Oh, right — coronavirus
Our global pandemic took a back burner this last week as protests against police brutality filled the nation’s streets for the last 10 days or so. But make no mistake: We are still coronavirus-ing. In a big way. The last few days have been terrible for North Carolina, which we’ll get to in a moment. Bur first, some news.
- The curfew has been lifted in Greensboro and High Point. Winston-Salem never had one.
- NC legislators are putting together a new bill that would allow for bars and gyms to reopen, in contradiction to the governor’s orders.
- Gov. Cooper held a press conference today saying that keeping bars closed is part of a long-term strategy to get schools open on time.
- Greensboro Police Chief Brian James also held a presser, in which he outlined new guidelines for use of force in the department, including banning chokeholds and more.
- Southeast Ward rep on Winston-Salem City Council James Taylor, also chair of the public safety committee, announced on his Facebook page a plan to reallocate $1 million from the city’s police budget for other public-safety measures.
- We’ve had 3,229 new cases in the last three days in North Carolina.
- 739 people are currently hospitalized, using 75 percent of the state’s in-patient beds, 86 percent of the ICU beds and 26 percent of available ventilators.
- Guilford County stands at 1,671 total diagnoses, with 81 deaths and 855 recoveries. That leaves 735 existing cases, 254 of which are in the hospital.
- Forsyth County has 1,808 total diagnoses, with 17 deaths and 95 recoveries (no new ones listed since April 18). On paper, that means 1,696 cases right now.
Racist systems need constant reinforcement. This was especially true during Jim Crow, when free black folks might be tempted to rise above the station created for them by white folks. Newspapers were complicit, banks and other lending institutions and, most particularly, the entertainment industry, which kept black actors in roles that reinforced negative stereotypes. “Amos ‘n’ Andy” was one of the earliest specimens of this phenomenon, begun as a radio show in 1928, it survived the move to television and ran on the air until 1960. Note: It does not hold up, but I include it here to demonstrate the subtle ways in which racial roles have been reinforced during our most contentious times.
- From the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s public-domain collection, tonight we’ve got “Nubians with a Giraffe and a Monkey,” from the tomb of Rekhmire, an ancient Egyptian noble and governor of Thebes, from 1504-1425 BC.
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