s controversial reign as a politician. Wilson famously viewed racial segregation as a “benefit” to the country and its power structure. He also defended the enslavement of Black people by claiming that slaves in general were “happy and well-cared for.”

The protests and demand for true systemic change has been a fight since the dawn of the civil rights movement. Protesters want US officials to think about what we choose to memorialize and turn into monuments. When we honor things like the Vietnam War or 9/11, we often honor the victims of those tragic events in American history, so why aren’t there more monuments for the millions of slaves that were forced into this country? The Museum of Natural History agreed with this sentiment,and is hoping other historical institutions follow suit.

Hydroxychloroquine

US Government Stuck With Stockpile Of 63 Million Doses Of Hydroxychloroquine

The US federal government is now stuck with 63 million doses of hydroxychloroquine after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked permission for the drug to be distributed and taken as a Covid-19 treatment. The government began stockpiling the drug back in March when this pandemic first began and we weren’t aware of any solid treatment options to combat it. 

The FDA officially revoked their authorization of hydroxychloroquine use this past Monday, stating that “there was no reason to believe the drug was effective against the virus, and it actually increased the risk of side effects such as heart problems.” 

The government, however, initially ignored the FDA and any other warning against the use of the drug, especially after President Trump went on record stating hydroxychloroquine was a “very encouraging and powerful game-changer” in the fight against the coronavirus. 

Embed from Getty Images

Now, the US is dealing with a stockpile of 63 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, plus another 2 million doses of the drug chloroquine, which is a drug similar to hydroxychloroquine that pharmaceutical company Bayer donated to the US back in March. 

“Nationally, we put a great emphasis on one drug, hydroxychloroquine. I worry that history will judge this as having over-invested in one treatment pathway as opposed to looking more broadly at a larger number of treatment candidates,” said David Holtgrave, the dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany before the FDA ended up unauthorizing the use of the drug. 

Before the FDA revoked its authorization a major stockpile of 31 million doses had already been distributed throughout the US. Major pharmaceutical companies from around the country began “donating” their doses to the stockpile once the announcement was made. In general, hydroxychloroquine is used to treat diseases such as malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, in fact, it’s been a successful treatment for all of these ailments for many years now. 

Embed from Getty Images

Once Trump began praising hydroxychloroquine for its ability to combat the coronavirus, individuals who have any of the above illnesses claimed to have trouble accessing the drug, as individuals and companies began stockpiling it to redistribute for a profit. 

“[The FDA’s] decision to authorize hydroxychloroquine in March was based on evaluation of the EUA criteria and the scientific evidence available at that time. However, many infectious disease experts, including those who’ve studied the drug for coronavirus, say there was never any evidence that the drug worked for the virus,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn stated.

Every infectious disease expert/healthcare worker who studies the drug has claimed that there was never any evidence to suggest that it could help kill the coronavirus. Trump’s consistently emphasized, however, that the drug had “a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine,” and for some, hearing that from the president of the United States in the middle of a global pandemic was enough to regain some hope and want to stock up on some hydroxychloroquine.

Since the FDA’s renouncement of their authorization, two major studies have been published that fully proved hydroxychloroquine was ineffective against Covid-19. So for now, it’s important that we continue to listen to our health care professionals directly for all medical updates regarding the coronavirus, and continue to abide by social distancing/quarantine measures.

Traveling

These International Borders Are Planning To Reopen This Month

The Covid-19 pandemic is still very much a public health crisis, so many individuals are likely not going to be travelling anytime soon. However, many international borders have begun to/are projecting to reopen this month based on how badly they’re country is infected. Here’s an update on some of the international borders that are planning to potentially reopen this month:

The Canada and US border was projecting to reopen on June 21st, however, they’re now extending that date to go into July. Prior to this extension airlines in both the US and Canada began booking select routes to and from both countries. While non-essential travel is still banned between the US and Canada, essential trade is permissible between both countries. Canadians are also allowed to fly into the US but US citizens cannot fly into Canada. 

Embed from Getty Images

The US and Mexico border is gearing up to reopen on June 22nd. Unessential travel has previously been banned, and Canada’s decision to extend their border closure may influence Mexico’s decision on whether or not to extend the date, however, for now they’re still projecting to open on the 22nd. An increase in Covid-19 cases in Arizona and Texas has also worried Mexican government officials. While Mexico isn’t planning on enforcing visitors to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, individuals should expect a personal interview and temperature checks. 

Travelling to the Caribbean is going to be dependent on what specific island you would go to. Each island has different opening dates based on how badly they’ve been impacted by Covid-19, however, a majority of the islands have managed to keep case numbers relatively low. 

The entire continent of South America is still under some of the strictest lockdown conditions in the world. Brazil lifted their internal travel ban in May, however, air travel into Brazil won’t be allowed until June 21st, and potentially later depending on if they extend the date or not. It’s important to note that even if the projected date for reopening is tomorrow, it’ll still be subject to change based on how many new cases continue to appear. Brazil alone has the second-highest recorded coronavirus death count, so the government in Latin America is projecting they won’t be able to fully reopen until September the earliest. 

Embed from Getty Images

The United Kingdom was one of the last nations to ban international air travel in and out of the country when the pandemic began. Starting June 8th the UK began requiring that all visitors must self-quarantine for 14-days and provide housing/contact details to local authorities so they can ensure you’re abiding by the lockdown requirements. If one fails any of the requirements they could be subject to a fine of up to $1200. 

Travel between Europe and the US will likely not begin for a long time. Countries within Europe are gradually reopening the same way that states within America are also loosening their health and safety restrictions. However, as we’ve seen in America this premature reopening has led to a huge spike in cases in over 19 states. Some European nations, such as Germany and Ireland, are projecting to open by July, and Greece has already reopened to international travelers; however visitors are required to quarantine for 14 days and wear a mask in public. 

Australia and New Zealand are planning on waiving travel restrictions between each other, but not internationally. Australia will likely allow international visitors first, but require a 14-day quarantine like most places. 

In general, essential workers, trade, and business events would be the only reason one could travel internationally this summer. Every date is subject to change, and many have multiple times, so for now, if you want to be able to travel to any of these places without any Covid-19 fears we must continue to listen to our healthcare providers and protect ourselves and our loved ones. 

Protest Black Lives Matter

Multiple Black Men Found Hanging From Trees Sparks Demand For Lynching Investigations

The bodies of four black men have been discovered hanging from trees in various parts of the country, and while police officers are ruling each incident as a suicide, the public isn’t as convinced, especially in light of all the Black Lives Matter protests that have been occurring everyday for the past few weeks in response to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other innocent black lives at the hands of the police. 

Lynching may seem like an outdated crime, but the reality is the politics behind lynching are still very much relevant. In fact, the federal government just deemed lynching to be a federal crime this year, nearly 65 years after the case of Emmett Till rocked the nation. 

Now, tensions in America are running high, as we’re currently battling two deadly pandemics; the coronavirus and systemic racism. So when the bodies of four black men hanging from trees made headlines within the past month, individuals were convinced some sort of foul play must have been involved; especially considering the fact that members of the KKK have made appearances at some of the black lives matter protests within the past week.

Embed from Getty Images

On June 9th the body of Dominique Alexander, 27, was found hanging from a tree with a rope around his neck in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan. The next day the body of 24-year-old Robert Fuller was found hanging in a tree with a rope around his neck in Palmdale, California. Two weeks prior to both of these incidents, the body of 38-year-old Malcolm Harsch was found hanging from a tree in Victorville, California, which is about an hour away from Palmdale. On Wednesday June 17th, the body of a black male teenager was found hanging from a tree on the property of Ehrhardt Elementary School in Houston, Texas. 

All four of these deaths, except for Robert Fullers, have been ruled a suicide by local police forces. After a petition demanding LA county open a homicide investigation on Fuller’s death gained over 240,000 signatures, the County Sheriff said the death will be “probed as a homicide.” Regardless, the fact that all four of these deaths by hanging happened during such a tumultuous time politically, and within the same month as each other, has the public convinced that they were planned attacks. 

Fuller’s family specifically has been very vocal about the fact that they do not believe Fuller was depressed or suicidal in the slightest. The family of Malcolm Harsch has had the same attitude and is also demanding an independent investigation be opened up for his death. 

“The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible. There are many ways to die but considering the current racial tension, a black man hanging himself from a tree definitely doesn’t sit well with us right now. We want justice not comfortable excuses,”  Harsch’s family said to the media.

Embed from Getty Images

The racial tensions in America currently are mirroring that of the 1960’s, hence the major concern over these four incidents of black men dying in a way that mimics how white individuals used to murder black people in this country for sport. The conversation surrounding lynching has also been circulating through these protests even before these deaths. After video footage was released of Ahmaud Arbery being chased and killed by two white supremacists, many people took to Twitter to state that the world just witnessed a black man get lynched on camera. 

People around the nation, and the world, are continuing to march everyday until some sort of resolution is met. The goal from these protestors is a complete overhaul of the police system and the way our government splits up funding. Considering the fact that we’re currently enduring the worst public health crisis in decades, healthcare providers are especially angry at their complete lack of resources, but the overwhelming amount of riot/protective gear the police have access too with their much higher budget. 

Regardless of if these deaths were suicides or not, the fact that America has now seen four black men “hang themselves” by a rope from a tree within the same month, during a time where racial tensions have heightened greatly, is definitely reason enough to open an intense investigation. 

Suicide and mental health within the black community is also a major issue. Within the past few years suicide has been on the rise among black teenagers and young adults. Unfortunately, studies suggest a major contributing factor to this rise is the systemic racism that shows itself in America’s schooling system, police force, physical/mental health care facilities, workforce, etc. This is why the movement has such an intense momentum behind it.

If you want to know more about the Black Lives Matter movement and how you can directly help from home, click here for access to dozens of petitions, donation pages, and fundraising efforts specifically for those fighting for racial equality right now.