It’s COVID 1619
by Derrick Wheeler-Smith
Everyone lost to gun violence is someone’s beloved. Beloved is a multi-media campaign exploring gun violence in-depth in four phases: The Problem of gun violence as a symptom of illness (or infection) caused by systemic inequality; The History of gun violence, root causes, and local and national data trends. The Solutions to end gun violence including King County Public Health’s regional approach to gun violence prevention and treatments; and finally, the ideation of a world without gun violence, The Beloved Community. The Beloved project is brought to you in partnership with Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Hope Corps program, King County’s Public Health team, Converge Media, Black Coffee Northwest, Toybox Consulting, Creative Justice, The Facts Newspaper, Forever Safe Spaces, Northwest African American Museum, Presidential Media, and the South Seattle Emerald.
We know that the disease of racism precedes community violence, yet even now we are grappling with “reimagining” systems that have been built around the commodification of Black and Brown bodies. Before we can discuss the epidemic of gun violence, we must call out racism first. We know European colonization caused a genocide to Indigenous people, created systemically inferior health care, plundered Black wealth, and created a legal system that punishes Black folks more frequently and more severely. This story is not new; it is as old as this country and as racist as the design of our systems and institutions. It has always been a story about Black and Brown people.Continue reading OPINION: Violence Is a Public Health Issue, but the Biggest Epidemic in This Country Isn’t COVID-19…